Reverting Filenames


Today’s Question: I understand that Lightroom Classic can preserve the original filename in metadata when you rename photos. But is there an easy way to revert to that original filename if you change your mind?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can revert to the original filename for images in Lightroom Classic by renaming with the “Original Filename” option for a renaming template.

More Detail: In Lightroom Classic you can rename photos using a template, and when you do rename photos the original filename will be preserved in the Original Filename field in metadata. You can use that filename to revert images to the original filename, effectively providing the option to undo the renaming you applied.

To get started you can navigate to the folder that contains the images you want to rename, and then select the photos you want to rename. That would likely involve selecting all photos in the folder, so you could make sure there are no filters applied and then choose Edit > Select All to select all of the photos in the current folder.

Next, in the Library module choose Library > Rename Photos from the menu. In the Filename Template Editor dialog that appears, clear all of the tokens and text in the text field toward the top of the dialog. Then, in the Image Name section below that textbox, choose “Original filename” from the second popup and click the Insert button to the right of the popup.

If you want to save this template for future use, you can click the Preset popup and choose “Save Current Settings as New Preset” from that popup. Click the Done button to close the Filename Template Editor dialog.

At this point the template you defined will be active, so you can simply click the OK button in the Rename Photos dialog to rename all of the selected photos back to their original filename based on the value that was preserved in metadata when those images had previously been renamed within Lightroom Classic.