Accounts Change Name of User Profile Folder in Windows 11


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User_profile_folder_banner.png

When adding a new user account in Windows 11, 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 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. For example, when you add a Microsoft account to the PC, its user profile folder in the "C:\Users" folder will be named with the first 5 characters of the email address used for the Microsoft account.

See also:

This tutorial will show you how to rename a user profile folder for any account (local account or Microsoft account) in Windows 11.


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 user account name.




Here's How:

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

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 Windows Terminal, and select either Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt.

4 Copy and paste the wmic useraccount get name,SID command into Windows Terminal, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

Make note of the SID (ex: "S-1-5-21-2212846312-626644311-134141314-1002") 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.


SID.png

5 Open Registry Editor (regedit.exe).

6 Navigate to the 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-1-5-21-2212846312-626644311-134141314-1002") 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-1-5-21-2212846312-626644311-134141314-1002


User_profile_folder_name_regedit-1.png

7 In the right pane of the SID key (ex: "S-1-5-21-2212846312-626644311-134141314-1002"), 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") to what you want (ex: "C:\Users\Brink3") instead, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Make note of the current full path and name (ex: "C:\Users\Brink2") and new name (ex: "Brink3") for this account's user profile folder.

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


User_profile_folder_name_regedit-2.png

9 You can close Registry Editor and Windows Terminal if you like. (see screenshot below)

User_profile_folder_name_regedit-3.png

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

11 Select the user profile folder (ex: "Brink2"), and click/tap on the Rename icon on the command bar at the top. (see screenshot below)

User_profile_folder_name_File_Explorer-1.png

12 Change the current name of the user profile folder (ex: "Brink2") to the same new name (ex: "Brink3") from step 8 above. (see screenshot below)

User_profile_folder_name_File_Explorer-2.png

13 You can now close File Explorer if you like.

14 Create a symbolic link using the command below in an elevated command prompt. This is so anything that still references the old user profile folder name will be automatically redirected to the new user profile folder name.

mklink /d "Full path of old profile folder name" "full path of new profile folder name"

Substitute Full path of old profile folder name in the command above with the actual full path of the old user profile folder name (ex: "C:\Users\Brink2").

Substitute full path of new profile folder name in the command above with the full path of the new user profile folder name (ex: "C:\Users\Brink3").

For example: mklink /d "C:\Users\Brink2" "C:\Users\Brink3"



15 If you use OneDrive, then change the OneDrive folder location to correct it for the new user profile folder name (ex: "Brink3") if needed. (see screenshot below)

User_profile_folder_name_OneDrive.png


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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jamesmevans

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I was able to do all steps except rename folder in Explorer. Could not do this because "The action can't be completed because the folder or file is open in another program". Only open app showing in Task Mgr is Windows Explorer although dozens of background processes. Trying to change "james" to "Jim" on setting up a new computer as many Excel macros reference path with this - I know "my bad"!
 
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timbobit

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Nice - one thing though: you will still be old name in logon screen. Easy to fix > control panal user accout - change name

 

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jamesmevans

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timbobit
not a problem with what is displayed
 

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jamesmevans

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What was a real problem was when I signed back in without being able to change the name in Explorer was that it could not find my desktop!!
Had to ctrl-alt-delete to get out. Redid the proceedure to set the name back to James. Whew - real moment of panic.
 

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vineydhiman

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When I rename User profile folder, instead of renaming, it create similar folder with new name with arrow icon on it. I'm not seeing it the way you share in the screenshots above.

What wrong I'm doing?
 

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Brink

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When I rename User profile folder, instead of renaming, it create similar folder with new name with arrow icon on it. I'm not seeing it the way you share in the screenshots above.

What wrong I'm doing?

Hello, :-)

Please go ahead and post a screenshot of what you're seeing to see if anything may stand out.
 

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vineydhiman

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Hello, :)

Please go ahead and post a screenshot of what you're seeing to see if anything may stand out.
I changed from Geek to Nerds
 

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Brink

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vineydhiman

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Odd. It looks like you used the "Create Shortcut" option instead of "Rename" (F2).
Nop, even I tried this twice. Even I get the warning that you cant replace it, then clicking rename did this.

Although I will try once again maybe I did something wrong
 

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vineydhiman

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Odd. It looks like you used the "Create Shortcut" option instead of "Rename" (F2).
Update - I retried everything from scratch and this time it works. I don't what wrong I did. Also I would like to tell that you, when I was renaming the folder in file explorer, I wasn't able to rename, "You can't perform this action with retry button".

I reboot the computer and after that manage to rename the user profile name

Thanks Brink
 

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Brink

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Update - I retried everything from scratch and this time it works. I don't what wrong I did. Also I would like to tell that you, when I was renaming the folder in file explorer, I wasn't able to rename, "You can't perform this action with retry button".

I reboot the computer and after that manage to rename the user profile name

Thanks Brink

Great news. :party:
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
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    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

Archigos

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For future reference: I had the same problem @jamesmevans where I got an error trying to rename the profile folder. Solving it is easy if they want to give this another try.

Enable the Admin account if you disabled it.
Restart the computer and log into the Admin account.
Go to Start and Shutdown the computer, it will comment on there's another user still on, tell it to do it anyway.
Power the system back on and follow the directions
 

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    16 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
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    Radeon Pro 570 4 GB
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