Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10  

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    Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10

    Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10

    How to Change the Name of a User Profile Folder in Windows 10
    Published by Category: User Accounts
    29 Mar 2020
    Designer Media Ltd


    How to Change the Name of a User Profile Folder in Windows 10


    When adding a new user account in Windows 10, a profile for the account is automatically created when the user signs in to the new account for the first time.

    A user profile is a collection of settings that make the computer look and work the way you want it to for a user account. It is stored in the user's C:\Users\<user name> profile folder, and contains the account's settings for desktop backgrounds, screen savers, pointer preferences, sound settings, and other features. User profiles ensure that your personal preferences are used whenever you sign in to Windows.

    A user's profile folder also contains their personal folders such as the 3D Objects, Contacts, Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Favorites, Links, Music, OneDrive, Pictures, Saved Games, Searches, and Videos folders.

    Since a user's profile folder is automatically named by Windows by default, it will not always be named what you may have wanted its name to be.

    This tutorial will show you how to rename a user profile folder for any account (local account or Microsoft account) in Windows 10.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to change the name of a user profile folder.

    Changing the name of an account's user profile folder will not change the account's user name.


    It is highly recommended to create a system image before doing the steps in this tutorial to be able to quickly restore the image to undo the steps if needed since renaming a user profile folder name may have unknown side effects. For example, some programs not referencing the new profile folder name.

    How to Create and Restore a System Image Backup with Macrium Reflect

    How to Create a System Image in Windows 10




    Here's How:

    1 Sign out the user account (ex: "Brink2") you want to change the name of its user profile folder (ex: "C:\Users\Brink2.BRINK-W10PC").

    2 Sign in to any administrator account on the PC that you are not changing its user profile folder name.

    If you do not have another administrator account, then you can enable the built-in Administrator to sign in to do these steps in.


    3 Open a command prompt.

    4 Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

    Make note of the SID (ex: "S-1-5-21-237214570-1361766723-3061440971-1015") for the account (ex: "Brink2") you want to change the name of its user profile folder. You will need to know this SID in step 6 below.


    wmic useraccount get name,SID

    Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10-sid.png

    5 Press the Win + R keys to open Run, type regedit into Run, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

    6 Navigate to the registry key below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\<SID>

    Substitute <SID> in the registry key path above with the actual SID (ex: "S-1-5-21-237214570-1361766723-3061440971-1015") from step 4 above for the account name (ex: "Brink2") you want to change the name of its user profile folder.

    For example: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\S-1-5-21-237214570-1361766723-3061440971-1015

    Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10-change_user_profile_folder_name-1.png

    7 In the right pane of the SID key (ex: "S-1-5-21-237214570-1361766723-3061440971-1015"), double click/tap on the ProfileImagePath expandable string value (REG_EXPAND_SZ) to modify it. (see screenshot above)

    8 Change the current name of the user profile folder in its full path (ex: "C:\Users\Brink2.BRINK-W10PC") to what you want (ex: "C:\Users\Brink2") instead, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

    Make note of the current full path and name (ex: "C:\Users\Brink2.BRINK-W10PC") and new name (ex: "Brink2") for this account's user profile folder.

    You will need to know both in step 10 and step 12 below.

    Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10-change_user_profile_folder_name-2.png

    9 When finished, you can close Registry Editor and command prompt if you like. (see screenshot below)

    Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10-change_user_profile_folder_name-3.png

    10 Open File Explorer (Win+E), and navigate to the original full path of the user profile folder (ex: "C:\Users\Brink2.BRINK-W10PC") from step 8 above.

    11 Right click or press and hold on the user profile folder (ex: "Brink2.BRINK-W10PC"), and click/tap on Rename. (see screenshot below)

    Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10-change_user_profile_folder_name-4.jpg

    12 Change the current name of the user profile folder (ex: "Brink2.BRINK-W10PC") to the same new name (ex: "Brink2") from step 8 above. (see screenshots below)

    Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10-change_user_profile_folder_name-5.jpg Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10-change_user_profile_folder_name-6.jpg
    Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 10-change_user_profile_folder_name-7.jpg

    13 You can now close File Explorer if you like.

    14 Verify the OneDrive folder location for your account (ex: "Brink2") is correctly using the new profile folder name. If it's not, then change the OneDrive folder location to correct it. (see screenshot below)

    That's it,
    Shawn




  1. Posts : 15
    Win 7 x32 & 64 Ultimate & Win 10 Pro x64 & iMac Sierra 10.12.5
       #1

    I went through the procedure twice, both times when attempting to rename the user folder using windows explorer the message came back "can't change the name, the folder/file is open in a different process" - or words to that effect.

    What to DO ??
      My Computer

  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 48,681
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 19631
    Thread Starter
       #2

    Hello John, and welcome to Ten Forums. :)

    Did you sign out the account you wanted to change the name of its profile folder, and sign in to a different admin account?
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 15
    Win 7 x32 & 64 Ultimate & Win 10 Pro x64 & iMac Sierra 10.12.5
       #3

    Hi Brink,

    Yep, I solved it by booting into Safe mode and renaming it with win explorer.
    BTW, I've been a fan and Big user of your seven and ten forums for years - best on the net!

    You must have a team of at least 40 people working on these forums - amazing!

    THANKS!

    John
      My Computer

  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 48,681
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 19631
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Great news John.

    Thank you. We have a great team in the mothership.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 15
    Win 7 x32 & 64 Ultimate & Win 10 Pro x64 & iMac Sierra 10.12.5
       #5

    ...to add more info in case I'm not a unique case:

    I tried restarting, shuting down and in each case only logging in with the newly created "ADMIN" account (not a very imaginative name). In each case I checked the SID name as still being changed to the desired name (it was) and attempted to change the folder name with the same error message "can't it's in use". A possible reason is I don't have any password for logging into the account whose profile folder name I'm was attempting to change or the newly created "ADMIN" account and I normally automatically log in to the account I was attempting to change.

    I was going to get a boot USB drive and change it that way, but thought I'd give Safe mode a try first, and it worked.

    Apparently Microsoft opens all account profiles when anyone logs on.

    Regards
      My Computer

  6. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 48,681
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 19631
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Usually, only the accounts that are signed in would be in use.

    If you had switched user from the "ADMIN" account instead of signing out, then that could be a reason why it was in use.
      My Computers


  7. Josey Wales's Avatar
    Posts : 22,715
    Win 10 Pro 19041.264
       #7

    Brink said:
    Usually, only the accounts that are signed in would be in use.

    If you had switched user from the "ADMIN" account instead of signing out, then that could be a reason why it was in use.
    So this will only change the user name and not the Login name Right??
      My Computer

  8. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 4,315
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 1909 Build 18363.778
       #8

    Brink,

    Works just as you said. Brilliant discovery.

    Everybody else has always said this could not be done. I assume you didn't hear them & that's why you were able to do it.

    [Josey - It just changes the folder path for the user folder. It does not change the user name / login name.]

    Denis
      My Computer

  9. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 48,681
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 19631
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Josey Wales said:
    So this will only change the user name and not the Login name Right??
    Hey Josey, :)

    Correct. As Denis posted above, this tutorial will only change the name of the account's user profile folder, and not the account's user name.

    If you wanted to change the account's user name, you could use the tutorial below instead.

    Change User Name of Account in Windows 10 Windows 10 User Accounts Tutorials
      My Computers


 
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