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It's important that each computer on your network have a different name. Since you might as well make it meaningful, I'll show you how to change it.

I purchased a new computer June 2010 and the named it owner. How do I change it to the name I want?

Yes, computers have names.

We're not talking "HAL", or "Colossus" or anything like that (though you could choose those if you like), just a name that allows computers to be uniquely identified when they're connected together on a network.

If your computer came pre-named (and many do), and you want to change it, I'll show you where and how.

Begin by right clicking on "Computer", either on your desktop or in the start menu, and clicking on the Properties menu item that appears:

Getting to Computer Properties in Win7

In the resulting window, near the bottom, will be a display of the current computer name, as well as a Change Settings link. Click that:

Link to change computer name in Windows 7

That'll take you to the System Properties dialog, where the name is once again displayed, along with a Change... button. Click that:

Windows 7 System Properties

That, then, will finally take you to the "Computer Name/Domain Changes" dialog:

Win 7 Computer Name/Domain Changes dialog

There you can type in your new computer name (or as I've done, a new workgroup name).

Click OK, and you'll need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Article C4672 - December 4, 2010 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

December 4, 2010 6:46 PM

Hi Leo if i do this will my folders change to this name as well.

No. There are no folders using the machine name. You may be thinking of user or login name, which is something completely different.

December 4, 2010 10:33 PM

You might be able to change your name through the registry by changing RegisteredOrganization and/or RegisteredOwner. Navigate to:


Click on CurrentVersion and in the right pane you should see RegisteredOrganization and RegisteredOwner. You can double-click one of the values to open a dialog box called Edit String. Edit the Value Data box with whatever name you want to use (or leave it blank) and OK you way back out.

December 7, 2010 8:56 AM

I've given my computer the name I want - now how about the photo just above that?


December 7, 2010 2:43 PM

My computer came prenamed as compaq owner. I just changed it to my name. The welcome name did indeed change. However, under documents and settings, the user called compaq owner stayed compaq owner.

December 7, 2010 2:54 PM

I used your instructions and changed the name again, but compaq owner is still there. My first name change was on the welcome screen that appears in safe mode on my machine. I am the only user here, so I do not really have a welcome screen, except safe mode login. I htink your instuctions are for a network login. I do not have a network login.

Len C
December 7, 2010 6:34 PM

If I change the name of a computer that is part of a home network, will I have to change links to shared folders on this computer from other computers on the network?


February 3, 2011 9:12 PM

I changed computer name and now 2 names show up on home group network. Old name had password and when I click on old name icon it asks for username and
password and a warning that username may not exist.
How do I get rid of old name? Thanks

technology and game
March 12, 2011 8:45 AM

hi,thanks for share information,i'm confused with windows 7 because i have use windows xp.and windows 7 to change name will to instructure

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