How-To

How to Change the Name of Your Windows Computer

If you need to change the name of your computer, here are the steps starting with Windows 10 and moving on to earlier versions of Windows.

This morning I received an email from Rudy, one of our readers, about changing/renaming his Windows computer name. His question is a simple one which I often receive, so rather than answering it in the forum, I’ve decided to create this article to show how it’s done.

Steve, I changed the name in the ownership. How do I change the computer name?

The process has not changed from Windows XP days through Windows 8 (those instructions are lower in the article). But the process has changed in Windows 10. Don’t forget you need to be logged in with an account that has Administrator rights. These steps also assume your computer is a member of a Workgroup or standalone, and not a Windows Domain/Active Directory (Corporate Network.)

Note: This article has been updated to include Windows 10. Also, click any of the images for earlier versions of Windows below to enlarge them.

Rename Your Windows 10 Computer

Open Settings by clicking the Start button and then Settings from the left panel of icons. Alternately you can simply use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + I.

Start Settings

When the “Settings” page opens up click on System.

system windows 10

Next, click on About from the left-hand panel.

About

The following screen will pop up that displays your system information — including its name. Click the Rename this PC button.

Rename this PC windows 10

In the dialog box that comes up, type in what you want your computer name to be and click Next.

Note: Your name for the PC can’t contain spaces or special characters. So you would need it to be one word or add hyphens where you want spaces to be.

New-pc-name-windows-10

To complete the renaming process you’ll need to restart the machine. Click Restart.

restart Windows 10 PC

That’s it. Once you come back from the restart go to Start > Settings > System > About and under the “Device Specifications” section you’ll see the new name for your Windows 10 computer.

about windows 10 PC

Rename Older Versions of Windows

The following is for older versions of Windows like Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Step 1

Click the Start Button and right-click Computer and select Properties.

Open Computer System Properties

Open Computer System Properties

Note: Like all things Windows, there are several ways to do the same thing. With Windows 7 and Vista, you can just type System and click System as shown to the right.

Step 2

First, click Change Settings.

Change Settings under Computer System Properties

Step 3

Click Change button under Computer Name Tab.

Change Windows PC Name

Step 4

Type in the new name for your computer under Computer Name Field.

Change Computer Name using Vista

Once you complete Step 4 just click OK a few times. You will be prompted to reboot the computer, and once your reboot is complete, your new computer name will be in effect.

75 Comments

75 Comments

  1. mzonger

    regular reader mrgroove. keep it up!

    Just changed the computer name. been using the computer for 2 years and never knew I could do this! sweet!

  2. Jeremy Lloyd

    Simple to read and follow. Thanks. This worked for my home computer 1st try. What about my company laptop? I tried to rename it but it wont work.?

    • Jeremy Lloyd

      And BTW – I want to rename my company one because it’s named after my Serial number!!! crazy..

  3. somedude

    to get to picture 2 faster:
    press windows+pause

    in admin cmd:
    wmic computersystem set name “insertname here”

    • MrGroove

      @somedude,
      Great tip. Thnx for the FYI and CMD line!

      • JohnR

        Somedude’s keystrokes have been around for decades, but Microsoft referred to it as “Window-Break.” (Get it?) Just so happens that the “Break” key was combined with the “Pause” key awhile back when the standard keyboard was reconfigured.

        This “Window-Break” keystroke was originally assigned when Microsoft still provided humor within its applications. Remember the Excel “moon travel” as well as others? Those were the days.

  4. ILuvMyiPhone88

    Hi. i bought my laptop off of craigslist and the guy who origanally set it up was named bill.. in C:\Users There “Bill”, “Guest”, And “Public”. i want to change the name “Bill” to my own prefrence and was wondering if any1 can help? if you can help me could you please send me an email at ILuvMyiPhone88@yahoo.com ? i found this post as a result on google so im not sure if i will be able to find it again is the only reason i ask for an email. if any1 can help me i would really appreciate it! :)

    • MrGroove

      @ILuvMyiPhone88,
      Did you follow the steps? Were you able to change the computer name?

      • Bobbie

        Wow – I love your web site and I just found you by accident. My question is concerning changing the name of my labptop. I was able to change the name from my son to myself, but any documents I create (when viewing properties) shows his name — not mine. Does Windows 7 store this information in the registry? I did a regedit search for his name and it appears in the group CLSID under the inprocServer32 setting. It appears in the Default as C:\Users\
        his name\AppData . . etc. Is it safe to modify it and change it to my name, or am I just stuck with it? Thanks for your help.

  5. MrGroove

    Hi Jeremy,

    A bit late on this one…. Sorry about that!

    You normally cannot name your Company machine because you probably don't have Admin rights to do so. Second, be very careful about renaming your windows machine at work because the PC is probably a member of a windows domain (Active directory) and if you update the machine name you need to be able to update the record in the Domain as well. This will require you have both Local rights on the PC and admin rights on the domain which you probably don't have…. Sorry

  6. MrGroove

    Excellent!

    Glad the tip was able to help ya out!

  7. Guy BS

    I tried that a lot of times, on the system page it looks like it has changed but, for example, on live messenger my location posts the old PC name. [sign out from here (wrong-PC)] instead of my new name (right-PC) i restarted my machine and all…
    how can i fix that?

  8. miamiheat

    I have the exact same problem as Guy does. I'm not sure how to fix that either. When I upload files to my FTP or gallery (i'm an artist) it still shows the old name on the computer along with the new one. I've tried everything.

    Any ideas? Thanks so very much!

  9. MrGroove

    That's an odd one… Try to login to Messenger using a different ID and see if it still shows the wrong computer name. Hopefully when you log back in with your REAL id, it will be updated correctly.

  10. MrGroove

    Not sure I follow ya on this one. Is your old PC name showing up on your FTP application?

  11. Guy BS

    let's say my user is “Right Name” –BUT– my documents folder is in: Computer > “Right Name” (C:) > Users > “Wrong Name” > My Documents.

    the base name or user is wrong. that is what i wanna change!

  12. Fried

    Mr. Groove, thank you for your time and assistance.

    I believe what the above posters, and I would like to know, is the same for this previous post..
    “ILuvMyiPhone88 says:
    July 29, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Hi. i bought my laptop off of craigslist and the guy who origanally set it up was named bill.. in C:\Users There “Bill”, “Guest”, And “Public”. i want to change the name “Bill” to my own prefrence and was wondering if any1 can help? if you can help me could you please send me an email at ILuvMyiPhone88@yahoo.com ? i found this post as a result on google so im not sure if i will be able to find it again is the only reason i ask for an email. if any1 can help me i would really appreciate it! :)
    Reply

    *
    MrGroove says:
    July 30, 2009 at 8:45 am

    @ILuvMyiPhone88,
    Did you follow the steps? Were you able to change the computer name?
    Reply”

    It appears you possibly replied to ILUV… via email but the solution was never posted here. If you could please share the information with the rest of us, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again Mr. Groove

    • MrGroove

      Personally, what I would do is create a new account : https://www.groovypost.com/howto/geek-stuff/create-a-new-user-account-in-windows-7/ then name it what you want and move over all the files and data from the BILL account to the NEW account.

      If that’s not an option, you can also change the username but this will not change the PATH name IE: c:\users\bill\

      To change the username, click Start Menu, Type User. Click User Accounts.

      Now the User Manager App should pop up (Control Panel\User Accounts). Click Manager User Accounts. Now you should have a list of users. Click the BILL account and click properties. Now you can Rename the account, full name and description (and group membership if needed from the 2nd tab).

      Helps?

      • David Tang

        Does creating a new account create the original settings before its use or do the settings revert back from the old account?

  13. Cahones

    THIS FIX WILL WORK FOR “XP”, “VISTA”, and “WINDOWS 7”.

    1) Go to Start- ‘Run’- then type regedit and hit enter. or type regedit in ‘Search programs and files’ – Enter

    2) Locate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\Corrent Version

    3) On the right panel, double click on Registered Owner, then modify the value to the name you prefer. You can change the Organization Name as well by double clicking on Registered Organization and change the value

    4) Restart the computerfor changes to rake effect.

    5) Go to Control Panel, User Accounts and change the name of the User.

    • Fried

      Thanks a lot Cahones, I will give that a try, but can you please tell me if this will adversely affect any applications I have installed on my system? I currently upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium from Windows Vista Home Premium, it was free thanks to DELL :D . Your time and reply are much appreciated!

      Thanks

      • goLfie

        I’m wondering something similar, since Windows 7 doesn’t have a REAL way to change your user name. Even if you change the user name in that one registry file the name of your local profile folders remains persistent with the original name.

    • John

      That one works! Thanks dude

    • palash

      Thanks :). Same process works for Windows 8

      • Steve Krause

        Ah nice tip! Thnx

        Sent from my Mobile

    • Linda

      I thought that was going to work, but then I got this message when I tried to change the name. “Cannot edit registered owner: Error writing the value’s new contents.” Is there anything else I can try? Thanks!

    • ardel

      how about the windows 8.

    • Ness

      This is excellent, having the old name pop up in some places has been bugging me for a while and have never been able to find a solution.

      Thank you! :)

  14. Baingana

    Great site.. I love all of your writings available on here. I come here every day for the most recent news and updates.

    • Steve Krause

      Thanks for the feedback! We’re glad the site is a great resource for you.

  15. kdavis1049

    I am using Windows 7 and I am having a similar problem but with a twist.
    I changed my Computer Name using these instructions and rebooted and the Computer Name was changed but the original Computer Name is still displayed as well. And when I click on the old Computer Name it says: Windows Cannot Access (old Computer Name). I tried rebooting again but the new and the old Computer Names are displayed and I can’t figure out how to get rid of the old name. Any help that you can offer would be very much appreciated.

    • Nancy

      I had the same exact problem as kdavis1049, but mine did not resolve with a shut down.
      Windows 7 Professional OS.
      Help please.

  16. goLfie

    Woah, haven’t heard of that one before, can you post a screenshot?

  17. kdavis1049

    Well guess what? My problem is gone. The only thing that is different is that last night I did a Shutdown (which is what I do mostly every night) instead of the restart that I did after I made the initial name change and after it displayed the old and new names I restarted again to no avail. So I’m wondering if the Shutdown had anything to do with the old name not being present this morning. But thanks anyway for your reply. I can mark this one fixed.

  18. Maximo

    It’s clear and easy to do, but how do I change Serial Number/Key I mean (BSDE7-ASDFG- WXFGT-HJU43-8UYTR), in Windows XP, I couldn’t find the way. Thanks, greetings.

  19. NormanMcisaac

    Hi, İntersting issue but while opening internet explorer failed. Is it because of me or somthing to do with your system.

  20. mltermin

    Hello!

    I have the same issue as KDavis1049 and Nancy. My issue also did not resolve with a shutdown. I just renamed 5 Windows 7 OS computers on our network, and the old names remain. When you click on them, the pop-up window states, “Windows cannot access \\oldnetworkname Check the spelling of the name. Otherwise, there might be a problem with your network. To try to identify and resolve network problems, click Diagnose.” When I click See details, it reads “Error code: 0x80070095 The network path was not found.”

    Please Help!!

  21. John Dong

    Question about changing computer name. You mentioned about changing computer name at work could be a issue because of the domain active directory and stuff. Which way should be done to avoid this issue? Should the name be change in the server and it automatically applies to the individual PC? I remember chaning a PC name from “Windowmaster7” to the actual name of the user and I didnt get a issue. Thank you very much!

    • MrGroove

      HI John,

      If your PC is connected to a Windows Domain (Active Directory), you can change the name of the PC to whatever you like however you will need to have permissions on PC and the Domain to do this. Once you have the correct rights, it will connect to the domain and change the machine name and you will be good to go.

      So the simple answer is yes, as long as you have the right permissions.

  22. Setlef

    when i did this, after i rebooted the user name was the same on the login screen but my password no longer works

    • Steve Krause

      Hello!

      Changing the name of your PC won’t impact your user account. Reboot and try your password again. Probably a typo.

  23. Macbook

    Heya i?m for the primary time here. I found this board and I to find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to offer something back and help others like you aided me.

  24. keygen

    My brother suggested I may like this website. He was once totally right. This submit truly made my day. You cann’t believe just how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  25. computer,tutorials,downloads

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy. I have read this put up and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting issues or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles regarding this article. I desire to read even more things approximately it!

  26. HDPack.info High quality contents for download

    You could definitely see your expertise within the work you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  27. Jigsaw

    Okay so I changed my computer name, but when I open up CMD it still says my old computer name? Help me.

  28. Adrian Paul

    umm…yes I have changed my computer’s name but why is it that when I open command promt, is that I can still see user as my name…please help !:)

  29. bob

    If anyone ever finds a fix to this “name change stickin with the old name in cmd and account sign in screen problem” with out formatting please post it!

  30. Nettie

    I am having the problem of “User” being the profile name (C:/Documents and Settings/User) when I am logged on in my profile “Nettie” Nettie shows on welcome screen but has “User” settings. How do Icorrect this?

  31. John

    Hi everyone… here what I did…

    -Make new user with administrator rights in control panel
    -Log off the current user profile and log in the new user
    -Go again to control panel
    -Click “Add or Remove user accounts”
    -Then choose the “Delete File” Button

    then again do the instruction of “Cahones” even without restarting the PC or Laptop. It work to me. Thanks to Canohes’ genius knowledge…

    ===========================================================================
    THIS FIX WILL WORK FOR “XP”, “VISTA”, and “WINDOWS 7″.

    1) Go to Start- ‘Run’- then type regedit and hit enter. or type regedit in ‘Search programs and files’ – Enter

    2) Locate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\Corrent Version

    3) On the right panel, double click on Registered Owner, then modify the value to the name you prefer. You can change the Organization Name as well by double clicking on Registered Organization and change the value

    4) Restart the computerfor changes to rake effect.

    5) Go to Control Panel, User Accounts and change the name of the User.

    • David

      This works for Windows 7! After months of having the previous owner’s name show up on my computer this finally got rid of it. I had changed the username, computer name, but in Windows Explorer it always showed the previous owners name – until now. Thanks man!

  32. Crumpette

    Problem with Windows 7 along the same lines

    Renamed the computer, then created two new admin user accounts. Deleted old user accounts and when prompted, transferred all docs and settings from old account to shorcut folder on new account.

    Printer is directly connected to this computer and shared out. Two other computers in the home that are connected to the same network, however when trying to connect to this computer or printer, I am always prompted to enter a network password. I have tried every password/user name combo I can think of to no avail. I changed the registry per above and shutdown, still no go.

    I have two primary computers in the house and not being able to print is a MAJOR issue.

  33. marcie

    but when i am saving music it still shows my former last name on my “c”

  34. Steph

    Worked like a charm. Many Thanks!

  35. Narendra

    Dear Sir,

    I want to change the name of version .I am using windows 7 in system properties i have to change windows 7 ultimate name .

    Please give me suggestion

    please reply it in my email also because i am unable to see in other link

    THANK YOU——- Sir.!!!!

  36. Kevin Homealone

    You should not rename a computer which exists in a domain without first removing it from the domain and putting into a workgroup. Then restart, then rename, restart again. Next delete the AD account. Now you have a new computer name and can re-join the domain. This way the computer account does not get screwed up in AD.

  37. seal team6

    this works…big thanks…

  38. David webb

    Your technology is really very informatic. Thanks … it helps a lot.Regards.

  39. cm

    i recently sent my computer into dell support to change my hard drive and reinstall windows 7 and when i got my computer back it had my parents name on it i have used the many ways to change the name but there is still there name on it. when i go to cmd commands this is the line i see C:UsersCody.francine-PC> and i am trying to get rid of the francine part. please help as this is really bugging me

    • Steve Krause

      So that’s not your computer name, that’s your username.

      I would just create a new user and be done with it ;)

      • cm

        i did create a new user but the name still shows up.

        • Steve Krause

          So is that YOUR username or do you just see it under the users folder? If you created a new user, you should have a new name folder under the c:users folder.

          Yes?

  40. sachin

    how i can change only WINDOWS name?

  41. Brian

    I have tried this method several times. In system properties/computer name dialog box it says it has changed, but even after immediate reboot, when I open the start menu…nothing has changed. Help!

  42. csar

    for those who are not satisfied on just renaming their computer names, or user accounts, just follow this simple steps from “cahones”. but make sure to create a restore point first just to be sure in case some untoward incidents happen…:

    THIS FIX WILL WORK FOR “XP”, “VISTA”, and “WINDOWS 7.

    1) Go to Start- ‘Run’- then type regedit
    and hit enter. or type regedit in
    ‘Search programs and files’ – Enter

    2) Locate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\Current Version

    3) On the right panel, double click on
    Registered Owner, then modify the value to the
    name you prefer. You can change the Organization Name
    as well by double clicking on Registered Organization
    and change the value

    4) Restart the computerfor changes to take effect.

    5) Go to Control Panel, User Accounts and
    change the name of the User.

    thanks a lot to Cahones for this simple instruction… and thanks a lot to this website!

    • JohnR

      Do keep in mind that when you use ANY of the suggestions posted—as great and useful as they are—that you might experience “ownership” issues when opening/editing existing documents. This is easily correctable, but NOT system-wide. Moe often than not, you might have to assign yourself rights on an attempt to open/edit a document, even if your had Administrator rights with the prior setting and still have those rights with the new name.
      Microsoft has not made a clean programming routine to cover that issue and merely lists the steps require to re-obtain your rights whenever the issue presents itself.

  43. Kellie

    I renamed my computer but a lot of the files are still showing up as the previous owner’s name. How can I change this?

  44. Kellie

    It is the user file that I can’t rename…there is a symbol of a lock on the file even though I can open it and access the files inside…any help would be appreciated.

  45. Amit Kumar

    Hii Steve,

    This guide helped me very much, I was facing the problem during Changing the Name of my Windows Computer. But i got the ideas and done the job nicely. thanks for the help !!

  46. Armando

    I am unable to change user names when starting my computer. It gives me a user name to sign into but no other way to changing that. What do you think I should do?

  47. Wright

    I changed the name of my PC under Windows 10. Initally my PC was W8.1. I updated to W10 over a week ago.

    My initial name was PC-W8 and I changed it to PC-W10.

    It’s now been 1 hour rebooting !!!! and it’s still going…with an only occasional disk access.

    Do you think this is normal??

  48. KelliD

    Having same issue as Kellie above. Anyone have any ideas how to change?

  49. Vic

    I had the same problems as kellie and kellid. It drive me insane. After changing computer name my files still showed as incorrect name.
    When i was saving a file in wors i noticed they had a spot for author . It was the previous users name. I clicked that and changed tge name to mine. Problem solved. I did have to change the author of previous files too. It now remains as mine and saves as such.

  50. Victor

    Nice, very helpfull!

  51. Hema

    Hi, I followed above mentioned steps but in 3rd step, the “change” option is disabled for me!! what could be reason ? and how to enable it ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

To Top