How to Change Your System Folder Name


If you have purchased a secondhand computer from a friend or family member, you may find that you see her name when you log on. Although Windows gives you the ability to change user names at will, folders storing your documents, images and other files will still bear the incorrect name. When you attempt to change the name of the folder, Windows tells you that you cannot change the name of a system folder. Create a new account and copy your files over to the new system folder to resolve this issue.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7
  • Log in to Windows using an account that has administrative privileges.

  • Click the "Start" button; then click "Control Panel." Double-click "User Accounts." If you do not see this option, click "Classic View" in Windows XP and Vista, or "View by: Small Icons" in Windows 7.

  • Click "Create a New Account" in Windows XP. In Windows Vista and 7, click "Manage Another Account;" then click "Create a New Account."

  • Enter a name and password for your new account, and click "Next" through the prompts to create it.

  • Log out of Windows; then log back in using an account other than your old account or the new one you created.

  • Click the "Start" button; then click "My Computer" in Windows XP, or click "Computer" in Windows Vista or Windows 7.

  • Click "Tools;" then click "Folder Options" in Windows XP. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, click "Organize;" then click "Folder" and "Search Options."

  • Click the "View" tab. Click the radio button labeled "Show Hidden Files and Folders," and remove the check from the box labeled "Hide Protected Operating System Files." Click "OK."

  • Double click "C:" or the hard drive where Windows is installed. Double-click "Documents and Settings" in Windows XP, or "Users" in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Double-click the folder with the user name that you would like to remove.

  • Hold down the "Ctrl" key on the keyboard. Click the files "NTUSER.DAT," "ntuser.dat.log" and "ntuser.ini." All of these files should now be highlighted. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, you may additionally see the files "ntuser.dat.log1" and "ntuser.dat.log2." Click these as well.

  • Hit "Alt," "E" and "I" on the keyboard simultaneously. This is the Invert Selection keyboard shortcut---all files and folders except the ones that you previously clicked should now be highlighted. Hit "Ctrl" and "C" simultaneously, and click the "Back" button to back out of the folder.

  • Double-click the folder with the new name that you created. Click anywhere inside the window, and hit the "Ctrl" and "V" keys. The contents of the old folder will be copied into the new one. You may need to click through messages to indicate that you wish to overwrite the contents of the new folder.

  • Log out of Windows, and log in using your new user name. Confirm that all of your files are where they should be; then return to the "User Accounts" screen using the instructions above.

  • Click "Change an Account" in Windows XP, or "Manage Another Account" in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Click the old account; then click "Delete the Account." Click "Delete Files;" then click "Delete Account."

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