How to Change a Computer Name in Windows

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

Jens Schluter/Getty Images/Eviater Bach

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 Windows PC, then here's how to change its name.

Rename Your Computer the Right Way

It may sound silly, but there are rules for naming a computer — it's your computer after all. But there are some naming conventions you should stick with to make sure your awesome name doesn't cause a problem which 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 over complicate things.
  • Keep it unique: Make sure the name you choose is unique. Duplicates on a network can become confusing.

If you’re naming your home PC or are on a small network, a heavily personalized name will be fine. If you’re renaming a number of systems on an expansive network, we'd suggest picking a naming convention that makes sense for the network and applying 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.

  3. Look to the left-hand menu and select About from the list. You may have to scroll down to find it.

  4. In the Device specifications section, you’ll see your current Device name. At the bottom of the list, select Rename this PC.

  5. When prompted, input a new name for your Windows 10 computer, then select Next.

    You'll need to restart your PC for this change to take effect. You'll be prompted to when completing the name change, but you don't have to do it straight away if you don't want to. The name change will take place next time you shut down and startup your system.

  6. Restart your PC for the name change to take effect.

    You'll be prompted to restart when completing the name change, but you don't have to do it straight away if you don't want to. The name change will still take place next time you shut down and startup your system.

  7. You're done!

How to Change the Computer Name in Windows 8

Changing your PC's name in Windows 8 is a slightly different process to Windows 10, although this method will also work in Microsoft's latest operating system.

  1. From the Start screen, swipe or select and drag up to switch to the Apps screen.

  2. Swipe or scroll to the right to find the Windows System category. 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, then select Change.

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

  7. You'll need to 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 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.