How to Change a Computer Name in Windows

Windows 10, 8, and 7 have a few rules, but are simple to rename

Knowing how to change your computer's name can be the difference between having a system with a clever pun or something truly personal to you and Desktop-MX746NG. While there are some people who wouldn't be concerned by something like that, that's not you. If you want a cool-sounding name for your Windows PC, here's how to change it.

Rename Your Computer the Right Way

It may sound silly, but there are rules for naming a computer—it's your computer after all. However you should stick with some naming conventions to make sure your awesome name doesn't cause a problem that could easily be avoided.

  • Don't use spaces: They can be misinterpreted by older systems.
  • Don't use lowercase letters: Some versions of Windows support lowercase names, but Vista doesn’t and certain networks mandate uppercase, so it’s best to stick with that.
  • Don't use special characters: Percent signs, ampersands, and slashes can all cause headaches for some networks.
  • Keep it short: Keep a name to under 15 characters so as not to complicate things.
  • Keep it unique: Make sure the name you choose is unique. Duplicates on a network are confusing.

If you’re naming your home PC or are on a small network, a heavily personalized name is fine. If you’re renaming a number of systems on an expansive network, pick a naming convention that makes sense for the network and apply it to all connected systems.

Only administrators can change the name of a Windows PC, so make sure you're logged in as such before changing your computer's name. If you can't, you'll need to talk to your network administrator.

How to Change the Computer Name in Windows 10

Microsoft's latest operating system streamlines the process for a number of important functions, and name changes are no different. Here's how to give your PC a proper, personal name.

If you've just upgraded to Windows 10, you may not need to worry about changing your computer's name as it will have carried over from your previous install.

  1. Open the Windows 10 Settings menu by pressing the Windows key+I. Alternatively, search for Settings in the Windows 10 search bar and select the corresponding entry.

  2. Select System in the Windows Settings screen.

    Windows 10 Settings
  3. Select About from the left menu panel. You may have to scroll down to find it.

    Windows 10 settings with About highlighted
  4. Select Rename this PC and input a new name for your Windows 10 computer. Select Next.

    Renaming PC dialog box in Windows 10
  5. Restart the PC for the name change to take effect.

How to Change the Computer Name in Windows 8

Changing your PC's name in Windows 8 is a slightly different process than changing it in Windows 10, although this method also works in Microsoft's latest operating system.

  1. From the Start screen, begin typing Control Panel.

  2. Select Control Panel.

  3. Select System and Security > System.

  4. Under the Computer name, domain and workgroup settings heading, select Change settings.

  5. If prompted, agree to the administrative approval and then select Change.

  6. Input your computer's new name and select OK.

  7. Restart your system for the change to take effect. You can do so straight away or wait until your next system shut down.

How to Change Your Computer's Name in Windows 7

Changing your PC's name in Windows 7 is much the same as in Windows 8, but the method of accessing the Control Panel is a little easier.

  1. Type Control Panel into the Windows search bar and select the corresponding result.

  2. Select System and Security > System.

  3. Under the Computer name, domain and workgroup settings heading, select Change settings.

  4. If prompted, agree to the administrative approval, then select Change.

  5. Input your computer's new name and select OK.

  6. Restart your PC when prompted or do so later for the name change to take effect.