How to change your computer name: instructions for Windows and Mac users

Normally, computers come with a preinstalled name, which is made up of a combination of random letters and numbers. But if you want to give your computer a clear and unique name at a later stage, you can do this in just a few simple steps. Whether you’re using Windows 7, 8, 10, or are a macOS user – we’ll show you how to do it in our step-by-step instructions below.

Changing the PC name: why should you do it?

Unless otherwise specified, computers and laptops are given an automatically generated, alphanumeric name when the operating system is installed. The PC name, also known as the device name or host name, identifies your PC within a network of computers. The random computer name (e.g., “LAPTOP-QO1XB2”) is basically meaningless and is used only to identify the computer individually.

Private individuals who do not want to connect their PC to a network of work computers rarely know how to change the PC name. In private use, this name usually plays no significant role. However, if you use your computer as part of a workgroup of computers or if you use different PCsvia the home network, the randomly generated PC name isn’t very meaningful and doesn’t provide any information about the role of the PC within the network or about the user.

In these cases, finding out how to change the name of your computer and renaming it can come in handy.

Note

Before you decide to change your computer’s name, it’s best to find out how to locate the name of your computer in Windows 7, 8, and 10, as well as Mac.

How to change your computer name in Windows 10

There are various ways to change your computer name in Windows 10. Whether you choose one way or another, you’ll always require administrator rights to complete the task.

Via the settings

  1. Open the quick menu by right-clicking on the Windows symbol or using the shortcut combination [Windows] key + [X].
  2. Click on “Settings”.
  3. In the dialog window, select “System”.
  4. In the left menu bar, select “About”.
  5. Click on the “Rename PC” field.
  6. Now, you can rename your computer and restart it if required.

Via key combinations

  1. Press down the key combinations [Windows] key + [Pause] key.
  2. Under “Computer name, domain and workgroup settings” select the option “Change settings”.
  3. In the window that opens, under “Computer Name”, select the “Change…” button to continue.
  4. You can now change the workgroup or the name of your PC.

Via Command Prompt (cmd) sysdm.cpl

  1. In the Start menu, or using the shortcut combination [Windows] key + [R], open the “Run” dialog window.
  2. Enter the command “sysdm.cpl” and then confirm by clicking on “OK”.
  3. Click on the “Change” button to confirm.
  4. Now, you can change your workgroup or the name of your computer in the window that’s open.

Change your computer name in Windows 7 – here’s how

If you want to change the computer name in a Windows 7 system, you have several options. As with other Windows version, Windows 7 requires administrator rights to make this change.

Via the Start menu

  1. Click on the Windows symbol to launch the Start menu.
  2. Right-click to select “Computer” and then select “Properties”.
  3. In the window that opens, select the option “Advanced system settings”.
  4. Now, select “Computer name” in the dialog window before selecting “Change” to rename your computer.
  5. In the “Computer name/domain changes” window, you’re now able to choose a new name for your computer or for your workgroup.

Via key combinations

  1. Use the Windows shortcut  [Windows] key+[Pause] key to start.
  2. In the section “Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings” choose the option “Change settings”.
  3. The “System properties” window will open, where you can select the option “Change” to continue.
  4. You’re now able to change or edit your workgroup and rename your PC.

Via Command Prompt (cmd) sysdm.cpl

  1. Use the key combination [Windows] key + [R] to open the “Run” dialog window.
  2. Enter the CMD command “sysdm.cpl” before hitting Enter.
  3. In the “System properties” window that opens, select the option “Change” to continue.
  4. In the window that opens, you’re now able to change the name of your workgroup and rename your computer.

Change your computer name in Windows 8: step by step

It’s just as easy to change your computer name in Windows 8, and there are various ways to do so. As mentioned previously: administrator rights will be necessary to complete the task.

Via the advanced system settings

  1. Hover the mouse pointer above the lower, upper, or left corner of the screen to open the “Charms Bar”.
  2. Click on “Settings” and then on “PC settings”.
  3. In the window that opens, select “Computer name” from the “Advanced settings” section.
  4. Click on “Change” to open a new window where you can change the name of your PC.

Via Command Prompt (cmd) sysdm.cpl

  1. Use the shortcut [Windows] key + [R] to open up the Run dialog.
  2. Enter the command “sysdm.cpl” and then press on Enter.
  3. In the dialog window “System properties” select the “Change” button to continue.
  4. In the window that opens, you now have the option to change your workgroup or to rename your computer.

How to change the name of your computer on Mac: quick how-to

As a Mac user, you require administrator rights to adjust your computer name. If you have these, then you can continue as follows:

  1. Click on the Apple symbol in the top left corner, and select the option “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
  2. Open the “Sharing” box by clicking on it.
  3. The current name of your device will appear beside “Computer Name”.
  4. Change your computer name to your liking and close the window.

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