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Muhammed Cetin
Muhammed Cetin

Posted on • Updated on

How to Change User Name and Account Name in Windows 11?

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to change your User Name, also known as the User Folder Name, and Account Name on Windows 11 without being too wordy or going into unnecessary details. 😊 🤞

However, if you're looking to rename your PC, in other words changing your PC's hostname instead of changing your User Name or Account Name, you need to follow the tutorial in this link.

Table of Contents

  1. Before Start
  2. How to Change Your Account Name and User Name?
  3. Conclusion

Before Start

Account Name and User Name are different things. While Account Name means your full name appearing when Windows 11 starts or at the bottom of Start Menu, User Name or nickname is your User Folder Name under C:\Users directory.

For example, as you can see below, while my account name is "Muhammed Cetin", my user name is just "muham".

*Lastly, since some of your apps might look for their user data in the old User Folder path, you might encounter some errors. However, most apps and programs will recognize the new path for user data automatically.

If you're ready, let's start to change account and user (folder) names.

How to Change Your Account Name and User Name?

Both Account Name and User Name are changed in the same window. However, to change User Name (user folder name), also need to change ProfileImagePath registry key.

Thus, if you want to change only Account Name, in addition to the common steps below, you just need to follow the 4 steps under the Changing Account (Full) Name title. However, if you want to change only User Name, follow the 25 steps under the Changing User (Folder) Name title after performing the common steps. To change both of them, follow all steps respectively.

Changing Account Name and User Name share the first three steps:

  1. Press Windows + R combination on your keyboard to open Run window. Then type netplwiz and click OK.

  2. You'll see the users in your PC in the Users for this computer list. Select yours, then click Properties button. If the button were disabled, Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer option were unchecked. Check it. Then, click Properties.
    User Accounts

  3. You see your User Name, I mean your User Folder Name, and Full Name, also called Account Name.
    User General Properties

Changing Account (Full) Name

  1. To change only Full name (Account Name), change it on this window, then click OK.

  2. Click OK again.
    Confirm Renaming

  3. You'll see an alert saying, "_Do you want to sign out now?" in summary at this stage. Click Yes to sign out. Then sign in again.
    Sign out to activate renaming

  4. You'll see your Account Name has been changed. 👏

Changing User (Folder) Name

  1. Type whatever you want as User Name. Click OK.

  2. Because User Name and User Folder Name are the same things, we also need to change User Folder Name to inform our programs where their user data is stored. We'll perform these steps on Windows Registry, also known as Regedit. To do that, we need the built-in administrator account of Windows 11.

  3. In Windows 11, the built-in administrator account is disabled as default. So, if you've not enabled it before, you need to do that now.

  4. To do that, press Windows + R keys and type and run netplwiz again.

  5. Click Advanced tab, then Advanced button in this tab.
    Advanced Details of User Accounts

  6. You'll see Local Users and Groups (Local) window. Double-click on Users folder, then double-click on Administrator account that I've marked in the image below.
    Local Users and Groups

  7. Account is disabled option is checked, which means your built-in administrator account is disabled. Uncheck it, then click OK.
    Built-in Administrator Properties

  8. Close the previous window that I've mentioned in the 6th step.

  9. Now, your built-in administrator account is enabled.

  10. Open Start Menu and right-click on your Account Name at the bottom. Then click on Administrator to switch the signed-in account. If you've not signed in to the administrator account before, Windows 11 will prepare it from scratch for you. This preparation doesn't affect your main account. Please wait.
    Switch User Account to Built-in Administrator Account

  11. Now, you're in the built-in administrator account. We'll change your main account's username (in my case, it is muham as I said before) completely here.

  12. Before start, you need to log off from the main account. To do that, press Windows + R on the keyboard, and type cmd, then press Enter. This command allows you to open Windows Command Line. Since we've already signed in with the built-in Administrator account, you don't need to open it as an Administrator.
    Open Windows Command Line

  13. Type query session and press Enter to see the main account's ID.
    query session

  14. Type logoff yourIdNumber and Enter. As you can see below, my main account's ID number is 2, and I've typed logoff 2 to log off my main account entirely.
    logoff from the user

  15. Open File Explorer and go to This PC > Local Disk (C:) > Users directory. You'll see your main account's folder there. Rename it by selecting then pressing F2 on your keyboard to your new username.
    Renameing the user folder

  16. For example, my new username will be ce7in, so I've renamed my account's folder from muham to ce7in.
    User Folder has been renamed

  17. Open Start Menu and type Regedit, then click on Registry Editor result.
    Opening Registry Editor

  18. On Registry Editor, there is an address bar like the one in File Explorer; click on and paste Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList address there. Then press Enter and go to ProfileList folder directly.
    Go to ProfileList folder

  19. Right-click on ProfileList folder and click Find.
    Searching in ProfileList

  20. Search for your old User Name. It is muham for me as you know.
    Searching for the old User Name

  21. Registry Editor will find ProfileImagePath key containing your User Folder path. Right-click on it and click Modify.
    Modifying ProfileImagePath

  22. Change Value data field from the old User Name (muham) to the new one (ce7in).
    Old User Folder Name

  23. The final result will be like the one below. Then click OK.
    New User Folder Name

  24. Close all active windows and restart your PC.

  25. After restarting, your PC might automatically sign in to the built-in Administrator account because it was the last signed-in user.

  26. To sign in to your main account, open Start Menu and right-click on the Administrator account, then click on your main account name as we've performed before.

  27. That's all! ✌️


Your Account Name, User Name and User Folder Name have been changed successfully. I hope you have not been encountered any problem with your apps and programs.

Finally, please feel free to ask for help using the discussion form below if you run into a problem. I'm here for you. 💗

Top comments (34)

leryan profile image
Ryan Lemand

Informative post and clear instructions, however, the devil is in the details. In your conclusion you say "Since some of your apps might look for their user data in the old User Folder path, you might encounter some errors." and this is the biggest issue. Nothing works anymore, Onedrive, Outlook, etc. So it is not "some app", the most important apps do not work anymore!

ronnyb profile image
Ronald Bombey • Edited on

Changing the environment variables of these apps should help.
For example; C:\Users<old_user_folder_name>\OneDrive should now be
C:\Users<new_user_folder_name>\OneDrive . In case you don't know how to change the environment variables, check this article out.

ce7in profile image
Muhammed Cetin Author

Thanks, Ronald, this might help to solve the problem.

ce7in profile image
Muhammed Cetin Author

All apps you have mentioned are new generation apps, so they should work after changing your user folder name. I have meant some old-school apps and programs there.

Have you changed anything else except renaming your user folder?

However, I will move the info to the top of the tutorial.

leryan profile image
Ryan Lemand

I have Windows 11 and all my apps are up to date. Changing the name as per your instructions was a breeze however Outlook and OneDrive stopped working and were giving an error message that they cannot locate the folder anymore. I didn’t want to complicate things so I reverted back to the original name using your method as well, and they worked only then.

Thread Thread
ce7in profile image
Muhammed Cetin Author

For OneDrive, all you need to do is sign out and re-sign to it. When you do that, OneDrive is synchronized with your system changes.

I'll also find a solution for Outlook.

Thread Thread
jasper profile image
Jasper • Edited on

I also encountered the problem for Outlook, did you find a solution for that?
Edit: run as administrator bypasses the problem, so I now automatically run as admin (would still prefer it to work normally though).

alfa_06eca5f9241843 profile image
John Doe • Edited on

Merhaba Muhammet,
Her adımı doğru şekilde uyguladım fakat C:\Users\Cristiano\OneDrive\Masaüstü kullanılamıyor sorunu ile karşılaştım. Bir an önce cevap yazarsan değişiklik düzeltebilirim. Şimdiden teşekkür ederim.😇

ce7in profile image
Muhammed Cetin Author

OneDrive'ın bu sorununu çözmek için tüm yapman gereken System Tray'deki (saatin solundaki uygulama ikonlarının bulunduğu alan) OneDrive ikonuna tıklayarak Sign-out yapıp tekrar Sign-in ile giriş yapmak. Bunu yaptığında OneDrive sistemdeki kullanıcı klasör ismi değişikliğini senkronize edecek.

alfa_06eca5f9241843 profile image
John Doe • Edited on

Çok teşekkürler 👍

curomac profile image
Charles Howarth

Great tutorial. Worked like a charm. Couple comments from my Experience:
After you rename the User folder (name) and before signing in as Admin, I recommend a reboot. Something still thinks Windows is accessing the old name and errors.

Apps I had to repoint to profile: Blizzard Games, One Drive(uninstall reinstall worked perfect) and Google Drive needed to be repointed. Other than it went well.

Thank you.

ce7in profile image
Muhammed Cetin Author

Your suggestions are so valuable for other Windows users who will have similar problems on Blizzard Games, One Drive, or Google Drive when renaming their Windows 11 accounts or users.

Thank you, too.

yhk profile image
Kim Yeon Hwi

Dear Sir, Muhammed Cetin,

Could you help me, Sir?

After I installed all the programs (MS Office 365, our company email on outlook, WhatsApp, WeChat, Kakao talk, Line, MS Teams, our office printer driver, etc) on the new laptop, I’ve moved my old laptop’s all the data under Documents of User Folder name.

When I moved all the data, I couldn’t recognize the User Folder name. But, after all data moved, I found the User Folder name is not good. So, I tried to change it but it was not possible by myself. I googled and found your explanation here. But, unfortunately, I wrongly understood the process and I took the following steps only.
• 17~24 of “Changing User (Folder) Name”.

At the step 24, when I tried to reboot laptop, log in was not possible. After Cntr + Alt + Del, I could enter into desktop scene but it looks like safe mode.
• 4 icons (Only Recycle Bin, Chrome, MS Edge, MS Teams) are shown on desktop.
• On task bar, there is no programs which placed today. Hidden icons at right side are Kaspersky, TeamViewer, Bluetooth, one drive(inactive), window security(with exclamation mark)
• More seriously, there is no Start Menu. I cannot try to do anything basically.

After that, I relooked your explanation and found that I did not take steps of the followings. It was totally my mistake and my carelessness.

Changing Account Name and User Name share the first three steps:
• 1~3

Changing User (Folder) Name
• 1~16
• 25~27 <= actually, these was not possible because I couldn’t log in.

Is there any way that I can recover all the set up, Sir?
I had spent about 10hours to do all the set ups, (if I add data transfer time, another 10hours is counted). I cannot repeat such time consumption again due to busy works from Monday.

Could you give your professional and kind advices, Sir?

xxdeveloper profile image
Murathan Kocak

If you want to save your data, you need to a usb. You might see a blue screen select; Troubleshoot > Advanced Troubleshooting > Command Prompt

Then type notepad (Opens notepad)
Type File > Open or CTRL + O to open file dialog
Plug in the USB
Then go to C:/Users/(usr_name)/ directory
Here you go copy the files you want to save, copy them and paste to your USB. Glad if help

gurjas profile image
Gurjas Singh Sehmbey

Hey, I am Gurjas..
I read your problem and wanted to confirm somethings..

  • Do you have a back up of your data?
  • Do you have a licensed operating system? If you answer these, then I can help your proceed forward :-)

-Gurjas Singh Sehmbey

xxdeveloper profile image
Murathan Kocak

Yea, same on me. I forgot to change in File Explorer then it crashed. It’s sad to say but only way to use your computer is reboot, if you want to save your data this is possible (no return). : C

neeraj profile image
Neeraj Pahadiya • Edited on

Hey Muhammed, I have been trying to change my pc user name and I'm actually stuck at the sixth step of "Changing User (Folder) Name". I'm not getting the same "Local users and Group(local)" window that you are getting above. I am attaching my window's screenshot with this message for your reference. Require urgent help on this because I am stuck at this for some time. Thanks in advance!
This is the screenshot :-

ce7in profile image
Muhammed Cetin Author • Edited on

Hey Neeraj,

I think you use Windows 11 Home. If I'm right you cannot use Local Users and Groups because it is not included in your Windows version.

Alternatively, you can follow the steps below to enable the Built-in Administrator account:

  1. Open the Command Line as an Administrator (Start Menu > CMD > Right Click > Run as administrator).
  2. Enter this command: net user administrator /active:yes
  3. If you see a message like that "The command completed successfully.", it means your Built-in Admin account is enabled.
  4. You can continue on the 10th step.
soundara profile image

Hello Muhammed
I am a long time Windows 7 user. Just got my new laptop with Windows 10 and upgraded to Windows 11. Still learning to use Windows 11.

  1. I log into my Windows 11 with Microsoft Account. I like to change my Account Name to "Soundara". Must it be a unique name? As it is an online account, what if someone else is using the same name; will it cause problems?
  2. My User Folder name is "C:\Users\sound". Is it restricted to 5 chars only? I wish I can change it to "C:\Users\Soundara".

I want to make the changes according to your instructions above. But need some confirmation from you before I go in!
Thank you.

loknadh_reddy profile image
Loknadh Reddy

Hey cetin.....everything worked till step step 16 when I tried to rename user it's showing an error telling that some programs in this folder are being used . So try matter how many times it's showing error....please help me out....

sander profile image

Hi Muhammed,

I've used your tutorial yesterday on the Windows 11 Home version, because my local user folder was "sande" which I changed to "Sander". Did a reboot and it worked.

Not sure if this is relevant but I then had a prompt from Lenovo Vantage for a BIOS update so did that as well, still worked after a reboot.

Today I could not sign in to my account. Restarting in every way I could think of did not work. I could also not boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode. Performing Automatic Startup Repair gave me an error message saying "Startup Repair couldn't repair your PC". And when I eventually went for "Uninstall latest quality update" I would get past the "Preparing Windows" part after logging in, followed by a message can't sign into your account and ended up on a temporary user profile with a task bar where the start and search are missing.

I have now performed a system restore to yesterday which I luckily had and it seems to work (although Windows did magically throw all kind of bloatware on like a Tiktok, Disney+ and Amazon Prime in my start menu. Never used any of those.)

Now I have both "sande" and "Sander" as user folders. How do I safely remove the incorrect one?

Sorry for the long post, help would be very appreciated.



surfacetension profile image

Hi Muhammed, thank you for this tutorial! It was really helpful and well-written. I too was using Windows 11 Home, so I used your comment to replace step 6 of "Changing User (Folder) Name". Also, for step 13, "query" wasn't recognized as a command by my terminal, so I restarted the computer to force the logoff instead.

dehop13408 profile image


After doing this I noticed that the search bar ("select here to search") does not show apps anymore. (i.e. type eventviewer and nothing shows up under apps while it is installed)

How to fix this issue?

jimmy profile image
Cricket Freak

Hello Muhammed, I have tried to follow your instructions but ran into an issue. Now I don't have any of my old files and the new file name has changed to TEMP - Alo, I am no longer able to sign into my Microsoft account. What I may could have done wrong?

spari profile image
Daniel • Edited on

Hi everyone
For me, everything worked fine until step 15. When I wanted to change the folder name, the "folder in use" error appeared although I was logged off . How can I resolve this?

ce7in profile image
Muhammed Cetin Author

Have you tried to restart your PC, then applied all steps?

spari profile image

Hi Muhammed
Yes, I restarted it several times, so did I for all the steps but I always had to stop there and encountered this error.

sobanbhat profile image
Soban Bhat • Edited on

Command query session is not executable in my pc. Would you please help sir @ce7in

bdjohnsjr profile image
Brian Johns

I had same problem, but I found out that signing out from the start menu works just as well.

ramadavana profile image
Rama Davana

Hello Muhammad, your tutorial are great. But I have question, can I use space for my username? like "Rama Davana" as my Users Folder name?

xxdeveloper profile image
Murathan Kocak

Hi Muhammed,

“Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer” option is appearing…