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Windows XP - Change Computer Name

Welcome to this Windows XP tutorial on how to change the name of your computer. You may wonder why you need to change the name of your computer. There is no real need to change the name for a single computer although if you have a network of computers then changing the name will help identify each one.

Thinks To Note
  • Click the images to see a larger version
  • Yellow arrows or circles indicate where to look or click
  • Unless specified otherwise use the 'left' mouse button to click

Windows XP - Change Computer Name

Desktop icons in windows xp

With Windows XP loaded to the desktop you should see the desktop icons.

With the mouse right click the My Computer icon and click properties from the menu that appears.

The system properties will be displayed.

The other way to access the system properties is via the 'System' utility in the control panel.

system properties in windows xp

You will see the System Properties load up and you will see several tabs along the top of this window.

We have tutorials to deal with each of these tabs individually otherwise this tutorial would be huge!

In this first tab 'General' you cannot make any changes although as you can see there is some useful information on this page.

Click the 'Computer Name' tab.

computer name change window windows xp

The first option is computer description which can be useful to identify your computer with a friendly name such as your actual name. This isn't the computer name though.

Below this Computer description box you will see two labels 'Full Computer Name' and 'Workgroup'. You can see what the computer is currently called. Our example computer is called 'eee-server'

Further down you will see a 'Change' button next to text that reads 'To rename this computer or join a domain click chane'. Click this change button.

prompt to change computer name in windows xp

The computer name changes window appears and you can see that the current name of the computer is in a long white box near the top.

Using the mouse click into the white box and use the backspace key to remove the current computer name.

change the computer name in windows xp

Type in a new name of your choice. If you are changing a computer name on a computer that is a part of a network then this needs to be a unique name that no other computer on the network has.

Once you have entered the name like in our example we have typed 'Tester' you can click the 'Ok' button at the bottom of the computer name changes properties box.

Leave the other settings for now. These are covered in our networking tutorials.

restart prompt for computer name change windows xp

A prompt will appear telling you that you must restart the computer before the changes take effect.

Click the 'Ok' to the prompt.

You are returned back the system properties window. Click the 'Ok' button at the bottom.

restart prompt windows xp

You will now be prompted again as to whether you want to restart the computer now or later.

Click the 'Yes' button and the computer will restart.

system properties showing name change in windows xp

When you computer restarts it will be called the new name.

If you repeat the above steps to access the Computer name tab you can see the name will have changed.

You can see that in our example our computer is now called 'TESTER'.

Click the 'Ok' button at the bottom of the system properties window to close this window.

Next tutorial - Turn System Restore On or Off in Windows XP

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