Recently I went through the process of using an HP Recovery drive to return my computer back to Factory status [ which included the Windows 7 Home Premium OS ].
After removing the bloatware I proceeded to do a clean install of Windows 10 Home over the pristine C partition.
During this process for some reason my Username got shortened from Regedit32 to reged, and that was a little annoying to say the least.
For those not familiar with changing Usernames, you probably never noticed, but with the current build of Windows 10 some of the simpler ways to change your Username appear to have been deprecated - presumably because Microsoft want you to buy Professional or Enterprise editions instead, which still offer the alternate methods.
For Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise users there are six ways to change the Username of an account. For Windows 10 Home users there is currently only one way, using netplwiz [or is there?!].
Windows 10 Home edition does still have netplwiz which you are supposed to be able to use to rename an account, but as I discovered today when preparing to help another Forum member, despite Windows appearing to accept the changes, after signing out, then signing back in the changes switch back to the Username I just attempted to change.
I switched to the built-in Administrator account and tried netplwiz there. Again the changes appeared to work, until I signed out then signed back in.
This got me thinking, there must be a way. What follows is how to change your Username in Windows 10 Home editions.
Note: This is not for the faint hearted. It would be wise to ensure you have a backup of your files, and a current Restore point, before attempting this. Please ensure you follow the instructions precisely, as modifying the Registry - which is part of the process - needs to be done carefully.
Step One — Enable the Built-in Administrator Account
First of all you need to enable the Built-in Administrator Account.
- To do this first sign-in to the User account who's name you wish to change.
- Press your Windows key + S to give focus to your Search field.
- In the Search field type command
- Now in the search results right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
- You will be prompted by the User Account Control. Click Yes
- In the Administrator: Command Prompt console type or copy & paste the following command:
Press Enter key to executeCode:net user Administrator /active:yes
- Now type exit and press Enter key to close the console
- Left-click on Start then left-click on the Account icon & select Sign out
Step Two — Sign-in as Built-in Administrator
Assuming you followed Step One you'll currently be at your lock screen.
- Tap / Click the lock screen to get to the Logon screen
- Select the Administrator account you just activatedAs you did not set a password for this account, it will automatically sign-in for you. However, if you've not set this up before you may need to wait a moment while Windows does its Hi greeting
You will eventually end up at a Desktop for the Administrator account
Step Three — Rename the User folder
While signed-in as the Built-in Administrator you will be able to make changes that actually stick for the Windows 10 Home user.
The first thing you need to do is to rename the User folder of the Account you want to rename. To do this, do the following:
- Open the File Explorer
- Click on This PC > C: > Users
You'll now be here: C:\Users
- Right-click on the User folder you want to rename and select Rename
- The folder's name will now be highlighted. Type your new name here, then click away from the folder. After clicking away a Prompt will appear. Click Continue.
- Now close your File Explorer
Step Four — Modify the Registry
We're at the final stage of renaming the User account. The following steps need to be carefully followed. Modifying the Registry is risky if you make a mistake.
- Right-click on Start and select Run
- In the run dialog type regedit then click OK
- The User Account Control will prompt you. Click Yes
The Registry Editor will now open. On the left pane you will see Computer and five HKEYs below that. Just above Computer is an Address bar. If you cannot see this click View > Address bar
- Left-click inside the Address bar. This will cause a flashing cursor to appear to the right of the word Computer
- Now type or copy & paste the following into the address barSample imageCode:\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
Press your Enter key to expand the left pane to location in address bar
Note: In some builds of Windows 10, the address bar is not available in the Registry Editor. Thus, to get to the location pictured above you will instead need to expand the keys in the left pane by clicking the > symbol to the left of key name:
— SOFTWAREYou can now see a series of SIDs each of which belong to a specific User Account. The ones you are interested in start with S-1-5-21 which I've highlighted in above image.
— Windows NT
You can ignore the one that ends with -1000 as this is the Default User key Windows uses as a template when you create an account.
The next S-1-5-21 SID ends with -1001 and its quite likely this is the Key you need to modify so as to change your Username. To confirm this left-click on the key ending with -1001 so you can view its contents in the right pane.
Now in the right pane take a look at the String value: ProfileImagePath. If its Value data shows C:\Users\Username you want to change then you are in the correct location.
If not, then in left pane click the next key and check whether its ProfileImagePath is pointing to the Username you want to change.
When you are in the correct key, double-left-click on ProfileImagePath to open a dialog window. In this window, replace the current information in the Value data field with C:\Users\New User Name you want
- Next, left-click on ProfileList in the left pane to highlight it
- Now press your Home keyThis will cause the focus to automatically scroll to the top of the left pane and highlight the Computer
- With Computer highlighted as in above image, click Edit > Find to open the Find dialog.
- In the Find what field type C:\Users\the OLD Username
- Make sure the next three boxes are all checked then click Find Next button
- After clicking the Find Next button the Registry is searched for any Keys that point to the old username you want to change to a new name.The first result in my case was here:
Note: The first key you may find could be different. It really boils down to how your User account is currently setup.
I need to change reged to be Regedit32 [ the new Username I want ].
To do this double-left-click on the value in right pane to open the Edit String dialog, and in the Value data field click inside it, and replace the reged [i.e. your old username] with Regedit32 [i.e. your new username]
Note: Do not change anything else in this field. Just the username!!!
When you've made the change click OK
Now press F3 to search the registry for any other keys pointing to the old user name. If you find any [ and you will ], make sure to do as above, and modify the Value data to use the new user name. Click OK, then press F3 to continue searching.
When your search finally ends like this:
You can close the Registry Editor now!
Note: In my case I had to repeat the F3 search six times before finally reaching the prompt above telling me the Search is over. This again, may vary for the individual user, subject to how their account is set up.
As you search you will discover some keys found all ready have your new Username and therefore do not need to be modified. This is normal, as a key you earlier modified would have automatically been reflected further along in the Registry tree because some keys are duplicates of each other.
Step Five — Sign-out, Sign-in
You're basically done now. Sign-out of the Built-in Adminstrator account.
Sign-in to your usual account. Your Username will have changed, which you can confirm by opening File Explorer and navigating to C:\User folder.
Now, this is optional but you could open the Command Prompt > selecting Run as administrator as you did in Step One and inside the Administrator: Command Prompt console type or copy & paste the following command:
Press Enter keyCode:net user Administrator /active:no
Type exit and press Enter key to close the console.
This will remove the Built-in Administrator account from your logon screen.
You can reactivate it again later should you need it.
That's it — all done!