Your computer’s name is how it is recognized by other devices on the same network, LAN, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth connection. Sometimes you might want to rename the computer in Windows 10 and now 11. Maybe you bought a new Windows PC and something generic like PC-AHSKDKSDO was called? Maybe your computer scientist named you without first asking you when you installed Windows 11? Either way, you have a Windows PC name that you don’t like and want to change.
But renaming your Windows computer can have some implications, as we’ll see below along with a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Why change the name of the Windows computer
Here are some reasons why users may want to rename their Windows PC.
- Something that cannot be pronounced was called – Random alphabets and digits
- It’s called something generic, making it difficult to recognize among a sea of computers on the same network.
- You do not like the first name and want it to reflect your identity, thoughts or profile
- You want others to easily identify and connect to your computer remotely
Windows computer name vs hostname
The name of a computer, in the traditional sense, is the name of the local device that you are probably reading this article on. Name of the computer that uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other devices that search for and connect to it at home. A local computer name that no one except the user knows.
A host name (also known as a node name) is another name for a computer’s name, but it has a bigger role to play. If your Windows computer is part of a network, a hostname will be assigned to its IP address to help other computers that are also part of the network identify it. So that acts as a network identifier.
That being said, the Windows PC name and hostname may be the same or different depending on what you want to do. They are generally kept the same by administrators to reduce confusion and make it easier for others to identify and connect to the host computer.
For most normal users, home computer users, for example, you don’t have to worry about the hostname. Good to know, but not required. Worry if you are an administrator.
Naming Conventions for Windows Computers
Microsoft has a long and detailed page on what you can and cannot include while name your Windows computer. Either hostname, NetBIOS, or domain names. For the purposes of this guide, we will focus solely on the name of the computer.
The minimum character limit is 2, while the maximum is 63. Previously, it was only 15 characters long, and on a closer look, Windows still generates and uses 15 character names in some places. Again, for most users, a smaller name should be good enough, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try something longer.
Then there are some special characters that cannot be part of the name, such as a dollar sign or an accent. The name cannot contain blanks and certain names like -TAC, -GATEWAY are reserved.
In short, a combination of alphabets from A to Z, A to Z, numbers 0 to 9 and hyphen (-) is allowed. We recommend using a name that is easy to read, write, pronounce, or speak and understand so that there is less confusion when you are in the office / cafeteria / hallway with hundreds of computers around.
The command to verify the hostname of your Windows computer is easy. Just open Command Prompt (CMD) with admin rights and provide hostname command. By default, it should be the same as your computer’s name.
How to change the computer name in Windows 10 and 11
There are several ways to do this. Let’s take a quick look at two of the easiest. I will mention which methods work for both Windows 10 and 11 and which only for specific versions. For the most part, the settings and options are consistent across both versions of Windows.
1. Rename Windows PC from settings (Windows 10 and 11)
one. Press Windows Key + I to open Windows Settings. Go System> About. Click on Rename this PC in Windows 11 and Rename the PC on Windows 10.
two. A blue pop-up window will appear. Enter the new name and press Next. The current PC name must be visible for reading.
The name change will take effect only after restarting the computer. Make sure to save all your work before doing it.
In Windows 11, you can change the computer name directly from the Settings home page. Open Windows Settings and you should find the Rename option at the top.
2. Rename the Windows PC from the system properties (Windows 10 and 11)
one. Press Windows Key + S to open Windows Search and search sysdm.cpl and open the result. That will open the System Properties window.
two. Under the Computer name tab, click Change button.
3. In the pop-up window that appears below, give your computer a new name after deleting the old one. Click OK to save changes and reboot to implement the new Windows computer name change.
Conclusion: Rename the computer in Windows
There are a few other ways you can change Windows 10 and 11 PC names as well, but these two should be enough. They all have the same effect. Note that renaming Windows computers does not require you to reconnect Bluetooth or any other device. Similarly, Wi-Fi will continue to work as before with no changes required.
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