Windows 10 Tip: (Re)Name Your PC

Windows 10 Tip: (Re)Name Your PC

To make things easier for users, Microsoft has streamlined the Windows 10 Setup process so that it prompts the user much less than before. But in doing so, Windows 10 also provides some unwanted defaults. Among them is an automatically-generated PC name you may not like at all.

Note: This tip is derived from my e-book, Windows 10 Field Guide, which is now available for purchase from LeanPub.

I was reminded of the need for today’s tip from a reader, who asked whether it was possible that his new Surface Pro 4 was automatically named as DESKTOP-DA8NRK6. Could this have been a refurbished machine, with a name provided by a previous user?

The answer is no: That’s the new auto-naming convention in Windows 10. And as a result, I have a bunch of PCs listed in OneDrive I can’t tell apart:


But I should have followed my own advice. As I note in Windows 10 Field Guide ), changing your PC’s name is one of the very first things you should do after a clean install of the OS:

Rename your PC. When you clean install Windows 10, the system creates an absolutely ridiculous name for the PC instead of letting you choose one that is meaningful to you. So you should change it: Type WINKEY + X to display the Quick Access menu, and then choose System from the list. On the right, next to Computer name, domain and workgroup settings, select “Change settings.” In the System properties window that appears, select the Change button. Then, type a name that makes sense to you—perhaps Desktop-PC, Laptop, or similar—and click Enter. You’ll be told you have to reboot the PC, but you can wait.


Note: If you’re upgrading a PC to Windows 10, you may not need to worry about this as Windows 10 will bring forward the PC’s original name.


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