How to Change a Network Name in Windows 11

Make your network adapters easier to identify

What to Know

  • Settings > Network & internet > Advanced network settings > network > Rename.
  • Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings > network > Rename.
  • Find the network adapter in the registry, and edit its Name value.

This article explains how to change the name used to identify a network in Windows 11.

How Do I Change a Network Name in Windows 11?

Windows assigns a name to each network by default: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. While renaming the network doesn't change anything but its title, it could make it easier for you to identify the network. There are a few ways to change it if you prefer to locate your various network adapters by a custom name.

The easiest way is through Settings. But you can also use Control Panel or even Registry Editor.

Use Windows Settings to Change Network Name in Windows 11

There's a simple Rename option for your network adapters in Settings. It's the method we suggest using since it's by far the easiest to understand.

  1. Open Settings, either by searching for it from the search bar or using the keyboard shortcut WIN+i.

  2. Select Network & internet from the menu on the left, and then Advanced network settings from the right side.

    Network and internet and Advanced network settings in Windows 11 settings
  3. Choose the network name you want to change, and then select Rename.

  4. Enter a new name in the box, and then select Save.

    Rename and Save highlighted in Windows 11 Advanced Network Settings

Use the Control Panel to Change Network Name in Windows 11

Another way to change the network name is through Control Panel. You might be more familiar with this method as this is how it's been done in previous versions of Windows.

  1. Open Control Panel. The easiest way is to search for it, but you can also execute the control command in the Run dialog box.

  2. Go to Network and Internet > Network Sharing Center. If you don't see that first option, simply look for the second one in the list of icons, and select it.

  3. Select Change adapter settings from the left side.

    Change adapter settings in Windows 11 network and sharing center
  4. Right-click the network name you want to change, and select Rename.

    Rename in Network connection menu options for Windows 11
  5. Edit the network name and press Enter to save it.

Use the Registry Editor to Change Network Name in Windows 11

This third method is the more complicated and dangerous way to change the network name in Windows 11. If you like to work in the Windows Registry or need to know what to change to build a script to edit a network name, these steps are for you.

You're encouraged to back up the registry before making any changes to the file. You'll be thankful later if something goes wrong during these steps. If you follow carefully, nothing should go awry, but a backup ensures you can restore the registry if you need to.

  1. Open Registry Editor. The quickest way is to search for it from the taskbar.

  2. Navigate to this registry key:

  3. Expand the first key to reveal several other keys within it. Each key listed there corresponds to the different network adapters you have.

  4. Expand one of those keys (it doesn't matter which one), and then select Connection beneath it. Just go down the list, unless you already know which key to open.

  5. Look for Name on the right side. The value under the Data column identifies the current network name.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you find the key corresponding to the network name you want to change.

  7. Double-click Name, and edit the text so that it reflects whatever you want the new name to be.

    Name highlighted in network adapter value data in Windows Registry
  8. Select OK to save. The change should take effect immediately, but if not, log out of your account or reboot your computer.

Why Would You Rename a Network?

Depending on the software you have installed, Windows 11 might have a list of several networks. The default network names are sometimes helpful, but renaming them makes identification easier when they're not.

For example, maybe you have a few networks going by Ethernet, Ethernet 2, and Ethernet 3, or software-specific ones, like VMware Network Adapter VMnet1, VMware Network Adapter VMnet8, and VirtualBox Host-Only Network #2.

You can see just how quickly this could get out of hand the more you use your computer and install new apps. Not only are those network names an eyesore, but differentiating them at a glance is more complicated than it needs to be.

Changing the name of a network doesn't do anything except change the way you see it.

Changing the Wi-Fi Network Name

You can also rename your Wi-Fi network (i.e., the SSID people see when connecting to your network). However, you need access to the router controlling Wi-Fi; you can't do it from Windows.

See this guide on changing the Wi-Fi name (SSID) on your router if you need help.

  • How do I see all of my network devices in Windows 11?

    Sign in to your router's admin interface and look for a list of connected devices (possibly under Devices of Device Manager). Alternatively, use ​a free Wi-Fi analyzer app to monitor your connected devices and the overall security of your network.

  • How do I connect to a network printer in Windows 11?

    To add a network printer on Windows 11, go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners > Add device. To find shared printers, select Add manually and choose Select a shared printer by name.

  • How do I find my network security key in Windows 11?

    You can find your Wi-Fi password in the router's admin interface, or go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center. Next to Connections, select the name of your Wi-Fi network, choose Wireless Properties, go to the Security tab, and check the Show characters box to reveal the Network Security Key.

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