When you buy a new PC or perform a clean install of Windows 10, you may notice that your PC’s name is some nonsensical combination of letters and numbers, a unique name generated and assigned by Windows in the absence of a preexisting name. This may not be a problem for users with a single PC, but those who use multiple networked PCs or online services such as OneDrive and Office 365 may find it difficult to manage all of their generically named Windows 10 systems. Instead of sticking with the random name generated by Windows, here are two quick ways to change your PC’s name to something more useful and easier to identify.
Rename Your PC in Control Panel
The first method to rename your Windows 10 PC is to use Control Panel. Simply navigate to Control Panel > System and Security > System. You’ll see your PC’s current name listed alongside other system information on the right side of this window. Find and click Change settings and then select the Change button from the System Properties window that appears.
You’ll see your PC’s current name listed again in the “Computer Name” box. Delete it and type your own custom name to rename your Windows 10 PC. In our example screenshots we’re using a Windows 10 virtual machine, so we’ll rename the computer to WIN10VM.
Note, that you’re somewhat limited when it comes to the characters and formatting allowed when renaming your PC. For example, you can’t use any spaces, and you’ll need to avoid special characters such as !, $, &, and >. Hyphens (-) are allowed, however, and they can help format names by replacing spaces, such as WIN-10-VM. It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t give the same name to multiple PCs on the same network, as this can cause network identification issues.
When you’ve decided on a valid name, click OK. Windows will warn you that you need to reboot in order for the change to take effect. Save any open documents or work and then reboot. If you head back to Control Panel, you’ll notice that your PC is now listed under its new name.
Rename Your PC in Windows 10 Settings
Another method to rename your PC is to use Windows Settings. Just head to Settings > System > About. Here, you’ll see basic information about your PC and Windows installation, such as CPU model, amount of RAM, and exact build number of Windows.
At the top of the window you’ll see your computer’s current name. Click Rename PC and then type a new custom name into the “Rename Your PC” window that appears. The character and formatting limitations mentioned above also apply to your PC’s name as entered via this method.
After entering your PC’s new custom name, click Next. Windows will again warn you that you need to restart your computer in order for the change to take full effect. Save any open work and reboot to complete the process.
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