When I first installed and ran Cygwin, my username and PC name appeared at the beginning of the prompt, like

Johm@John-PC ~

The problem is, there was a typo in the account name when I first installed Windows 7 and it still remains in Cygwin.

I changed the Windows account name, changed the corresponding folder name and corrected the relevant registry (Local Machine->Microsoft->Windows NT->Current Version->profile list). Then I deleted Cygwin, including its registries, re-downloaded it, and installed it again.

But the old wrong user name still remains. How can I correct this?


1 Answer 1


Try editing the /etc/passwd file, the username can be changed in the first field. Avoid using spaces in the name

  • Could you tell me how can I edit /etc/passwd file? I'm not familiar with cygwin commands
    – user67275
    May 21, 2013 at 8:08
  • 1
    I believe you would type nano /etc/passwd (you must run Cygwin as an administrator) and you would edit it from the command line. Then you press CTRL + X, then Y and finally the enter key to save it.
    – user202670
    May 21, 2013 at 10:29
  • 8
    I had to mkpasswd > /etc/passwd and then edit the line beginning with my firstname to match the desired cygwin username. It was my firstname because on Windows 10, I used a microsoft account as my windows login.
    – stevesliva
    Oct 14, 2015 at 5:35

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