How To Change Computer Name?


A question that we often get asked is ‘How to change my computer name?’.. Let’s find out.

What is a computer name?

A computer name identifies your device on the internet. If you have ever accessed the internet through a router at home, you will notice how all of your devices are assigned very long strings of numbers that follow this format: 192.168.1.x where x can be any number between 0 and 255 inclusive. This string of numbers is known as an IP address, which stands for Internet Protocol Address, and it serves to identify your physical location on the network or “the cloud” in cyber-terminology.

A computer name, also known as an “identifier”, is the computer equivalent of a human name. It gives your device a unique identifier, so that you can communicate with other devices over networks.

If my computer has no network connection, does my computer still need a name? If you have never used your computer on any type of network, then no. However, most personal computers are connected to some type of domain at least part time. If this is the case for you, then every machine needs its own identifier.

Why do I need to change it?

If you own more than one device, it can become difficult to distinguish between them if their names are not unique enough. For instance, if your router is assigned the name “Abby” and you own multiple laptops with similar names like “Abby 1”, “Ab Abby 2”, etc, then it becomes difficult to connect to each device individually. If you wish to give your devices custom names that are unique among your network of personal computers, continue reading this article for instructions on how to change your computer’s name.

You may want to give yourself an easier identifier or make it more difficult for someone else to gain access to your device.

You should not share personal information such as your name, full date of birth, phone number/street address/zip code etcetera. The longer it takes before somebody finds out who you really are the better… these things don’t stay hidden forever so do yourself a favor and just use a fake name that isn’t tied to your identity.

When it comes to names you can let creativity flow or be practical. You can use whatever type of naming system you want, as long as the new computer name is easy for you to remember. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can even give your computers fun little nicknames so they are easily distinguishable from one another. This is actually something I would do if I had more than three computers… maybe someday!

Just always keep in mind that people will try anything they can think of to gain access to your personal information, so don’t leave yourself vulnerable by using real data points in your computer’s name

Computer names are simply a way us humans to identify each of our devices. You can name your computer whatever you like, as long as it is not vulgar or offensive. If you’re not the creative type and need some inspiration, just think about what would be easy to remember and what wouldn’t attract any unwanted attention from hackers and other malicious people trying to get their hands on your personal information.

You’ll definitely want to change your network name too! It’s important to change this so that no one who may have been previously connected can still access your computer even if they know its old network name.

Changing a computer’s name will also help sort out any issues because Windows will only recognize the current name of the computer, not the old one. And that should do! Your new device should now be properly identified and you should be able to use it with no worries.

How to change your computer’s name?

The simplest way is by consulting the manual for the motherboard or manufacturer of the specific computer you are using. This becomes problematic when dealing with shared computers such as school-owned lab PCs where not everyone has access to the documentation.

Method 1:

Here are step-by-step instructions for Windows desktops:

  • Click on the start menu and type ‘cmd’ into the search bar.
  • Instead of hitting enter, right-click on cmd.exe and select ‘Run as administrator’. 3) Type ‘netplwiz’ without the quotation marks Press Enter Now a window will appear prompting you for your password.
  • If you are logged in as an administrator or using a computer that is not shared by multiple people, leave this box blank. Otherwise, type in your password and hit enter Select yes on the next pop-up After another pop-up saying “A network error occurred” appears, it means that Windows has successfully changed your computer’s name

Method 2:

  • Go to Settings / Control Panel.
  • Search for ‘System’ and click on it.
  • Under the section labeled Computer Name, Username etc., choose Change Settings
  • Click on Change next to domain. If prompted with another window, your computer might be connected to a corporate domain. If this is the case, select Work network.
  • Click on Ok at the bottom of the screen and restart your computer to save the changes.

Method 3:

You can also change your computer’s name through Command Prompt if you prefer that method. To do so:

  • Right click on Computer / This PC in Windows Explorer
  • Click Properties
  • Click Advanced System Settings under System and Security in the left-hand menu
  • Click on Change next to Computer Name in the upper right hand corner of this window
  • Type a new name for your computer and hit Enter when finished
  • Restart your system


Tips for choosing a new computer name

As with any other account that contains personal information such as passwords, use something unique to you and the computer. Avoid the use of your name or your personal information; hackers can easily hack into a computer if their goal is to steal and exploit you and that is only the beginning (may include: swindling, identity theft, cyberstalking).

The importance of not using personal information in it

Most people using computers place some kind of personal password on it for security purposes. If you were to put something as simple as your last name as a password, someone with little knowledge could figure out what it was very quickly by giving out clues such as initials or simply trying an acronym for their name.

Examples of good and bad names

Good Names:



Bad Names:




As you can see, some good names are nerdy because the numbers only have meaning to you and it’s not something that anyone else could guess. Bad names on the other hand are obviously bad because they give out personal information about you or are way too easy to figure out by simply looking at your computer for a little bit of time. Things that say your name or initials should also be avoided as even though someone may not know it’s your password right off the bat, once they do find out it would make it easier for them to log into all of your accounts. Remember, if this is your password on multiple accounts, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable.

Computer names are things like “IsMyPassword12345678910” or “HarryPotter1” and they help computers show each other that they know the right network to get onto. For instance, when you turn on your computer it tries to find out what wireless networks are around so it can connect with them. It does this by sending out random identification codes called DHCP queries. When a router receives one of these requests, it takes the code and checks its list of all available computers for an IP address that matches up with that computer name. If there is one already set up for that network then everything is cool and the router lets your PC join the network, but if the name is not recognized, then it assigns it an address so your system can join. This process of giving out computer names makes up the DHCP service which almost every ADSL router has by default.

If you still cannot change your computer’s name, then you may need to get in a technician who fix computers.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...