How to Rename PDF Files

Updated April 14, 2017

Portable Document Format, or PDF, files, require Adobe Reader for viewing and Adobe Distiller, Acrobat or the 2007 version of Microsoft Office to create. PDF files, however, can be renamed without viewing, opening or modifying the documents in any way. The process for renaming will depend on whether you have a PC or Mac computer.

Locate the PDF file on your computer. Do not open the file.

Right-click the file icon or list entry. A drop-down menu will appear.

Select "Rename" in the drop-down menu. The file name will be highlighted and you can immediately type a new file name in the open field, then hit the "Enter" key.

Locate the PDF file on your computer. Do not open the file.

Single-click the text name of the file under or beside the file icon. A field will open over the file name.

Type a new file name into the open field and then hit "Enter."


PC users can also use the single-click method to rename PDF files. Single-click the text, then rename the file.


Renaming a PDF file only changes the file name, it does not change the file format. To change the format you must use a file converter. Do not rename files that are open on the computer.

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About the Author

Enrica Jang has written for various websites since January 2010. She is an author and the founder of Red Stylo Media, a publishing and consulting company in Cold Spring, N.Y.