Last night I went through 90,000 photos in a folder on my Mac.

I changed the FILE NAME of maybe 200 of these jpegs.

I now want to select JUST these in my Finder ( so I can move them to another folder ) but unfortunately they don't show under "date modified" as I thought they would.

How can I select only the files where I changed the name?

  • Is there any common part of these names? Are you not using some photo library app to manage that many photos?
    – benwiggy
    Jun 23, 2022 at 15:56
  • See below for a way to find them via Terminal. I assume that selecting them is only part of the process, what do you want to do once you found these files?
    – nohillside
    Jun 23, 2022 at 18:22
  • @benwiggy I'd say just the fact they're jpegs. The all had original names like DC0023.jpg but I'd changed 200 of these to things like "storm.jpg" etc so I know what the pic is of. I am only viewing them in the finder as to import them all into photo library might take too long and too much space - but maybe if I can find them there under any new names it would work and be worth it. Sadly the terminal only lists the files in terminal so I'd have to copy and paste each individual name (from the 200) into the finder
    – Jamie H
    Jun 25, 2022 at 16:27
  • " I'd have to copy and paste each individual name (from the 200) into the finder" -> as I said: what do you want to do with the files? Most of the actions you want to do in Finder can also be triggered form the Terminal. But to provide answers for that, please be more specific in the question :-)
    – nohillside
    Jun 26, 2022 at 9:48
  • @nohillside I believe I mentioned in my original post what I want to do with the 200 files, I simply want to move those only into a new folder of their own. I hope that's clear?
    – Jamie H
    Jun 29, 2022 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


You should be able to find these files via Terminal.

  • Open Terminal application
  • Type cd (that's three characters, the last one is a space) and then drag the folder containing the photos from Finder into the Terminal window. This should add the full path.
  • Press Enter
  • Type ls -ltc | head -250 to see the 250 most recently renamed files.

As long as the filenames are somehow sensible and don't contain line breaks or similar,

cd path/to/folder/with/pictures
mkdir -p ../renamed_pictures
ls -tc | head -250 | while read line; mv "$line" ../renamed_pictures/; done

will move them to a new directory at the same place as the pictures directory. Replace mv with ln if you just want to link them there (create new directory entries pointing to the same file) and also keep them in the original directory.

  • 1
    Welcome to the command line @JamieH - now once you have a way to see them, you can learn how to find them with find -mtime and then perhaps move them by rule as opposed by individual action.
    – bmike
    Jun 25, 2022 at 16:36
  • 1
    @JamieH An easy way to use Finder to work only on the files you've renamed is to change the 250 til only the files you renamed get shown, and then run mkdir ../renamed; mv $(ls -rtc | tail -250) ..renamed/ (replace the 250 with the number you got). The renamed directory will then contain all the renamed files.
    – nohillside
    Jun 26, 2022 at 9:54

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