Looooooong time Mac user.

I have a particular older system I use for cataloging items.

I get a folder of 50+ items, then have to manually rename each item. Batch renaming isn't useful and would actually be more work because there's little to no commonality between the files. I do have, run, and love A Better Finder Rename, but even that isn't useful for this process 90% of the time.

In Yosemite's Finder (column view), I could rename a file then hit Return and quickly hit the or key to move to the next file. Hit Return, rename and quickly hit or ... repeat. This had a benefit of keeping the active file focused in the relevant list of items where I needed to be. If I paused for a few seconds before hitting return in the next file, then the list would re-sort. But I had roughly 5 seconds to enter renaming mode on the next file before re-sorting occurred.

In Yosemite, after about 20-30 files I'd have to relaunch the Finder due to some cache that started getting bogged down. Renaming and cursor movements would start getting delayed - the more I files I renamed the longer the delay would become. Relaunch Finder.. all back to 100% speed. I learned to live with this.

I recently upgraded this system to Mojave, as far as it can go. In Mojave's Finder (column or list view), as soon as I rename a file and hit Return the file instantly moves to re-sort based upon its new name. No matter how fast I hit the arrow keys, the file moves. I've searched and searched for a way to delay or turn off this "instant resort" behavior and I've come up with nothing. I've turned off (reduced) animations, etc and there's been no change.

Is there a way in Mojave's Finder to manually rename a list of files without the files instantly moving to re-sort based upon their new name? Some sort of "delayed re-sort"?

I can't use icon view, it's too cumbersome. And the insta-move behavior seems to happen in column and list view equally. I've tried grouping by various things, but since the files are all the same "type/kind" and created at relatively the same date, and the name is changing, the file still always move to some degree.

  • I remember that - I think it was a bug… which you appear to have nicely exploited. I don't think it was ever intentional, it was just the Finder being really slow to catch up. Wish you luck, though. If you click the next file you need without 'closing' the rename, then it will select & apply your change. idk a way to do it with the keyboard though.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 10:35
  • Hmm.. darn.. clicking won't help much. Benefit of the Yosemite behavior is that it was 100% keyboard, no clicking. I'm finding in Mojave I have to rename.. then hit the first letter of where I was in the list to move back to that area of the list... then arrow keys to navigate up/down.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 10:39
  • 1
    What about using the list view and sorting by a different column, say, the file size? Renaming won't change the order then and since you say there's little commonality it doesn't sound like sorting by name would be that great a benefit.
    – DarkDust
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 10:41
  • Yeah. I have a Mojave machine right here. I can repro your described behaviour exactly. The 'click on next required' does work, but yup, you have to keep swapping between mouse & keyboard. @DarkDust - I'd considered that, but I'm presuming there's something alphabetical about the required sequence of renames [idk for sure though]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 10:41
  • Good idea with different groups but.. then thing is the dates and kind are all relatively similar.. size is too broad (100mb to 1mb) then sorted by name. "Name" is the section sort item for any of the group by items. So even if they stay sorted by size... they move because the name changed. I've not found any "group by" setting that does not move files after renaming.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


After some discussion…
If you use List view rather than Column, then you can add extra columns allowing you to sort by various non-standard parameters, which could result in your chosen sort not changing with a simple file rename.

I tend to use date modified for my photos - a name change does not qualify as a 'modification' so things will stay where they are after a rename.

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  • Sorting by size seems to work here for my files. Few are the exact same kbs.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 10:56
  • Excellent. For photos, as I always retain the original DSC name [DSD, E etc as each camera passes the next 10,000 mark] it means I can title files following that number & they don't move, even sorted alphabetically. I know you do graphics, so perhaps that's not as valid in your case, but it works for me.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 10:58
  • Yeah my file names are wildly different, but dates, time, kind are all very similar. Overall I'm finding the Mojave Finder.. well.. less ideal. But we'll see.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 11:03
  • I've kind of forgotten what things were like before - I've been on Mojave since it came out [& am now stuck on it, with a house-full of big ol' Mac Pros.;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 11:05
  • I've been using Yosemite.. only upgraded to Mojave last week because of that web certificate every site on earth apparently uses expiring and preventing access to many sites (including Stack). :) To be honest.. CS6 and Yosemite is the bees knees.... if not for planned obsolescence.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 11:06

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