Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have an install of Windows 7 that I've already put a few days into. Today I realized I've made a mistake in the username and it's driving me nuts (my personal OCD).

While changing the physical folder name is perhaps possible, though quite involved, I do not want to open that can of worms.

What I want to do is simply change the username I give when the login prompt shows up. I thought it's possible by just renaming the user account in the User Accounts but that didn't work.

Is it possible to do then? Or is the only way to create another user and spend hour migrating everything I'd already customized to that user?

share|improve this question
    
Renaming the account in the User Accounts control panel worked for me. –  Snark Sep 28 '09 at 6:20
1  
Snark, I just tried again and it didn't work. I wonder if it's related to having a Dell or the security utils that handle the fingerprint logins. –  Artem Russakovskii Sep 28 '09 at 6:40
add comment

5 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Make a new account and do a settings and data transfer using Windows Easy Transfer from account to account! Delete the old account. All in all this will not take long depending on the size of your profile.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
Your answer builds up on the other 2 by harrymc and Ivo but it's exactly what worked. I ended up doing Easy Transfer, picked the old user, then did the Easy Transfer again and told it that it's my new computer and then there was an option to remap the old user to a new one, including creating a brand new one. Of course some programs lost their settings because the path in their setting files was incorrect but that was expected. Dell's EMBASSY security center was the most pain actually - I had to reset all fingerprints using wave.com/support/documents/ESC/ESC-026.asp. THANK YOU ALL! –  Artem Russakovskii Sep 28 '09 at 9:30
    
Dells software, I always (if buying dell) throw away emmediately. Just as I format all new laptops / pc's comming from Dell, HP, etc. –  Aaaaaaaaaha ERLEBNIS Sep 28 '09 at 11:15
    
Sniek, likewise. It was a brand new install obviously, considering it's Windows 7. You have to use some software though, in order to use some features, like the fingerprint security. –  Artem Russakovskii Sep 28 '09 at 15:24
    
Dell offers their software through their website. So just Format, install own OS en install software from Dell which you do need! ;) –  Aaaaaaaaaha ERLEBNIS Sep 29 '09 at 8:23
    
Sniek, yes, that's exactly what I've done. –  Artem Russakovskii Oct 2 '09 at 0:59
add comment

Use the command netplwiz. It will give you a dialog box that will let you change the username instead of just the display name.

  • Enter netplwiz at the command line
  • Select the account and click the Properties button
  • Enter the new name for the account

enter image description here

works perfect and quick you just need restart system after.

share|improve this answer
    
this works but of course it does not rename the underlying user folder, which is to be expected.. –  Jeff Atwood Apr 24 '11 at 3:32
add comment

Try the procedure described here : "How to rename or move a User Profile folder ?".

To rename (or move) the User Profile folder, you may use the following method. This method has been adopted from KB314843, but this page explains in detail how to rename an User account home directory.

Though you can move or rename the user profile folder, there may be some side-effects after using this method. This is because of the reason that there may be some absolute path (to the old user profile folder) references in the registry, made by third-party software. Therefore, there may be a loss of functionality in some third-party software which stores the file locations as absolute paths, in the registry.

Before modifying the registry, you need to take a full backup, in case you want to Undo the changes or to recover from disasters caused by incorrect registry modifications if any. You may use ERUNT for a full registry backup. Use Registry Editor at your own risk Rename the User Profile folder using Windows Explorer

  • Logon to an admin account that is not the account being renamed.
  • Open the Documents and Settings folder, by typing this in Start, Run dialog:

%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings

  • The list of folders will be displayed. Select the corresponding folder of the user account that you want to rename.

Example %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\OldUsername becomes %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\NewUsername

Next step is to notify the registry that the folder has been renamed (or the Profile Path has been changed)

Changing the ProfileImagePath value in the registry

ProfileList key, SIDs and the ProfileImagePath value The ProfileList registry key contains some sub-keys, which are nothing but the list of User Account Security Identifiers (SID). Each of the SID represents an Account. The key is located here:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ ProfileList Identify the SID for your User account, and change the Profile path

  • To know the SID for your user account, you may use the script sidlist.vbs
  • Download the script and run it. (The User Account names and SIDs will be listed in a log file, and opened automatically.)
  • Note down the SID for your account.
  • Then, in the Registry Editor, select the correct SID that belongs to your user account. In the right-pane, double-click the ProfileImagePath value and set the correct path and folder name. ( The ProfileImagePath stores the full path of the User account home folder. )

Example %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\OldUsername becomes the following: %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\NewUsername

You're done now. Close Registry Editor, and restart Windows. See if you're able to logon to that user profile successfully. Additionally, to verify if the path has been changed successfully, type SET in the Command Prompt. If you find any abnormal behavior while running an application (in case), you may Undo the above procedure. Then you may use the Copy To Profile method instead to accomplish your task.

share|improve this answer
    
Good link harry, I took the liberty to quote the page to make it easier –  Ivo Flipse Sep 28 '09 at 6:43
    
For some reason, when I make a new admin account, I still can't rename the old one. It even has a lock picture on it. I wonder if it's related to the Dell fingerprint software that handles the logins. I'll try turning that off. –  Artem Russakovskii Sep 28 '09 at 6:46
add comment

"What I want to do is simply change the username I give when the login prompt shows up. I thought it's possible by just renaming the user account in the User Accounts but that didn't work.

If it's just the name you see you want to change this is much easier: Go to the user accounts and click on the account you want to change. Then Rename the username to the username you would like. The user folders will still remain the old wrong username but at the login screen etc you'll see your new username.

share|improve this answer
add comment
wmic useraccount where name='currentname' rename newname

Source: Rename local user account

This would work for the editions having wmic.

share|improve this answer
add comment

protected by studiohack Sep 20 '11 at 5:19

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.