Change Your User Account Name In Windows XP

Once your user account is created, you are not stuck with the same name forever. Windows XP does allow you to change the name of your user account. For example, if your user account name has been JDoe for the past year, you can rename the account to JohnD without having to delete and recreate the account.

To rename a user account in Windows XP:

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click the Control Panel.
  3. Double click the User Accounts applet.
  4. Under the heading “Or pick an account to change,” click your user account name.
  5. Click the Change my name option.
  6. Type in a new account name and click the Change Name button.
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  • Danny Foerster

    This only changes the display name it does not change the account name behind the scenes.

  • Steve Ransom

    Superficial solution at best. Doesn’t change he underlying login account so you’d have to ask “what’s the point”.

  • Ivan Stein

    For example …
    In Documents and Settings there is directory with the name JDoe (Documents and Settings\JDoe\ with all subdirectories).
    If I wish to change the user name from JDoe to DonaldDuck I can do it through the Control Pannel-UserAccounts but thats only cosmetics.
    Documents and Settings\JDoe\ will still remain unchanged.
    The question is:
    how to change Documents and Settings\JDoe\ into Documents and Settings\DonaldDuck\ – when I wish to change the user I wish to change the name of the directory as well.

  • LB

    I have the same problem. Does anyone know a solution?

  • Tom
  • Robbie

    How do you start you window in safe mode?

  • MAB

    Robbie, shutdown and then press F8 during computer restart. That will give you access to the safe mode option.

  • MAB

    And Tom: thanks!

  • Kenny Sellers

    I followed the instructions for changing the original User name in Windows XP but when I started Windows in Safe Mode I did not have the option to COPY TO on the account that I won’t to remove.

  • HyperHacker

    I just wanted to point this out. For some reason when I tried to rename my account, no “Change my name” option would appear. There is another way to change the displayed name. Go to Start, Run, enter “control userpasswords2″, hit OK. Click the Advanced button in the Advanced tab, select Users, find your account, right-click, select Properties, and enter anything under Full Name. You can even put things like backslashes here which you can’t do with the “real” account names. After a reboot this name is displayed in place of the account’s actual name. The actual account name isn’t changed, though, so you still have to use it for accessing things in Documents and Settings and logging in with the “classic” username/password prompt. The change is purely visual.

    This works at least on WinXP SP2. Don’t know about any others.

  • cisco

    i really received exactly the information i needed. this was most helplful, and answered my question to the tee!

    Warm Regards,

  • Brian

    The method in the link Tom gave works fine. But watch out if your My Documents folder is huge (e.g. full of music in My Music and videos in My Videos) because they are all copied to a new folder in the process. If you have lots of media files it might be best moving them somewhere else before copying your profile.

  • Sal

    Now can’t get to the TOM link. Any suggestions or does someone have a clear outline on how to change the User Name (beyond cosmetic) for XP Pro? Thanks.

  • MCV

    Thanks to HyperHacker, I couldn’t see the Change Name option either and this was really helpful.

  • Muhammad Hasnain

    Thumbs up! HyperHacker. That’s what i was wondering for days.
    Now its solved by you.

  • Robert

    Link given by Tom now is dead now. Can anybody give a correct one?

  • Sam:-)


    (im not sure if this has been answered but no 1 can give a straight forward answer so im asking again plz help)

    When you go to control pannel and that and then you go to change the name ive changed it but when you go to like command prompt and that it still says the lod name to the account which is really annoying so plz can someone help how do i change the name to the entire account so that it doesnt say the name to the old account on command prompt and that?

    Plz Help :-)

  • Sam:-)

    Jim that website u gave me i very confusing im not sure about it


  • Wazar

    Thanks Jim, his link works fine, look at the “How to change user name in Windows XP”. It’s, as jim says, 1/3rd the way down. You have to use regedit.

  • Perry

    I no longer see “How to change user name in Windows XP” on that link…anyone have an updated description?

    I’m having a hard time finding how to do this. I know all about changing the name itself, I want to change the path that all my info is stored under…

  • Clark

    I found a very useful page here that discussed exactly what I was looking for. Hope this helps others looking for the same solution i.e. change name located in c:/documents and settings.

  • nieljoykhea

    thanks hyperhacker….that’s what i’m looking for….

    now i finally changed the user name to my name…coz it was named to previous user of the computer…
    God bless

  • Strategerizer

    Best instructions at:;en-us;283111

    In Windows XP Home Edition, you cannot change the actual name of a user account, only the name that is displayed on the Welcome screen. In all other versions of Windows XP, you can change the account name:

    Right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
    Click Local Users and Groups to expand it.
    Click Users.
    Right-click the account that you want to change, and then click Rename.
    At a command prompt, run the set command; the %HomePath% variable still points to the old user name.
    NOTE: This does not change the name of the folder that appears under the Documents and Settings folder for the user.

  • Steve B

    It seems that there is a partial solution but no real solution. Is it true that we cannot change the account name or is it that no one outside Microsoft knows how ..yet ?

  • Brent

    i changed the user name of my account with windows xp pro but is seems not to work completely
    becasue the old user name still works to log in and when i shut down the screen pops up saying log off with the old user name.
    when i am log in how ever it show the new name or user. when i am on a network it shows the old name
    is there any reason for this

  • Pete

    Create a new user account. Copy your files to the new account’s folders. Delete the old user account.

  • Jim

    Thanks. The link to microsoft site works perfectly, also the solution. When I typed net user, my formerly account name, H, has changed to another name, Jim. It’s solve my problem that occurs for months. Thanks, again.

    I’m sorry for my bad english.


  • John Danials

    I was setting up a computer given to me. I did the following: in XP Home

    Control Panel / User Accounts / Create new user John – Administrator
    Log out
    Log In – John
    Control Panel / User Accounts / Change an Account / Valued Customer / Delete Account / Save Data

    After a few minutes of my laptop churning and grinding at the drive, I had a new desktop with the old user’s data in a folder. I saved the data to a cd and deleted the folder.

    Then I set up the computer with my preferred settings and proceeded to install desired software, etc.

  • Pingback: How do i change my windows xp, user account name? « wowbloggingaround()

  • Quasi

    WAY too much unnecessary info here.

    Right click My Computer -> Manage -> Users and Groups -> rename accounts as needed.


  • Tom

    Quasi, That is STILL only cosmetic. Dosen’t change name in D&C, which is what everyone is looking for!

  • Robert

    Ok so I checked out Jim’s link which did not fix the problem but at least got me in the right path. To the people looking to change the user, not cosmetically but the actual system folder, try this:
    Go to start>run and type in ‘regedit’

    On the left side open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE> Software> Microsoft> Current Version> ProfileList

    Now go through the files in the folder until you see the one that has your current user name as the data in ProfileImagePath.

    Doubleclick on ProfileImagePath and change the current user name to your old user name that you wanted.

    Exit out the window, log off and log back in and all your old files and settings should be back on.

    Hope this helps!

  • phrankk

    How to Change Name and Company Information After You Install Win XP

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion In the right pane, double-click RegisteredOrganization. Under “Value data”, type the name that you want, and then click OK.

    To change the name of the registered owner, do the following: In the right pane, double-click RegisteredOwner. Under “Value data”, type the name that you want, and then click OK/Exit.

  • http://noneya Dustin

    Andddddddddd ROBERT is the winner! I have xp pro with sp 2 and his method worked like a charm! Now everything says “YOUR NAME HERE” Thank you!

  • Sam :-)

    Roberts way does work but it gets rids of ur current profile so when you log back on ur account is like you have just made it.
    If this happens go through the path and change the name back (dont write what you changed it 2 using control pannel write it as it was when you created the account) then logoff and back on again and your profile goes back to normal but it doesn’t change the profiles behind the scenes name.

    also robert you need missed out ‘windows NT’ between microsoft and currentversion.


  • Ant

    The original instructions posted by Tom are the most correct. This changes the actual Windows username, not just the display name.

    Courtesy of the Internet Archive…

    XP name change

    How do I change usernames in XP?

    I recently bought a PC from a friend, and I can’t change the user or administrator’s name that appears on the title of My Documents and associated files. Can you let me know how I can change those details without having to reload the OS again? I’m using Windows XP Home Edition.
    Patrick Walsh

    While it’s possible to change your username from the User Accounts Control Panel, you won’t change the name of the underlying account name, as this could cause problems in Windows. There is a slightly convoluted workaround and while it’s a little fiddly, is far quicker than reinstalling Windows from scratch.

    The walkthrough reveals how to use a hidden dialog inside System Properties to copy one user profile’s settings and files to another profile. This reproduces the original profile’s Documents and Settings folder in its entirety in the target profile, effectively duplicating it. Don’t worry about program preferences, your desktop, Taskbar layout and so on – all of these details are held inside your personal Documents and Settings folder.

    Once the process has completed, restart Windows. Log on as your new user profile, and then delete the original from the User Accounts Control Panel. If you were the sole user of your PC, you can remove the log-on prompt at bootup by click Start > Run, typing control userpasswords2 and pressing [Return]. Remove the tick from ‘Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer’, type in your new username and click OK twice.

    1] In the User Accounts Control Panel create a new administrator account. Then log off your current account and log on as the new user to set them up. Restart your PC in Safe mode, logging on as the master Administrator.

    2] Click Start, right-click My Computer > Properties. Switch to the Advanced tab and click Settings under User Profiles. You’ll see a list of all profiles set up on your PC appear. Select your old user profile and click Copy to.

    3] Click Browse when prompted and locate your new user profile folder on your hard drive (it’ll be inside C:\Documents and Settings). Click OK followed by Yes. Once done, click OK twice and restart your PC.
    PC Answers



  • Anonymous

    change username