On Windows 10, when using an account connected to a Microsoft account, you'll notice that your full name always appears on the sign-in screen. Although revealing the user's name in the sign-in screen is usually no a big deal, as it makes the experience more personal, some users may find this feature to be a privacy concern, especially for those using their devices in public.

While you won't find an option to stop showing your full name or use a nickname, a workaround to this limitation is to change your name in your Microsoft account ,which Windows 10 will then download automatically and use to display your account information in the sign-in screen.

In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through three different ways to change your account name that appears on the sign-in screen, whether you use an account connected to a Microsoft account or a traditional local account, to make it a little more private.

How to change your sign-in screen name using Settings

If you want to change the name displayed on the sign-in screen on Windows 10, you'll need to use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Your info.
  4. Click the Manage my Microsoft account link.

  5. On the left, under your profile image, click the More options menu.
  6. Click the Edit profile option.

  7. Under the current name, click the Edit name option.

  8. Type a new name and last name that is more discrete or completely different. For example, you can use the first six letters of your name and the first two letters of your last name.
  9. Click the Save button.

  10. Restart your computer.

Once you complete these steps, you'll notice the new name on the sign-in screen. Although you should see the updated information after the first reboot, it can take some time for your device to reflect the new changes.

The only caveat to using this method is that changing your name in your Microsoft account will also change the name and last name that appears on your email account and other cloud services, as well as on all your computers connected with the same Microsoft account.

How to change your sign-in local account name using Control Panel

In the case that you're using a traditional local account that isn't connected to a Microsoft account, you can use Control Panel to change your account name using these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click the Change account type link.

  3. Select the account you want to modify the name.

  4. Click the Change the account name link.

  5. Type the new name for the account.

  6. Click the Change Name button.

After completing these steps, the sign-in screen will display the new account name you specified.

Changing account name using User Account Manager

Alternatively, you can also use the old User Account Manager to update the account's username and full name using these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Run, and click the top result.
  3. Type netplwiz.
  4. Click the OK button.
  5. Select the account you want to modify.
  6. Click the Properties button.

  7. Type a username. (Usually, you want to use a short name that uses one word.)
  8. In the Full name field, enter the name that you want to see on the sign-in screen.

  9. Click the Apply button.
  10. Click the OK button.
  11. Click the OK button again.

After you complete these steps, the sign-in screen will display the name you specified in the Full name field.

While you can use the same instructions to change the name of an account connected to a Microsoft account, once you sign out and sign back in, the previous information from your Microsoft account will download and apply again to your account. This means that you can only use the above steps with a traditional local account.

Wrapping things up

Although there are multiple methods to change an account name on Windows 10, remember the folder name for your account will continue to use the original name.

You may be able to find different tips online on the steps to update the user folder name, but it's not recommended to use them. If you must change the user folder name as well, it'll be best to start with a brand new account with the settings you want, and then move all your settings and files to the new account.

Do you think Windows 10 should include an option to show a nickname in the sign-in screen when using a Microsoft account? Tell us in the comments.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources: