Is your Windows computer stuck with a name you don’t particularly like? A new PC sports a name courtesy of the vendor, but you can change it. Whatever version of Windows you’re running—Windows 10, 8.1, or 7—you can modify the computer name to something of your own liking.
However, there are some best practices to follow, especially for networked PCs. The name shouldn’t be longer than 15 characters. And certain types of characters are off limits. But if you stick with any combination of letters, numbers, and/or hyphens, you’ll be fine.
First, why bother renaming your computer? Is there any downside to just keeping the existing name? Well, the name identifies your computer not just to you but to other people who may be viewing it over a network. Remotely accessing your computer from another computer or a mobile device is easier if the name more accurately describes and identifies it. That’s especially true if you have other computers running on a home or small business network and want to give each one a unique name to distinguish it from the other devices.
And what should you name your computer? You want to cook up a distinctive name so you immediately know which computer it is when you view it on a network or need to access it remotely. A good rule of thumb is to include the name of the manufacturer, the brand or model number, and perhaps the type of PC in the name. You might give an HP Pavilion desktop a name of HPPavilionDesk. You may give a Lenovo T460 laptop a name of LenovoT460Lap. And you might give a Microsoft Surface tablet a name of MicroSurfaceTab.
Okay, let’s go through the steps for renaming your Windows computer.