How to Change a Friendly Name in a Registry

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The friendly name of a Windows computer is how a user recognizes the machine on the network. The friendly name is also shown in some software applications and in the system information. Changing the friendly name can be done on the desktop or through the registry. Changing the name in the registry is beneficial for system administrators who need to change the friendly computer name remotely instead of locally on the desktop.

  • Click the Windows "Start" button and select "Run." Enter "regedit" into the text bar and press the "Enter" key. This will open the Windows registry where you can change the friendly name of the computer.

  • Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ComputerName\ActiveComputerName" directory in the tree structure. This location holds the name of the current setting.

  • Right-click the "ComputerName" value in the "ActiveComputerName" folder in the registry. Select "Modify" from the dialog menu. This will open a window that prompts you for a new value.

  • Enter the new friendly computer name in the dialog box. Click the "Ok" button when you're finished. Close the registry window.

  • Reboot the computer for the changes to take effect. Once booted, right-click the "My Computer" icon on the desktop. The new computer name should be displayed in the properties window.

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