How to Change the User Folder Name in Windows 10

Although risky, it can be done

What to know

  • Create a new local account with the name you want (set it as an administrator). Then go to Settings > Accounts > Your Info.
  • Select Sign in with a Microsoft Account instead. You'll need to move all of your files and applications over to the new account.
  • Warning: Changing the user folder name has the potential to break any installed software.

This guide will show you the easiest and safest method to rename your Windows user folder in Windows 10. The options are to create a new local account or go through the Windows Registry.

Due to the time involved and the risks associated with changing the user folder name, it's probably best to do so if you can live with the existing name.

How to Change User Account Folder Name in Windows 10

Changing the name of your account in Windows 10 is relatively simple, but changing the name of the user folder is another matter entirely. Many applications and Windows settings rely on the user folder name as part of a pathway to required data for them to run correctly.

Although it is possible to change the name of your folder in Windows 10, it can very easily break software or even make the entire user profile unusable. With that in mind, the safer and more reliable method is to create a new account with the desired folder name.

Create a local account for Windows 10. Make sure to name it what you want your user folder to be. You also want to set the account as an administrator.

Sign in to your Microsoft account by navigating to Settings > Accounts > Your Info. Select Sign in with a Microsoft Account instead.

Login Screen for Windows 10 Microsoft Account

Input your Microsoft account name and password to log in. That will automatically sync your Microsoft account settings and store purchases. You will still need to install your applications on the new account, but your user folder name will be the same as the original local account.

Change Windows 10 User Folder Name In Registry

The more advanced method for changing your user folder name is to do so in the registry. This method won't force you to make a new account, but any mistakes can make your user profile invalid, and even when it works, some software may not function properly due to file path conflicts. Proceed with caution and only if you're happy to create a system restore point before starting in the event something goes wrong.

This method is only viable on Windows 10 Pro, not Windows 10 Home.

  1. Open the Command Prompt in administrator mode.

    Command Prompt Search in Windows 10
  2. Type wmic useraccount list full and press enter. In the resulting list, search for your existing account name. Take note of the SID number for your existing account name.

    CMD SID Search
  3. Rename your existing account by typing CD c:\users, then rename [YourOldAccountName] [NewAccountName]. Rename JonM Jon Martindale, for example. Be sure to set your new account name to what you want the user folder to be.

    Rename Account Name in Command Prompt
  4. Open Regedit, and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
    NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
    .

  5. Look for the profile you want to change the user folder name (based on the SID value you noted earlier) and open the ProfileImagePath value.

    Registry Edit for SID Value
  6. Change the value data to the new folder name—make sure it's the same as your newly renamed account—and select OK.

  7. Restart your Windows 10 PC.

If you followed the steps correctly, your Windows 10 user folder name should have your new account name. If you run into some issues accessing the account or the user profile is corrupted, use your system restore point to get back to a functioning system again, and if you still want to change the user folder name, run through the steps again.

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