During Windows installation I accidentally typed an accented name for my user name and my profile name is named after it. I already renamed my user to not have an accented character, but the profile folder is an other topic.

Basically I want this because I have some applications what have a problem with the accented character.

Is there a way to rename it? I know I have to make a copy from my profile, but how can I perform a relocation itself? I wouldn't like touch any other profiles on the machine just mine.

5 Answers 5

  1. Login with a different admin user account.
  2. Rename the profile folder that you want to keep, note the new path.
  3. Open regedit. Navigate to
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  4. Find your SID in the keys listed there. You can easily tell as one of the entries will have the old path of your user account.
  5. Change the ProfileImagePath entry to the new path from #2.
  6. Reboot

This works on Vista/7/8, and Server 2008/R2/2012. This works for 2000/XP and 2003 as well, but you can't cross version groups; a profile from 2000 will not work on 8 for example. You'd have to use USMT.

  • 1
    I tried this and it looks dodgy. The registry hack was possible, but when I tested the user account the OS complained that the user was logging on with a temporary profile. In my case it did not rename the User's folder, nor did it create a new folder with the new name.
    – Guy Thomas
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 15:59
  • 2
    Step #2 was to rename the profile folder, Windows doesn't do it for you nor will it create the folder, this is why Step #2 is in my directions.
    – Chris S
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 17:11
  • You can avoid Step 1 and do Step 2 last by making sure you have only 1 Admin user which you will automatically enter when the computer starts, do Step 3 on-wards. when you reset and wait a bit you get the message @GuyThomas was talking about, Do step 2 and reset again and it's all done. this way you don't have to create an unnecessary 2nd user if your the sole user of the terminal but at the cost that the first reboot takes longer to actually get into windows.
    – Memor-X
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 6:42

The process of renaming profile folder was described in Microsoft KB2454362 [Renaming a User Account Does Not Automatically Change the Profile Path][1]:

  1. Log in by using another administrative account.

Note You may need create a new administrative account at first.

  1. Go to the C:\users\ folder and rename the sub folder with the original user name to the new user name.
  2. Go to registry and modify the registry value ProfileImagePath to the new path name.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\<User SID>\

WARNING If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

  1. Log out and log in again by using the user whose name is changed, and the user should use the pervious profile with new path name.

From me can add that to identify user SID you can run from the command prompt under your own session whoami /user. If you already in another admin session you can get your own "quick" session by run command prompt with runas /user:[domain\]username cmd. And as stated in MS article you have not to reboot - only logoff and login again.

Hope this helps. [1]: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2454362


Create another user profile with the correct name and move your files over. This sorted out a similar issue for me.

  • Doesn't work all the time, for example i had an user using microsoft login with my public name (with an autogenerated dir and internal user name of email_000). Tried to create a second user, and suprise suprise, this time i got public_name_2 as it somehow detected that there was a user with the same name and added a _2 to it, even if that name was not taken. Perhaps removing the user and then adding a new one would work better? Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 14:02
  • @kaiten65 "Have you tried ...?" - Is a question. "This seems an easy way to solve a trivial problem" - Is a comment. So where exactly is the answer to the question that was asked?
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 17:08
  • @Ramhound I have rephrased the answer. Thanks for pointing that out.
    – prog_24
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 12:58
  • @ChanibaL you might have to clean the registry record for that user. Try searching HKEY_USER_PROFILE
    – prog_24
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 12:58

Here's what works, (for me, period). Works with any version of Win7, AFAIK. I believe I have also tested this OK with Win8.x

This process is very good for creating a standard profile if you're rolling out many workgroup machines with the same configuration but different user logins, because it creates a new Default user, while keeping the old Default user in case anything goes awry.

It looks complicated, but it's really very simple if you're familiar with Windows in general. After you've done 2 of these, it's almost second nature to do it again, IME.

  1. Setup a user just as you'd like it setup (as an administrative user, typically).

  2. Login as a different user with admin rights.

  3. Go to the c:\users folder

  4. Change Folders and Search Options to Un-"Hide extensions for known file types" and Un-"Hide protected operating system files" (uncheck those 2 boxes, not sure if the first is needed but easier IMO if you can see the file extensions)

  5. Rename Default to anything unused, such as Default-xx

  6. Copy the set-up user (you are NOT logged in as that user now, right?) into the same folder; it will be called "[set-up user] - Copy" - note that if the copy doesn't complete, you may have to reboot and try doing the copy operation again. Or you can simply reboot first and make sure. NOTE: IME, if, during the copy process, you are told that a couple of files have names that are too long to copy, it seems to be OK to ignore them. This has happened to me occasionally.

  7. Rename that copied folder to "Default"

  8. Right-click on Default, and uncheck "Read-only"; then check "Hidden". Click "Apply" and THEN click the radio button that says "Apply changes to this folder only". Click OK. Click "Continue" when prompted. Click OK again if necessary to close that window.

  9. Go back to Control Panel and create whatever new user you'd like. It will take on the characteristics of whatever's in Default, which is to say, the set-up user you first created.

  10. Check things out by logging in as the new user. And ANY new user you create will take on the same settings. Very few things don't make it to the new profile (desktop background, for instance, may not come over). No big deal, of course.

If you have another pc with the same programs installed, a copy of that originally-copied folder can be used with that as well.

If you continue to use the login you were using while you made the profile copy, you might want to re-check "Hide protected operating system files" for that user.

Let us know if this works or doesn't work for you. Been using it a couple of months now with no issues.

  • 1
    I just forgot to update this question,I already found a solution: hron.me/blog/2013/04/rename-windows-8-profile-dir Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 14:34
  • -1 Sorry, but this shouldn't work correctly in the first place (as the user registry get's specialized when when the default profile is copied to the new user profile) and is very likely to have a variety of problem due to changing the user SID.
    – Chris S
    Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 2:07

Here are the steps:

Windows 7

Note: Must be logged in as admin user.

  1. press Win key.
  2. Right click on Computer.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. On the right side of the page you would see Change Settings below the tab _computer name, domain etc.
  5. Click Change Settings.
  6. Under Computer Name tab, find "to rename this computer or change its domain..." click the box that says CHANGE.
  7. Enter new computer name.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Restart computer.

Windows 8

  1. press Win+X.
  2. Click System.
  3. Look under Computer Name tab.
  4. Do the same thing as detailed above. The other options should be identical.

Don't forget to save any file before restart so you don't lose it!

  • 4
    This renames the computer name not the user name. These things are different in Windows termnology (in fact, all terminology...). Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 13:48

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