Changing user accounts in Windows 10

Posted on 08th February 2015

Changing a user's account name in Windows is one of the very basic tasks, at least you would expect so but that is not very true on Windows 10 (also on Windows 8 and 8.1). You could click or tap on Settings → Accounts and do things like changing the Account picture and password. However there is nowhere with in this Account settings you will find an option to change the account name. This article explains how to change a user account name in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Managing user accounts with Advanced User Accounts control panel

Advanced User Accounts control panel, otherwise known as Netplwiz lets you perform several user management tasks such as create new users, changing the account name, assigning users to groups, manage passwords and set some security features.

Step 1. To access Advanced User Accounts panel type netplwiz in Search the web and Windows box next to your Windows button then click or tap on Netplwiz (Windows application).

In case of Windows 8, click or tap Search from the Charms bar.

windows 10 netplwiz

Step 2: In the Advanced User Accounts panel, select the user you want to modify and click Properties

Advanced User Control
Windows 10: Advanced User Accounts Panel

Step 3: In the properties window for the user, enter the new user name and click OK.

Change User Account
Windows 10: Change User Account Name

Step 4: Restart for the changes to take effect.

Managing User Account names from Control Panel

  1. Type control panel in Search the web and Windows box next to your Windows button windows and click or tap on Control Panel (Windows application).
  2. In case of Windows 8, click or tap Search from the Charms bar.
  3. In Control Panel set the View by option to Category.
  4. Click on User Accounts.
  5. Click on User Accounts again.
  6. Then click on Change your account name.
  7. You will be prompted to enter an administrator password to continue.
  8. After that enter a new account name and click Change Name.
  9. Restart for the changes to take effect.
    windows10 change account name

Article updated on 24-Jan-2016

Rename user account folder

The procedure described above changes the user account name but the user account folder under c:\users folder will still have the old name. The below steps explain how to rename old user profile folder

Warning: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to re-install Windows to correct them.

  1. Login to the system as an user who is in the administrator group. It should be a different user from the one that you are trying to change.
  2. Open File Explorer and navigate to C:\Users folder. Rename the old folder corresponding to the old user account
  3. Open Registry editor - In the Windows search box next to the start button type regedit and select regedit command from the search result.
  4. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
    Here you will find several keys that starts with S-1-5 corresponding to each user profile in your system. Check the registry value ProfileImagePath to find out the one corresponding to the old user account you are changing.
    rename user folder
  5. Double-click on the registry value and modify the folder name.
    rename user profile
  6. Close registry editor and restart your PC.
  7. Log in as the new user name that was changed and it should pick up the profile from the new path.

Also Read

Post a comment


Jaime | November 30, 2020 7:47 AM |

Trying to rename the folder says that it is open in another program, yet that user account is signed off...

B-King | April 22, 2020 8:43 AM |

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! :-D The part about Rename user account folder was perfect for my problem!!! :-D I wish you all the best and best regards ;-)

Oriane LIETAR | March 21, 2019 12:06 PM |

I just used "Managing user accounts with Advanced User Accounts control panel" to change my user account default value of 5 characters to 6 characters and everything seems be fine !! Thank you !

Emre | September 30, 2018 4:56 PM |

Thank you. I really appreciate your help and wish you good luck all your life!

Jems Ford | September 17, 2018 8:21 AM |

In window 10 you can simply change the account name or password by using the User Account in the control panel. Windows 10 Uses the advanced Control Panel for creating and removing the User in Windows 10.

MD | February 14, 2018 4:48 AM |

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! The part about Rename user account folder was perfect for my problem!!

Mats | September 1, 2017 3:18 PM |

Ik used the regedit one on Windows 10, and now in stuck in a loop and i cant access my accounts... Help me please!!

Mo | December 13, 2017 3:50 AM |

Ouch. It did say in the guide to create another admin account. You may have to reinstall windows

Mo | December 13, 2017 3:53 AM |

Also tried changing the file name path using the registry key. It changed it sure, but breaks things in the process. When trying to log back into main account (I created an admin account just in case), it set me up in a temp folder. Then I copied original folder, renamed to what i changed in registry, logged back in. It opens, but start menu is broken! Had to change registry back to other name.

jager | December 4, 2017 4:45 PM |

FYI: just tried your RENAME USER ACCOUNT FOLDER (as Admin) and as of DEC2017 this no longer works. Windows has disabled the option to rename the user folder.

Pat | December 8, 2017 10:11 AM |

I changed the ProfileImagePath registry key and it worked for me. I am having Windows 10 Build 15063

tua | November 20, 2017 5:00 PM |

How to change a primary user?

Vakil | December 2, 2017 12:07 AM |

What you mean primary user?

edj | September 7, 2017 4:23 PM |

Besides explorer.exe, wmpnetwk.exe had handles to certain folders inside my user folder, so I had to end this task too before the system would allow me to change the folder name.

Alex | August 17, 2017 7:02 AM |

Will the changes stay the same if I don't restart the computer?

mannoj | August 17, 2017 7:02 AM |

thanks for the info

Vitor | July 2, 2017 7:10 PM |

It works! Thanks :D

Jeremy Duncan | July 2, 2017 7:10 PM |

Thank you! Great tutorial! You explained it very clearly and I should be able to do this no problem now!

Unpredictable | April 3, 2017 11:54 AM |

thank you soooooo much, this was a headache. once again thanks.

Gwennie | February 26, 2017 10:07 AM |

The Netplwiz application worked for me! It took while but I finally found your post. Thanks so much!

Steve | February 23, 2017 9:55 AM |

1) It reverted back to the old user name. When the new user name is shown and then the password applied it then reverts back to the old user name before logging in. 3) there is no second "User Accounts" listed when accessing thru the Control Panel.

ursulla dewar | February 16, 2017 5:43 PM |

This was the most useful website for fixing this error: Windows 10 incorrect user name or password error message at log in

Antek | February 9, 2017 6:57 PM |

Its working for few doconds, after i type in my password, my username is changing again. How to fix it? Please help

larrybud | January 30, 2017 6:51 AM |

While renaming your user folder works for the Windows OS, other applications may use app_data which is in your user folder, and the paths to those files may be stored in other areas of the registry which you'll need to fix, so do a search for "c:\users\myusername" and correct all references.

Rick | January 14, 2017 2:12 AM |

I can't seem to rename my users folder in windows 10. There is no option for me to do it when I right click and properties shows the name in grey (which I assume means cannot be tampered). Is there another way to rename it?

Rom | January 14, 2017 2:12 AM |

Just GREAT! i didnt find this information any where else! SUPER! Thanks Alot!

Sondra Kinsey | January 11, 2017 1:07 PM |

I have the same problem as Paula. I changed the username in Netplwiz and restarted the computer. However, it now shows the old username and says "Wrong password". There was no password at any time, so I presume it's trying to automatically login to the old username, then fails because that username no longer exists. Any ideas how I can login again?

Gracee | November 28, 2016 11:42 AM |

After some days of changing the username/user and adding files to the new account, everything on the new account wiped out including the new user. But the files and folders in the old user account still remained. Please what can I do??

Joshua | October 25, 2016 3:16 PM |


Bill Gates | October 7, 2016 8:49 AM |

what a mess , why do users have to mess around with registry to just be able to use their full name ? Microsoft is still an epic fail

T | October 5, 2016 7:20 AM |

Very helpful, thank you!

j catherine Reid | October 2, 2016 5:22 PM |

I need to change account no I forgot my old one.

Catab | September 20, 2016 7:29 AM |

The solution using Netplwiz has broken my Windows. I can't use the start button anymore. Username and security ID are now different and Windows doesn't like this... really. Any solution ?

Jane | September 1, 2016 1:44 PM |

I have just tried to change the administrator/computer name and went to restart it, but now it won't accept the password and I cannot now access the computer. Can anyone help please?

Michael | August 30, 2016 9:40 AM |

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you! I've been trying to figure this out for an hour! This is the only thing that has worked.

Carlos Reyes | August 4, 2016 5:16 AM |

Thank You Very much! so many suggestions in the web, many of them even risky! your suggestion is simple straightforward and the best.. it works!! Great!

Dr Burdi | June 13, 2016 8:05 PM |

Everything worked except could not rename the old user to the new user unless I went into Safe Mode and did it there. Now I am happy. Thank you for the post.

Catherin | June 3, 2016 12:52 PM |

After i change it to the user name i wanted, can i still use the same step to change it back? Thanks!

Asolus | May 18, 2016 10:15 PM |

Thanks a lot!

Thomas | May 12, 2016 9:14 AM |

this is dangerous as there are other registry entries pointing to the user's home directory, at least if it has been used for a while. I found multiple entries from applications pointing to the AppData subfolder, which are all corrupted after this exercise.

Francis | May 9, 2016 10:22 AM |

Hi, i did the instructions above it did change my profile name and at the same time the folder name, but my problem is that it changed my start menu lay-out and removed some of my app, ex. Xbox, gameloft , etc.Sorry im new to windows 10 home. Any help how to restore my previous start menu lay-out?

CS | April 19, 2016 2:39 AM |

I have been struggling to change name. Thanks for the helpful posting and I am able to change the displayed name

Justin | April 16, 2016 11:34 AM |

Renaming user account folder doesn't work well (brought up temporary profile and almost thought I lost all my data)

Atul | April 8, 2016 9:14 AM |

I managed to get rid of C:\Users\OldUser folder. Logged in as administrator, I used "Registry Workshop" to change the owner of keys showing \Users\OldUser from SYSTEM to ADMINISTRATORS, gave ADMINISTRATORS full control, replaced OldUser with NewUser, and reverted owner back to SYSTEM. Then removed the C:\Users\OldUser folder. Now the C:\Users\OldUser folder is permanently gone.

Atul | March 22, 2016 9:30 AM |

After restarting the PC (the last step), it automatically created the file c:\Users\OldUser\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\counters.dat. All the other files remain in c:\Users\NewUser and NewUser account works fine. I found many references to OldUser in the registry. I replaced all of them with NewUser except a few it wouldn't allow me to change. I am unable to delete c:\OldUser folder

NKP | March 16, 2016 11:05 AM |


Carlos Bejjani | March 16, 2016 11:04 AM |

Thank you so much for this information, keep it on.

Ethan M | March 5, 2016 7:44 PM |

I have done up to step 3 for windows 10. It won't let me change my username though. Thanks anyway, as it works fine until step 3.

Rodrigo | February 27, 2016 12:13 PM |

Thank you. Very useful tip.

Chantal | February 12, 2016 8:49 AM |

Thanks for this information, it was truly helpful.

mitts | February 4, 2016 8:43 PM |

Hi unfortunately i rename the user on admistrator itself Anyone know how to reset back

Jorge U | February 2, 2016 9:24 AM |

Thanks a lot, u have save me a lot of time.

uday | January 23, 2016 11:09 AM |

Hi,I got my old company laptop which had Windows 7 PRO. I upgraded to Windows 10. Everything worked like a champ. I changed the settings to say this is not a work group laptop. No other changes were made (password or anything). It asked me to restart. I restarted the laptop and now the domain is changed. It comes up with my name and ask for a password. The old password doesn't work. I am locked

Menno | January 11, 2016 9:58 AM |

Thanks for your post. Much better than the misleading Microsoft instructions.

Paula | January 3, 2016 6:46 PM |

Help. I did this and now Windows 10 has locked me out completely. I can't get back in!

uds0 | January 3, 2016 6:46 PM |

You can only change the original folder name AFTER editing the "profile" and rebooting. Since there are many many registry entries that do not get updated (still point at now defunct name), you much rename all of them too. BE VERY CAREFUL EDITING THE REGISTRY!

uds0 | January 3, 2016 6:46 PM |

ALERT: Without registry edit, this does NOT update the folder name in \users\ nor any apps settings. Thus, although the user name has changed, the folder and app settings remain the original user. This causes major confusion because the replacement user name has no folders by that name. Editing the user name in the "Profile" in the Registry results in new \user\ folder being set up (EMPTY!).

Glamoura | December 18, 2015 9:53 AM |

Thank you so much! There's a lot of babbling on the internet and none get straight to the point like you have! Thanks again!

Greg | December 18, 2015 9:53 AM |

Does not work. Still there is my e-mail instead of my name.

tama | December 9, 2015 6:55 PM |

@Patrick thanks I did it. But it's showing System error 5 has occurred. Access is denied. What can I do now?

patrick | December 9, 2015 9:46 AM |

@Tama: you could enable the builtin administrator account. on a command prompt run net user administrator /active:yes

tama | December 9, 2015 9:38 AM |

i changed the users account from administrator mode to users mode and now i cant acess to any programs , not even manage other accounts in control panel. can u plz hlep me out of this trouble?

kirkmac | November 27, 2015 12:29 PM |

This method only seems to change the username at the login screen, but does not change the user folder name.

yasircs4 | November 7, 2015 12:06 PM |

Thank you so much.

Tracey | October 30, 2015 3:21 PM |

I recently acquired a used computer with a user profile on it. I set up my own password that gains me access to the computer, but all of the programs still appear in the file for the original user. When I follow your instructions, mine is the only name that appears, but in the c:user file, the original is the only one that appears (and the file can't be renamed).

Samer | October 23, 2015 3:35 PM |

The home version of Windows10 doesn't allow you to access anything within netplwiz. Can you recommend a solution to change the folder name under users? Using control panel only changes the display name but everything stays on the hard disk and within the windows system under the old name.

Patrick | October 7, 2015 12:32 PM |

@Sandra: You need to type netplwiz in the search box and then click from the search results. For admin account check this article

Sandra Schalin | October 7, 2015 12:29 PM |

hello I wish to change from "User1" to my own name in Windows 10. The advice tells me to tap netplwiz in the box next to the Windows symbol. But there is no such search box.I also wish to access the admin but there is only this one account. Where do I start?

giggity | October 3, 2015 6:32 PM |

You are an ass saver

seaki | September 30, 2015 8:10 AM |

I'm the only user on my computer and while using the commands to change my user name, i forgot to set user type to administrator before applying the changes. Now a can't make administrator type changes to the computer :change administrator type back to administrator. I can't user the "yes option" when asked about administration staffs

Coby | August 31, 2015 9:12 PM |

Thanks! This info was not easy to find, and I am so glad you decided to take the time and share this!

David | August 29, 2015 3:54 PM |

Thank you

Mike | August 22, 2015 4:30 AM |

The easy way to change users is == hold alt+Ctrl and press delete,

Tomás | August 22, 2015 4:30 AM |

On Windows 10 you don't have the option to change the username.

Debra | August 22, 2015 4:30 AM |

Thank you so much for this info I looked every where to find out how to changer user account info.

Fatima | August 9, 2015 6:08 AM |


April | August 4, 2015 5:18 AM |

Thank you so much. I am from México and i couldnt find this información anywhere else, not even in english, until now. Keep the good work:)