When you start your Windows PC, this is the name of the user account that you see on the login screen. And for different reasons, you might want to edit it to make it look personal or easily identifiable. It’s very possible that you entered your full name when installing Windows or that your IT person misspelled it.
You must be absolutely clear that the user account name is not the same as a computer name. Computer name is the name of your hardware device (desktop or laptop), while your user account name is actually your Microsoft account name and it is different. This means that you can create multiple user accounts and name them differently (for example, one for each family member) on the same computer. However, the Windows 10 computer name will remain the same for each user account. You can change the computer name later if you want.
This guide will cover all the ways to change the user account name only, not the computer name.
Note: There are two types of accounts. One is a Microsoft user account where the computer is signed into your Microsoft account ID and stays in sync with other connected devices. The other is a local account that works offline. We will cover both.
1. Change the name of the Microsoft account online
You can change the name of your Windows 10 computer on the Microsoft website, but only if you have connected the computer to it. If you are using a local account on your computer that is working offline, this method will not work.
Step 1: Go to the Microsoft Account Profile page and sign in. Click the Change name option below your name to get started.
2nd step: You will need to fill out the captcha for verification. Other contact and profile details can also be edited, if needed.
You will need to restart your computer to apply the changes.
2. Change the name of the local account from the control panel
Here’s how to change your name from the Windows settings themselves.
Step 1: Find Control Panel in the Start menu and open it.
2nd step: Go to User Accounts> User Accounts and click Manage Another Account. You will see a list of all accounts. Click the name of the local account you want to rename.
Step 3: Click Change Account Name.
Step 4: Enter the new user account name in the box provided and click the Edit Name button to save the changes.
Restart to apply the changes and display the new name.
3. Change the name of the local and administrator account using Netplwiz
This is a hidden settings file designed to manage user accounts in Windows 10.
Step 1: Find Netplwiz in the Start menu and open it. You can also open it using the Run command (Windows key + R).
2nd step: You will see a list of all user accounts, including administrator accounts. Select the user account whose name you want to change and click Properties.
You can change the name, username, and description of the account. The same steps will also work for administrator accounts.
Click Apply to save the changes and restart to implement them.
4. Change the name of the local account in local users and groups
Step 1: You can open Local Users and Groups from the Start menu or from the Run command by searching for the string lusrmgr.msc.
2nd step: Double-click on the Users folder in the left pane of the window to display a list of all users. Now double click on the user account name to open the Properties window and change the name and description there.
Note: You will also notice the hidden administrator and guest user accounts that were created during the first installation of the Windows operating system. You can and should disable them for security reasons.
5. Change the name of the local user account using the command prompt
This tip is intended for power users and enthusiasts who are familiar with the Command Prompt.
Step 1: Find and open the Command Prompt (CMD) from the Start menu by clicking Run as administrator.
2nd step: Type the command below to find the name of the local user account.
wmic useraccount get fullname, name
Step 3: Now give the command below to change the name. Replace “old-name” with the name of the account you want to change and “new-name” with the name you want to give.
wmic useraccount where name="old-name" rename "new-name"
6. Change the local username account using PowerShell
PowerShell is the advanced version of CMD and will replace it in the future. For those who have moved on, here’s how things work in PowerShell.
Step 1: Use the Windows key + the X keyboard to open a hidden menu to find PowerShell or search for it in the Start menu. Always open with administrator rights to make system level changes.
2nd step: The first command will return a list of all local user account names. The second will change the name of the user account in Windows 10. Just like the previous step, replace “old-name” and “new-name” accordingly.
Rename-LocalUser -Name "Current Name" -NewName "New Name"
Also on Guiding Tech
Distinguish between system name and user name
These are the six different ways to change the user account name in Windows 10. You can use either one to change the names of accounts created for offline purposes. It’s even easier to change the name of the online user account that’s signed in to your Microsoft account. Additionally, you can do this from any computer by signing into your Microsoft account from a browser. It is therefore very important to define 2FA everywhere as your security may be at risk. You should also enable Windows Hello on your computer, if it is supported, to make sure that no one else with physical access to your computer can access and change things around. As always, your safety is in your hands.
Accidentally deleted your administrator account on Windows 10? Learn how to fix this and get access to your computer, but most importantly, make sure that it never happens to you again.
Last updated on Dec 2, 2020
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