Menu

ASCII file and folder names on Windows

It’s cool that most OSes, filesystems and apps provide at least certain level of support for non-ASCII characters. Too bad that in a lot of cases they don’t work too well, especially when mixed together. That’s why it’s usually a good idea to stick strictly with ASCII-only characters. I’m afraid you can’t prohibit such files from being created but you can occasionally mass rename them afterwards.

For most European countries the character set is usually just a small amount of extra characters over the plain ASCII set. For these and similar cases I’m gonna provide a fairly simple method to enforce ASCII file and folder names on your system.

  1. Download and install Bulk Rename Utility.

  2. Start it and navigate to root folder which you want to contain ASCII-only names.

  3. Check Subfolders on the middle bottom and wait for the list to be populated.

  4. Go to Options / Character translations and provide your non-ASCII -> ASCII conversion options. For Hungarian it’s:

    á=a  
    é=e
    í=i
    ó=o
    ö=o
    ő=o
    ú=u
    ü=u
    ű=u
    Á=A
    É=E
    Í=I
    Ó=O
    Ö=O
    Ő=O
    Ú=U
    Ü=U
    Ű=U
    
  5. Click somewhere in the file list and press Ctrl + A.

  6. Hit Rename.

  7. Wait for the renaming to finish. Done.