Rename To or Rename As? Correct Preposition (With Examples)

Have you ever had to rename a file at work, and the simple act of renaming it generated some discussion about the change that needed to be made?

In that situation, would you say “Rename To” or “Rename As”? Let’s find out which is correct, and how to use it.

Rename To or Rename As?

Both “Rename To” and “Rename As” are correct forms that you can use to indicate the renaming of an item. “Rename To” seems to be more common, and consequently sounds easier to use. But “Rename As” has nothing wrong with it, and doesn’t have to be disregarded.

Rename To or Rename As

Take a look at the examples below:

  • Will you please rename file A to file B?
  • Will you please rename file A as file B?
  • We should rename the new product to organic.
  • We should rename the new product as organic.

As you can see by the two sets of sentences in the example – which contain the same message, using “Rename As” and “Rename To” – the meaning of the sentence doesn’t change regardless of which expression you choose to use.

“Rename To” and “Rename As” are interchangeable. It means that you can choose your favorite to use in your communications, and any of the two will do the job of conveying the renaming just as well.

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Rename To

“Rename To” is the most common form that indicates the name change of something. It means that an item already has a name, in the first place, that needs to be changed. The reason for change doesn’t matter, and it could happen for whatever reason.

The point is that the prefix “re-” indicates a new name, so this expression shouldn’t be used for things that are being named for the first time.

Here are some examples of sentences with the expression “Rename To”:  

  1. The file Project.docx was renamed to Project 2.docx.
  2. I renamed my playlist on the app to “2022 Favorites”.
  3. Josh thinks we should rename the project to something that sounds more appealing.
  4. Go ahead and rename the document to whatever you want.
  5. They should’ve renamed the brand to something less difficult to pronounce.

Rename As

“Rename As” has the same meaning and tone as “Rename To”. These two forms are interchangeable, and indicate that something had or will have its original name changed to something new. You can choose which form you like best, and incorporate it into your vocabulary.

Below, we’ll find some examples of how to use “Rename As” in a sentence:

  1. Wendy actually renamed her new puppy as “Benny”.
  2. I think we should rename the app as something else, less complicated.
  3. The document was renamed as “Final Project”, and you’ll find it on the computer’s desktop.
  4. Henry renamed the cat he adopted last week as “Skittles”.
  5. Please, can you rename the folder as “Templates”?

If you try to replace “Rename As” for “Rename To”, you’ll see that the sentences will continue to convey the same message. This is what happens when two expressions are interchangeable – both will work just the same, with no change to its meaning.

Which Is Used the Most?

We mentioned before that we believe that “Rename To” is the most common form, and that “Rename As” isn’t used as much. Are we correct, though?

The graph below, from Google Ngram Viewer will show us how the use of “Rename To” and “Rename As” have changed over the years.

Rename To or Rename As usage

As you can see, both expressions have been roughly following the same trend over the years, but “Rename To” remains the most common one. It’s for that reason that for many people “Rename To” sounds more correct than “Rename As”.

However, never forget that both expressions are equally correct and can be used interchangeably. You can choose the one you prefer (even if it’s not the most common one), and use it in your daily interactions.

Final Thoughts

“Rename To” and “Rename As” are equally correct. They’re also the same in meaning, and can be used to indicate something that had an original name had (or will have) its name changed to something new. Since both are correct, you can choose your favorite when forming your sentences.