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When setting up my new computer, I accidentally gave my account the wrong name. I was able to amend the name of the user account in the control panel, but the folder the user files are stored under is still named incorrectly.

I know this doesn't really matter, but it is going to drive me crazy none the less.

How do I rename the user account folder (the folder inside Users) in Windows 7, without breaking everything?


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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Create a new account. There are too many places in both the registry and in system files that rely on the folder name staying the same. It is usually purely cosmetic for it renaming your account. If you want to change the folder name though without breaking anything, quickest way is to create a new account and transfer your stuff over.

Another way (although untested) is to use Junction Points; however, you will need to reboot your computer with the Windows 7 DVD to enter the recovery program and access the Command Prompt

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Why not a symlink? – soandos Aug 1 '12 at 19:12
@soandos Cause he would still have the old folder listed as well – Canadian Luke Aug 1 '12 at 19:46

If everything that you has been installed correctly, then if you change that folder's name (from a different account), and then change the locations stored in

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\ProfileList

to match the new folder location.

That should point everything that is windows dependant, and most of the application files and settings to the right location.

Programs that for whatever reason hardcoded the path will have to be changed manually (search the registry for the old folder location to find them)

Alternatively (and this is much safer) just create a symlink to the new folder, and have the link replace the old folder

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I have used the solution from Microsoft It boils down to following steps:

  1. Create temp admin account
  2. Log as temp and change user folder and corresponding registry value
  3. Remove temp admin account
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