How to find the computer name on Windows and Mac – here’s how

Much like people using social networks require usernames to identify themselves and address the right person in a tag, computers in IP networks have identifying names to be distinguishable and searchable. This allows for improved and traceable data exchanges and efficient troubleshooting. However, very few users know what their computer is called or how to find the name of their computer. We’ll show you how to use CMD commands and Windows-shortcuts to find your computer name.

What is a computer name?

The computer name, also called device name orhost name, is used to identify a computer in a network. For computers with a pre-installed operating system, the random working name of a computer (e.g. “DESKTOP-BRA0TN”) is already predefined. However, if the computer is part of a computer network, each device needs a unique and unambiguous name, because double naming in a computer network can interfere with data transfers, IT infrastructure, and overall problem-solving.

That’s why it’s sometimes necessary to change the computer name manually. However, this can only be done if you know how to find out the name of your computer.

Note

Remember that the computer name isn’t identical with the user name or IP address. While multiple user accounts may exist on a device, the computer name is the same for all users of the device. The IP address can be thought of as the telephone number of a computer and as with any telephone number it requires a corresponding name. The unique computer name allows you to recognize the computer in a network overview of routers, call it, and then access it via the network.

Finding your computer name in Windows 10 – here’s how

As a Windows 10 user you have multiple options to find out what your computer name is.

Via the search function

  1. In the Windows search bar in the bottom left, type “PC”.
  2. Right-click on “This PC”.
  3. Select the menu item “Preferences”.
  4. The computer name will be displayed under “Full computer name”.

Via the key combination [Windows] + [Pause]

  1. Press the [Windows] key and the [Pause] key at the same time.
  2. Under “Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings” you will find the full computer name.

Via the settings

  1. Press the [Windows] key and [i] at the same time to access the Windows 10 settings.
  2. Click on “System”.
  3. In the side menu, select the “Info” entry.
  4. The computer name can be found in the “Device Specifications” section under “Device Name”.

Via the hostname command prompt

  1. Use the key combination [Windows] + [R] to open the Run window.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press the Enter key.
  3. Type “hostname” into the field and then press Enter again.
  4. The computer name will appear.

Windows 7: how to find your computer name

In Windows 7, you also have multiple options to find your computer name.

Via the start menu

  1. Click on the start button.
  2. Right-click on “Computer”.
  3. From the menu, select “Preferences”.
  4. The computer name will appear in the dialog box below “Full computer name”.

With the combination [Windows] + [Pause]

  1. Hold the [Windows] key and the [Pause] key at the same time.
  2. In the “System” dialog box your computer name should appear below “Full computer name”.

Via the hostname command prompt

  1. Use the key combination [Windows] + [R] to open the Run window.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press the Enter key.
  3. Type “hostname” into the field and then press Enter again.
  4. The computer name will appear on the following line.

Find out what your computer name is in Windows 8: step by step

If you’re using Windows 8 or 8.1 there are also multiple ways to easily find out what your computer name is.

Via the start menu

  1. Click on the Windows button.
  2. In the search bar that opens, type “Computer”.
  3. Right-click on “Computer” and select “Preferences” from the list.
  4. The computer name will appear in the dialog box below “Full computer name”.

Via key combinations

  1. Hold the key combinations [Windows] plus the [Pause] key
  2. In the System dialog window, you’ll find your computer name just below “Full computer name”.

Via the settings

  1. Hold the [Windows] key and [i] at the same time.
  2. In the “Preferences” charm select “PC settings”.
  3. Select the option “PC and devices”.
  4. The name of your computer will be displayed beneath “Computer name”.

Via the hostname command prompt

  1. Use the key combination [Windows] + [R] to open the Run window.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press the Enter key.
  3. Type “hostname” into the field and then press Enter again.
  4. The computer name will appear on the following line.

How to find out your computer name in Mac

As a Mac user you can also easily find out what your computer name is. The following options are available:

Via the start menu

  1. Click on the Apple symbol in the bottom or top left.
  2. Select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Open the folder titled “Sharing”.
  4. Your computer name will be displayed at the top.

Find your local hostname

  1. Click on the Apple symbol in the bottom or top left.
  2. Select “System Preferences” from the dropdown.
  3. Open the folder titled “Sharing”.
  4. Your local hostname will be displayed just below the computer name.

Find your computer name via the IP address

In the event that the security software within a network detects a vulnerability on a specific computer, but only the IP address is known, the computer name can be found using the Run dialog box and the appropriate CMD command.

To do this, open the Run dialog window ([Windows] key + [R]), enter “cmd”, and press Enter. Now enter the CMD command “nbtstat” followed by a space and the corresponding IP address and press Enter again.

nbtstat IP-Address

You will now be able to see your computer name, computer workgroup, and MAC computer address.


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