Change user name in middle of stream?

  1. Posts : 158
    Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows XP, MS-DOS

    Change user name in middle of stream?

    Windows 10 22H2

    My antique refurbished laptop is dying, so I've been copying my programs and data piecemeal over onto my old refurbished PC for safekeeping until I can shop for a replacement for the laptop.

    I've run into a glitch though. I'd forgotten that some time ago the hard drive on the PC had failed, so I had taken it into my neighborhood repair shop and had an SSD installed. But when the guy in the shop installed Windows 10 onto the SSD, he didn't know my user name so he just used my first name.

    But on the old laptop, I'd been using the user name "user."

    Today I tried testing my old Winamp mp3 player on the PC but the playlist files contain the old user name "user" in the path to each of the mp3 files, so of course it was unable to find my mp3s. It seems like the simplest solution would be to just change my user name in Windows 10 from "Will" back to "user." But I'm worried that doing that might mess up programs on the PC that are expecting my user name to be "Will."

    The alternative would be to to go through every one of m3u files with a text editor using search and replace to change all the mp3 paths in every file. Not a task I'm looking forward to.

    So, I'm wondering, what are the risks of changing the user name in Windows 10? Can I just make the change and then if I run into any problems simply change it back without doing any damage to the OS or my files?
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 758
    Windows 10/11

    Changing just your username is not too risky, but changing the user path certainly is. You would have to find and change every reference to the old path in the registry. That might get everything, but you could have files (like those M3Us) that also contain the old path. And if your old path were referenced in the registry in a binary format, you wouldn't find that.

    It's safest to fix the M3U files and that can be done in one fell swoop using a text editor that can do search and replace on multiple files. I used to do that quite often using UltraEdit, but I'm sure other editors can do it as well. Or it could be done with a simple PowerShell script.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 843
    Windows 10 Pro

    You could create a user profile with the desired name
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 4,864
    Windows 11 Pro 64 Bit 22H2

    As stated, Browse to C:\Users\ and see if User is a name on the computer. If not, Create a new user profile called User.
    The only problem with that is that the music that is in the playlist in Winamp is no longer on this computer, those files are on the old HDD under the C:\Users\User file, so none of those songs will probably play even if you change the name, unless you have the old HDD and can connect it as a secondary drive and see if you can browse it while booted into your SSD. The HDD may not be able to boot Windows but you may still be able to copy the Music files from that drive.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 158
    Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows XP, MS-DOS
    Thread Starter

    I've opted to just change the filepaths in all of my m3u playlist files. I've just learned that an old text editor I've been using for years (NoteTab Pro) has an option to perform a search and replace operation on multiple files simultaneously. Since the filepaths to all of my mp3 files on both machines are identical except for the user name, all I had to do was search & replace the user name in all of the m3u files on my PC, and now the playlists work fine on the PC.

    Many thanks to all of you who contributed to this thread!
      My Computer


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