Swap the names of two files or folders

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 25, 2012
Software, Windows software

You can't create two files or folders with the same name and file extension in Windows in the same directory. If you need to rename a folder or file in a folder to a name that is already reserved by another file or folder, you are in for a lengthy name changing operation. You first rename the original file or folder, before you can rename the new file or folder so that it is now named like the original file. If you have to run the command quite often, you may be inclined to write a small batch file to automate it to speed it up.

Swap'em is a portable program for Windows that handles the file or folder name swapping for you. You can either use the interface for that, or integrate the functionality in Windows Explorer.

If you like to use the interface, simply drag and drop the files or folders that you want to swap into it to do so. Swap'em supports swapping file names, folder names, and file names with folder names. The original file and folder icons are displayed by the application in the program interface.

swap file names

The program displays a successful name swap operation immediately after the second file or folder has been dropped into the interface. You will notice then that names have been swapped on the hard drive.

Please note that the application ships with a 32-bit and 64-bit version and that the latest 64-bit version seems broken as files or folders that you drop are not listed in the program window. The 32-bit version of the program on the other hand works just fine and without issues.

You can change the mode from swapping file or folder names to swapping file contents instead. To do that, simply click on Options and then on Mode > File Swap to do so.

Other options include adding the program to Windows Explorer to send files or folders to it this way, integrating it into the send to menu, and changing the interface language.

What would you use a program like this for? You can for instance iterate between a file for today and yesterday, use it to replace system files with patches versions, or simply hide contents of a file by replacing it with another. Swap'em is compatible with all Windows versions from Windows XP on.


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  1. SoftwareSpot said on November 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    The application (as stated by Ken) is not malware and just anti-viruses flagging an AutoIt executable, which is quite common. Swap’em just swaps file names and nothing else, it doesn’t even ‘call home’ to check for an update, as I personally dislike this myself.

    If you look at my site you will see I have published many applications throughout the year and received positive reviews on many tech blog sites.

    I should also state that the x64 bit version is working on my test system as well as those I have asked.

    If you have any concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me.

  2. Ken Saunders said on November 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I understand being cautious, I do, I try to do the same myself, it isn’t worth it to risk it, but if it is a false positive, then it isn’t fair or accurate to say that the author needs to clean up his act.

    Softpedia, download.cnet.com, downloads.zdnet.com and Brothersoft all host this program.

    Perhaps the developer can chime in.

  3. Frank said on November 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I, too, had an alert regarding malicious content. Mine came from Norton Internet Security.

    Yes, it might only be a “false positive” but I choose to tread safe ground and do without the program’s touted benefit until such time as the authors clean up their act.

  4. Ken Saunders said on November 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Martin, I may (after trying it out) find this to be -very- useful and a time saver.

    How did you receive such a report from Google?
    I couldn’t get results on virustotal for some reason, but Avast showed it as clean, and it is on download.cnet.com (as well as many other sites), and as far as I know, download.com scans all programs.
    I would also think that Martin does too before installing/running something on his own system.

    I’m doubting you at all, if you saw something, I’d just like to know the source that reported it as malicious and take it as a good faith heads up.

    1. KesD said on November 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

      It was reported ‘malicious’ by the Chrome down-loader, Ken.

      I regularly download approx 5-10 things everyday and I have never seen anything marked malicious before by the Chrome down-loader.

      I’m as surprised as you!

  5. RemoJoe said on November 26, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Another possible use for this: TrueCrypt and other such programs which use keyfiles along with passwords to control access to the files. Switching names or contents of keyfiles, done intelligently, can provide an additional level of security.

  6. KesD said on November 26, 2012 at 7:40 am

    I downloaded this, and then got a report (through Google) that the file was ‘malicious’.

    Did that happen to anyone else?

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