The file mover user right allows users experienced in working with files to rename them, subject to policy, with the ease that autoconfirmed users enjoy when renaming Wikipedia articles.

Any administrator can grant this right at their discretion to trusted users who regularly work with media files and have demonstrated familiarity with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines surrounding renaming this type of media. There is no set requirement but users should be well-versed in Wikipedia's image and media policies (specifically the renaming guidelines given in this document), have experience with images, and how the rename process works. Experience with the equivalent tool at Commons and other relevant experience with media files may be taken into account.

The user right is not normally given to brand-new editors, regardless of the number of files uploaded.

If you wish to request File mover rights for yourself or another user, please see Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/File mover. Administrators do not need to request or add this user right for themselves or other administrators; it is automatically granted as part of the administrator tools package.

There are currently 382 file mover users, which makes the total number of users with this permission 1,239 (the rest are administrators).

How it works[edit]

Files uploaded to Wikipedia can be renamed only by administrators, file movers, and Wikimedia stewards. If you belong to any of the user groups above, and therefore have the 'movefile' right, just use the "move" tab as you would normally on a regular page.

If you're not a file mover, you can place ((rename media)) on the image description page, which will put the page into Category:Wikipedia files requiring renaming. A file mover will perform the move, if it conforms to the guidelines described below. File movers should follow the instructions on the template.

File movers cannot move a file if precisely the same file name exists on Commons. Administrators, however, can do so, because they have the 'reupload-shared' right.

Commons files

Files uploaded to Commons cannot be renamed by Wikipedia administrators or filemovers. To request the rename of a file at Commons, follow the instructions at Commons:File renaming.

File redirects

As when a page is moved, a redirect is left when moving files. In most cases the file redirect should remain, except if the original name falls under one of the revision deletion criteria (purely disruptive, grossly insulting, privacy breaching, etc.) or shadows a file on Commons.

What files should be renamed?[edit]

Main page: Wikipedia:File names

Wikipedia:File names describes how files should be named. In general, Wikipedia aims to provide stable file names as these may be being used by tools outside of Wikipedia. Currently there are nine widely undisputed uses for rename requests:

No. Aim Examples (old name) Examples (new name) Shortcut
1 Uploader requested WP:FNC#1
2 Change from completely meaningless names into suitable names, according to what the image displays
  • File:22785u9ob807b3c4f4.jpg
  • File:DSC_1342.jpg
  • File:Tower_Bridge_2009.jpg
  • File:Pretoria_Venningpark.jpg
3 Correct misleading names into accurate ones
  • File:!My_cuTe!!_MOUSSE.JPG
  • File:1BIGGest_nOSE_everS33n.JPG
  • File:Dutch_pet_rabbit.jpg
  • File:John_Doe_at_concert.jpg
4 Change generic bio-names into binomial scientific names
  • File:Unknown_insect_02.jpg
  • File:Unidentified_flowers_HFJ.jpg
  • File:Bird??.jpg
  • File:Hogna_radiata_02.jpg
  • File:Echinops_setifer_Japan.jpg
  • File:Copsychus_saularis.jpg
5 Correct errors in file names (e.g. wrong proper nouns or false historical dates)
  • File:Ayres_Rock_3.png
  • File:Van_Gogh_portrait_1787.jpg
  • File:Ayers_Rock_3.png
  • File:Van_Gogh_portrait_1887.jpg
6 Harmonize file names of a set of images (so that only one part of all names differs) to ease their usage in templates (e.g. diagram symbols, scans of pages of a book, maps)
  • File:Bhf-BS-Icon.svg
  • File:Icon_HST_bs_1.svg
  • File:Dst_symbol.svg
  • etc.
  • File:BSicon_BHF.svg
  • File:BSicon_HST.svg
  • File:BSicon_DST.svg
  • etc.
7 Disambiguate files with overly similar names. The software allows for multiple different files to have the same name, but with different capitalization (see ninja example) or different expressions of the same filetype extension (see bunny example). However, these are not ideal situations.
  • File:Ninja.jpg
  • File:NINJA.jpg
  • File:Bunny.jpg
  • File:Bunny.jpeg
  • File:Bunny.JPEG
  • File:Ninja_1.jpg
  • File:Ninja_2.jpg
  • File:Bunny_1.jpg
  • File:Bunny_2.jpeg
  • File:Bunny_3.jpeg
8 Remove pejorative, offensive or crude language that would not be appropriate in the file description
  • File:Stupid fat bitch.jpg
  • File:Worstpersonever.png
  • File:Kill that nazi leader.JPG
  • File:<Name of the person>.jpg
  • File:<Name of the person>.png
  • File:<Name of the person>.jpg
9 Rename files that shadow a Commons file or redirect[1]
  • File:Dog.jpg
  • Commons:File:Dog.jpg
  • File:Golden Retriever.jpg
  • Commons:File:Dog.jpg

After moving the file, please replace all uses of the old file link with the new one.

If a file name on English Wikipedia conflicts with a file name at Commons, please check the File usage on other wikis before deciding which should be renamed. Renaming a file at Commons might affect a lot of projects instead of just one.

If the file was moved per WP:FNC#9, after all of the links have been updated, please place ((db-redircom)) on the leftover redirect (file movers), or delete the leftover redirect using the summary generated by ((db-redircom)) (administrators). Please see speedy deletion criterion R4 for more information.

Additional naming conventions and exceptions from the above list might be discussed for specific projects.

What files should not be renamed?

As a matter of principle, it is best to leave all files with generally valid names at their locations, even if slightly better names may exist. So, for example:

  1. File:TowerBridge'09.jpg should not be renamed to File:Tower_Bridge_2009.jpg only because the latter looks a bit better.
  2. File:Thiswouldbebetterwithspaces.jpg should not be renamed to File:This would be better with spaces.jpg.

However, situations that could cause confusion are to be avoided.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ An image on Commons cannot be used here if a locally uploaded image has the same filename, and the Commons guidelines strongly discourage renaming a Commons image for this reason alone.