How to Rename a Computer

By Shea Laverty

Giving your computer a distinct name can make it easier to pick out from your network's list of devices. The name can be something utilitarian like "MyDesktop" or "BobsLaptop," or something a little more fun like "TheBat-Computer" or "HAL9000" -- so long as it doesn't use certain characters, it can be anything you want. Windows 8 computers can get directly to the System menu where name changes are made using the power user menu. For Windows 7, you'll need to use the Control Panel to access the same menu.

Things You'll Need

  • Administrator account

Windows 7

Step 1

Click the Start button and select Control Panel from the menu.

Step 2

Click "System and Security" from the list of categories.

Step 3

Click "See the name of this computer." It's under the "System" heading of the System and Security menu.

Step 4

Click "Change Settings" in the "Computer name, domain and workgroup settings" section.

Step 5

Click the "Change" button in the "Computer Name" tab of the System Properties dialog.

Step 6

Enter your computer's new name in the "Computer Name" text field and click "OK."

Step 7

Click "OK" when prompted to confirm you understand that you must start your computer. The name change won't take place until you restart the computer.

Step 8

Select "Restart Now" to immediately begin restarting the computer, or "Restart Later" if you need to save some documents or take care of something else before restarting. Whichever you choose, your computer's name will be changed after your computer has finished restarting.

Windows 8

Step 1

Press Windows-X to launch the power user menu, then select "System." The System window will immediately launch, displaying a selection of useful information regarding your computer.

Step 2

Click "Change Settings" in the "Computer name, domain and workgroup settings" section.

Step 3

Click the "Change" button in the "Computer Name" tab of the System Properties dialog.

Step 4

Enter your computer's new name in the "Computer Name" text field and click "OK."

Step 5

Click "OK" when prompted to confirm you understand that you must start your computer.

Step 6

Select "Restart Now" or "Restart Later" to restart your computer at your convenience.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your computer's name can only consist of the numbers 0 to 9, uppercase and lowercase letters from A to Z and hyphens. The name can't be comprised only of numbers, although it can be made up of only letters. Spaces and many special characters are also not useable for naming your computer -- for example: < > ; : " * + = \ | ? -- nor can you use a comma.
  • You can rename your computer as many times as you want. However, you have to restart your computer each time you rename it to finalize the change.
  • Using a descriptive name can make it easier to locate your computer in your workgroup, homegroup or network, as it makes one computer on the network distinct from another.