Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Keep Your Images In A Specific Order

Reader Asks A Good Question..

Q:I have a folder with 200 pictures which I have arranged in a very specific order. I want to burn them to a CD, but when I try to burn them in Roxio they burn to a cd but not in the order that they are in the folder. Any help is appreciated. ”

A: The trick for resolving this puzzle is to understand that computers will do their own arranging (and assigning), using a pre-configured, rigid, logic — generally alphabetical order. So even though you have carefully nudged the icons representing (for human viewing) your photos (actually JPEG files) around into an arranged order of your liking, the machine will still think of the files in terms of IMG0001.JPG, followed by the “greater than” IMG0002.JPG (2 is “greater than” 1) which will be followed by the “greater than” IMG0003.JPG.

So the answer is to rename the files , and do so in an order that matches your order.

If you had just a few files, you could manually rename the first image by giving it a name and adding a one. Repeating for the second image, but adding a 2. And, repeating for the third image, but adding a 3. As I did for this collection of screenshots that were going to be a slideshow (and needed a certain ‘order’)

But since you have so many, you need an easier way – what is called a “batch rename” by us Über Geeks.

1) Arrange the photos into the order you like.

2) Click on one of the images to turn it blue (aka “select it”)

3) Hold down the Ctrl key and press the “A” key (or Edit > Select All). This will turn all the images blue (all are now ‘selected’).

4) Right-click on the first image, and choose Rename from the context menu (the name of small side window that pops open).
Your cursor will now be blinking inside the file name ‘box’.

5) Type in a ‘name’ — preferably something related to your project, or the subject matter.
(This one might be “fishtrip”, for example.)

IMPORTANT  Do NOT add a number — this is done automatically during the rename process

Press Enter.

Note: If for some reason you are unhappy with the result.. say you made a mistake, you can Undo the rename you just did by pressing Ctrl+Z (or going to the Edit menu and choosing the top choice – “Undo rename”. (I love Ctrl + Z!)

Now that you have put your ordering in terms a computer cannot argue with, your CD burning software, or “import”-ing into PowerPoint, or whatnot, will respect and follow your arrangement.
Because “fishtrip (4).jpg” is ‘greater than’ (aka “alphabetical”) “fishtrip (3).jpg” … right? Right.

Remember folks, machines are kinda dumb: they can only “think” in binary (a 1 or a 0)(aka “true or false”, “on or off”). They cannot “see” your photo – they see C:\User Name\Pictures\IMAG0001.JPG.

Sorta related: Make Your Photos and Videos Automatically Fly From Your Camera to Your Computer

I spend much of my obsession for technology, by looking for the latest technology in computers and computer accessories on Amazon .. Today, I came across a technology that I did not know about that is just downright impressive.” Read more..

Today’s quote:A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.” ~ Bob Edwards

(There’s something about this quote.. something.. “off”, I think)

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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October 24, 2011 - Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Hi Paul

    I’ve always used the “leading zero” trick to keep files sorted correctly.

    If I have 10 but less than 100, it’s filename001 – filename099.
    If it’s 100 but less than 1000, it’s filename0001 – filename0999.

    I.E., If the number always starts with a zero, they will be in the correct order.

    But yeah, a batch rename is the way to go with scores of files… Good tip!


    Comment by kstinman | October 24, 2011 | Reply

    • kstinman,
      Good to see you here again.

      Those small handful of us who understand file management, “paths”, and naming conventions will no doubt “get” your “trick”. But the sad truth is, we are most definitely a tiny minority.


      Comment by techpaul | October 24, 2011 | Reply

  2. Very Good Tip



    Comment by Janice | October 24, 2011 | Reply

    • Janice,
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know you found my writing helpful.


      Comment by techpaul | October 24, 2011 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the good tip Paul. I have too many photos/memories to rename all of them now, but you can bet, I will remember it hence forth.

    Hmmm and all this time, I thought my computer was smart. ROFL.

    Even though I do not always post a comment, I enjoy coming here everyday.


    Comment by ebony | October 24, 2011 | Reply

    • ebony,
      Always a pleasure to see familiar names here. Thanks for taking the time to participate.

      .. as for “smart machines”, it does sometimes feel like they are getting “smarter”.
      (Which sometimes gives me the heebie-jeebies..)


      Comment by techpaul | October 24, 2011 | Reply

  4. I use Multiren [AKA: Multiple Rename], It is a Free-standing API, been using it since ????–what it can do—well, it never let me down.
    Available at:,2817,57320,00.asp#fbid=DvTHMy5UxVv
    [yea, I know…]

    Quote: “MultiRen, enhances Windows Explorer with a sophisticated feature called Multiple Rename. It runs under Windows 95 [98/ME/XP. Vista/7—Dunno] and Windows NT 4. To access MultiRen, select two or more files from within Explorer, right-click for the context menu, and select Multiple Rename. In addition to the standard wildcard characters, MultiRen supports special commands that add sequence numbers to filenames, force uppercase or lowercase, and MORE.” [End Quote]

    All-In-All, a great / little / FREE app….
    [Thank you, once again, Tech Paul, you are the great/”OAO”, as usual—Keep up the “Greatness”]


    Comment by holmwel | October 24, 2011 | Reply

    • holmwel,
      Just a lil ‘ole country boy here, trying to be helpful..

      Thank you for sharing with us. The link you provided led me to a page dated 1998, (that is going back!) and here is the download link I found there:,2817,27029,00.asp. It appears that Multiren is $7.97 for non-members of PC Mag Utility Library.

      It has been a long time since I have looked at any “batch” utilities, so I have to say I do not know what is out there now for renaming. I do remember several batch resizing utilities as (also) having a “rename” function.. The one I have used recently – Fotosizer – can do so in the Filename mask section. (PhotoScape image editing program has rename as well, but I don’t think it will retain a ‘custom’ ordering…)
      I confess, you have piqued my interest.


      Comment by techpaul | October 24, 2011 | Reply

      • t/p:

        Sorry, that is why I have an App Archive…But anyway, thought I’d put in my 2¢ worth…..Thought someone would have taken this one by now, and improved on it—but again, maybe they have, we just haven’t found it yet…
        Anyway, keep up the Great Work—you never seem to stop “excelling” [you can blush, now] great site, always a pleasant surprise to visit….How about a day for the classes Stanford U is offering online for free ??–Artificial Intelligence Intro / Machine Learning Intro / Databases Intro

        You can take these two ways: “You Betcha” or “Stanford Difficulty Level” [Homework, Quizzes, Exams, Grade], either way you get a certificate of completion–I signed up for “AI”, but had to drop [unforeseen/serious/personal], along with 160,000+ others…can you imagine……??



        Comment by holmwel | October 25, 2011 | Reply

        • holmwel,
          Reader participation is very welcome here, and I thank you for sharing your “2¢ worth”. (I am always eager to hear “what just works” from people, for example. [Real Life user reviews, so to speak.])

          I am afraid I am quite swamped with requests and suggestions, but I will look into the Stanford classes just as soon as time allows. Thanks for the tip!


          Comment by techpaul | October 25, 2011 | Reply

  5. This article has really piqued my interest in paying more attention to my photos While I use a digital camera…I find it a lot of work to transfer…organize etc….and I certainly do NOT put the photos on a CD.

    With your article Paul…and Rick’s article.. Make Your Photos / Videos Fly From Your Camera…both simplifies the procedures for me…not so much work anymore… (perhaps I am lazy, ha)

    Thanks to you both for these articles.


    Comment by Gaia | October 25, 2011 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      I suspect you are not alone in finding ‘file management’ “a lot of work”. Hopefully these tips will make the chore a little simpler for a few folks (such as yourself).

      Thank you for your support!


      Comment by techpaul | October 25, 2011 | Reply

  6. This article gets my attention about taking photos with digital camera and problems transferring the pictures and its solutions.


    Comment by kim@usb microscope camera | October 25, 2011 | Reply

    • kim,
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know you liked my writing.


      Comment by techpaul | October 26, 2011 | Reply

  7. Here is some suggestions from Gizmo’s site..

    And I always find when I back them up, I end up with dups…(I think it is is the “law of the land”) so I keep this handy… duplicate photo finder « Giveaway of the Day Forums

    Picture Relate is a good one to use because it does a lot of other things too…View, Rename, Delete, Copy&Paste, Drag&Drop. You have to request a license but it’s free…unless you want to help the guy out.


    Comment by delenn13 | October 29, 2011 | Reply

    • delenn13,
      Thank you for the links!


      Comment by techpaul | October 29, 2011 | Reply

  8. Hi Paul,
    We followed the instuctions on how to keep photos in order. They do stay in order in My Pictures,But when we import them to our Corel programme,so we can play with them, edit etc. they scramble once again.Could this be that we are trying to blend digital photos with scanned film photos? Any help would be greatley appreciated.
    Thanks, Clem.


    Comment by Clem Milgate | February 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Clem Milgate,
      If the files are renamed sequentially, it probably is as simple as telling Corel how to “sort” them, by clicking on “name”. It may be (probably is) currently using some other attribute (maybe.. Date created?) to sort..

      (No. The computer doesn’t care how the file is created. It only cares the “path” and the “name” and the “type” [jpeg, for example].)

      I hope that helps, as to help you more, I’d need to see what’s actually happening.


      Comment by techpaul | February 12, 2013 | Reply

  9. Hi, I am trying to create a photo book. I’ve renamed all the photos by batch and they are in numerical order but when I try to upload them to the photobook programme it recognises the numbers in this order 1, 10, 101, etc as opposed to the true numerical order. How do I rectify this please.


    Comment by ali | September 11, 2014 | Reply

    • ali,
      The first comment (above) answers that. Use the article’s batch rename technique to add zero’s.
      Image1 should actually be named Image001, or Image00001, depending how many photo’s your working with.


      Comment by techpaul | September 11, 2014 | Reply

  10. Hi Paul,
    Thank you for your tips. I have selected all of my photos and renamed my first photo as image0001, however it names the 2nd photo image0001 (2) and the 3rd photo image0001 (3). I also tried calling it different names, using upper and lower case and also adding .jpg at the end of the file name. I have the same problem as the person above where the copy program recognises 1, 10, 101, etc first. Do you have a solution to getting around this rename problem?
    Thanks, Sandra


    Comment by Sandra | October 8, 2015 | Reply

    • Sandra,
      You might like this little utility to perform your task(s): Bulk Rename Tool is a Lightweight but Powerful File Renaming Tool.
      If you’d like to add ‘batch’ resizing to the utility’s bag of tricks, you might try: FastStone Photo Resizer

      FastStone Photo Resizer is an image converter and renaming tool that intends to enable users to convert, rename, resize, crop, rotate, change color depth, add text and watermarks to images in a quick and easy batch mode. Drag and Drop mouse operation is well supported.


      Comment by techpaul | October 8, 2015 | Reply

      • Excellent! Thanks so much Paul. I liked the look of FastStone Photo Resizer for ease of use to do batch renaming so I went with this one. All fixed. Have a great day.


        Comment by Sandra | October 8, 2015 | Reply

        • Sandra,
          That’s my choice too. Glad I could help.


          Comment by techpaul | October 9, 2015 | Reply

  11. I was in Ireland for 3 weeks . Lots of pictures. Wanting to put some on USB drives for friends .90% of pictures in order that I want but always one in a particular sequence that sits on the first row of the display instead of where I want it . Tried removing numbers but that didn’t work. Friends will be happy with these but I am driving myself crazy when #40 and #42 are where I want them but 41 and 43 stay on top row . Should I have done something specific when I first downloaded pictures from SD cards to computer ? – just for future
    information ? 170 pictures on each USB.


    Comment by Eileen Herbert | August 4, 2016 | Reply

    • Eileen Herbert,
      I don’t know. That sounds unusual to me. But you may want to try the ‘batch renaming’ tool(s) I mention in previous comment/answers (above).


      Comment by techpaul | August 4, 2016 | Reply

  12. Thanks for the solid tip and how to do it. I tried the method and it worked the first time but in subsequent tries with a different st of pictures in the same folder it did not rename/renumber the pictures. Is there anything I can do to get this to work 100% of the time.


    Comment by Raymond | August 21, 2016 | Reply

    • Raymond,
      Yes. Use the ‘batch’ program I recommended a couple of answers (“Comments”) above yours. I prefer the Fastone.


      Comment by techpaul | August 22, 2016 | Reply

  13. That just saved me so much hassle,I was hoping I wouldn’t have to rename all individually,photos 1-120 all nicely numbered.Thanks


    Comment by bob | December 2, 2016 | Reply

    • bob,
      Thanks for taking the time to let me know I’ve been helpful to you.


      Comment by techpaul | December 2, 2016 | Reply

  14. I have spent hours of frustration trying to figure out why my recent trip pictures were in random order when I transfered a folder of selected pictures to a flash drive. I just now came across your article and am absolutely delighted that I can finally keep them in the proper order. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


    Comment by Karen | April 2, 2017 | Reply

    • Karen,
      Thank you for letting me know I helped out :) .


      Comment by techpaul | April 7, 2017 | Reply

  15. I have put my pictures in the order I need them simply by adding a) ab) ac) etc at the beginning of the title. This was fine for the lap top. I put them on a memory stick and all was well until I plugged that in a television and Immediately they were all out of order!!
    What to do?


    Comment by Lynkalin | June 18, 2019 | Reply

  16. I did the batch rename but still every time I put usb into smart tv to view slideshow the order has changed again.


    Comment by J | June 19, 2019 | Reply

  17. That was so clear to follow – thank you! I have done what you said. I want to use it in a TV tomorrow but as I don’t have one myself, I can’t test it. Will it work for a TV viewing?


    Comment by Lynda Carew-Jones | July 9, 2019 | Reply

  18. Thank you so much. After spending 4-5 hours trying to get my .jpg images to replay in order on a smart (?) TV, I took your suggestion, downloaded FastStone AND IT WORKED!!!!!


    Comment by Anonymous | October 13, 2019 | Reply

    • Sir or Ms,
      Thank you for taking the time and letting me know it worked for you.


      Comment by techpaul | October 15, 2019 | Reply

  19. It seems Fastone is for a PC. I have an Apple laptop and am having the same problem. I shall try the batch idea


    Comment by Helen Marsh | February 14, 2020 | Reply

    • I’m sure there is a program (or ‘app’) available for Mac, but I wouldn’t know about it, as I did not do Apple. Perhaps the Mac User Forum would be the place to seek solution.


      Comment by techpaul | February 17, 2020 | Reply

  20. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the article, its very helpful. I’m trying to sequence approximately 500 photo files and keep the original file names. How can I add a sequencing number to the original file names? Once I have the file original sequence established, I also want to insert other photos into the sequence and add a sequence number. How can I accomplish that?

    Your help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated


    Comment by calozaki | February 19, 2022 | Reply

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