There is nothing to indicate that you own a computer other than having your name appear on the login screen. Whether you've bought an old computer and need to update the username or are just bored and need a change, here are some simple ways to change the registered name on a Windows computer.
Method 1 of 2: Use the registry editor
Step 1. Review the system protocol
If you are on a computer that is not personal to you, the changes are very high and you will not be able to access the registry editor; And even if you do, you're probably not making the changes to the computer's registry.
- Even if you don't think there is any problem; Remember that tampering with a machine's registry can have legal consequences. Check with the team administrator first.
- Changing the registry of a personal computer can make it impossible for anyone to claim it if it is stolen; You can also restore all your WiFi networks, as WiFi networks at work and school depend on the registry being consistent.
Step 2. Open the registry editor
The registry editor allows you to make changes to system software and hidden files, which you need to edit the default username. To open the registry editor, go to Run, type “regedit” and click “OK.” This should open the registry editor, which has several folders visible in the upper left corner of the window.
- You will likely see a pop-up asking if you are sure you want to open the registry editor. Click "Accept" to continue.
- If the system sends you an error message stating that you cannot access the registry editor, it is likely that you do not have permission to make changes to the software on that specific machine.
Step 3. Expand the relevant data tree
Locate the file HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and expand it, then do the same with the SOFTWARE file, with Microsoft and finally with Windows NT. Make sure to expand those files, not just click on them.
To expand a file, click the arrow next to the file. This will bring up an extensive list of all sub-folders
Step 4. Change the registered owner
Click (but do not expand) the file named “CurrentVersion” then scroll to the item named “RegisteredOwner” in the right pane and double-click that item to open the value editor. You can change this value from the current name to whatever name you want.
You can also change the registered organization in the same location by double clicking on the item called "Registered Organization". Again, make sure you have permission to make this change before doing so if you share a computer
Step 5. Finish making changes to the username
Even if you change the registered user, the default name that appears on the login screen is not tied to the registration name. To finish making changes, scroll through the content in "CurrentVersion" until you find a folder called "Winlogon"; click on that file, find a registry entry named "DefaultUser" or "DefaultUsername" and double-click there to change the value.
Make sure this value perfectly matches the name you gave the registered owner in the previous steps
Step 6. Commit the changes
Make sure the changes have been saved, open File Explorer by accessing the Start menu and clicking "File Explorer" (Windows 8 and 10). Find the "File" tab in the upper right corner, click there and then click "Help"; Click "About Windows" in the menu that appears. A window will appear with the details of your computer, including the registered name. If the name in that window matches the name you just entered, then that's it!
- An easier and more consistent way to verify the name is to open the "System Information" and scroll through the details of the system until you reach the registered name. To access the "System Information" screen on any operating system, open the Run function, type "msinfo32.exe" without the quotes, and click "OK."
- In Windows XP, open "Explore" from the Start menu and then click "Help" in the upper left corner of the screen and then click "About Windows" in that menu.
- In Windows Vista and Windows 7, click "Open Windows Explorer" in the "Start" menu, then click the "Help" tab in the upper left corner of the screen, and then click "About Windows "in that menu.
Step 7. Restart the computer
When you log in again, your computer will display the name you selected above the login section. This will end the process.
Method 2 of 2: Use the Control Panel
Step 1. Decide on a name to change
If you are simply trying to change the name that appears at login or on the home screen and not in the official log, then the precision does not matter. Be creative!
You can use nicknames, nicknames, or any other name you can think of if you're looking to change it up a bit, so to speak
Step 2. Open the "Control Panel"
The Control Panel allows you to make changes to the system processes and applications. The easiest way to find the Control Panel is to type its name in the search bar located in the Start menu and then click on the relevant application as soon as it appears.
- On older systems, it is possible to access the Control Panel through the system settings; however, on newer systems such as Windows 8 and 10, it is easier to search for "control panel" and click on the application that appears in the list of results.
- You can also open the "Run" function and type "control panel" to open that folder.
Step 3. Select "User Accounts"
Once the Control Panel opens, look for a subcategory called "User Accounts."
- Make sure you don't click on the link that says "Account Type"; this will only open a series of settings that can damage your computer or your property by making a mistake.
- Clicking on "User Accounts" may cause another folder to open with another link that also says "User Accounts"; if so, is it clicking on that link.
Step 4. Click "Change Account Name"
When you access the User Accounts folder, find the link that says "Change account name" and click there. This will open the option to enter a new account name. Enter the name of your choice and click "Rename" to finish the process.
Keep in mind that while this change affects the name that appears above the password box on the login screen, the official computer registration and the default username will remain the same
Step 5. Restart your computer
When you log in again, the computer should display the name you just typed above the login information section. This will conclude the process.
- As in other times where you have made significant changes to your computer's configuration, consider creating a restore point before continuing.
- Even if you are sure you have permission to make these changes, it is always a good idea to double check with anyone else who might have a problem with you changing the name before doing so.
- As of this writing, the latest version of the Windows operating system is Windows 10; Although these instructions cover all operating systems so far, it is likely that in the future Windows software will be structured differently. Keep this in mind when trying to change the default name on systems that may be running higher than Windows 10.
- Licensing is a very specific and complicated legal issue which has different rules and guidelines for each type of machine. Don't assume that something that is true for the machine in your home is also true for another machine. Some licenses are not transferred, especially if the machines were purchased through government or non-profit organizations. Changing or using a Windows license for home use from these previous organizations is illegal in most cases.
- Using the registry editor is a very dangerous procedure. Be very careful what you do and don't delete anything as you risk damaging your computer permanently.
- Attempting to circumvent computer restrictions can be just as illegal as cyber offenses. If you don't have access, don't try to get it by force.