On Windows 10, there could be a lot of reasons to change an account name. For instance, even though many people are comfortable revealing their names in the Sign-in screen, some users may consider this feature a privacy concern — especially for those using their devices in a public place. You recently changed your name, and you want to display the updated information. Or you're using a local account, and you want to show your full name, instead of the account name.

Whatever the reason might be, you can change the name that appears in the Sign-in screen as you try to access your Windows 10 account. However, it's not a straightforward process, depending on whether you're using a Microsoft account or a local account, you'll need to use different methods.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the different ways to change the account name that shows up in the Sign-in screen for accounts linked to a Microsoft account or when using a local account.

How to change sign-in name using Settings

If you're using a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 10, the account pulls down the name you see on the sign-in screen from the cloud. If you want to change the account name, you'll need to update your account settings with these steps:

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

  5. Under the current account name, click the More options menu.
  6. Select the Edit profile option.

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

  8. Change your name and last name as needed.

    Quick tip: If you want to make your information a little more private, you can opt to use the first six letters of your name and the first two letters of your last name.

  9. Answer the captcha challenge to confirm that you're not a robot.
  10. Click the Save button.
  11. Restart your device.

Once you complete the steps, the name on the Sign-in screen will be updated with the new changes. However, you may need to allow some time before the changes sync and apply to all your devices.

Although using the Microsoft account settings is a convenient way to change your account name across your devices, keep in mind that these instructions will also update the name and last name that appears in your email account and other Microsoft services.

How to change sign-in name using Control Panel

Alternatively, if you're using a local account, which isn't linked to a Microsoft account, you'll need to use Control Panel to change your account name.

Changing user name with User Accounts

To update your account name using the User Accounts settings, use these steps:

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

  3. Select the local account to update its name.

  4. Click the Change the account name option.

  5. Update the account name as you want it to appear in the Sign-in screen.

  6. Click the Change Name button.

After you complete the steps, sign-out and the Sign-in screen should now display the new name.

Changing user name with netplwiz

In addition, you can also use the other user account settings (netplwiz) available with Control Panel.

To update the name of an account, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for netplwiz and click the top result to open the tool.
  3. Select the account to update its name.
  4. Click the Properties button.

  5. (Optional) Update the "User name" field to change the account nickname.
  6. Update the "Full Name" field to show a different name in the Sign-in screen.

    Quick tip: If you want to display a nickname instead of your real name, you can leave the "Full Name" field empty.

  7. Click the Apply button.
  8. Click the OK button.
  9. Click the OK button again.

Once you complete the steps, sign-out and the Sign-in screen should display the name you specified in the "Full Name" field.

Although you can also edit accounts linked to a Microsoft account, if you change any information using these steps, after restarting your device, the Sign-in screen will reset this information and display your Microsoft account name.

Additional information

While you have multiple ways to change the name of an account, the profile folder name can't be updated. There are some workarounds, but you shouldn't follow them as you may end up running into issues.

If you don't want to leave any breadcrumbs of the previous account name, you should consider creating a new account with a new name, and then transfer all your files and settings over the new account.

More Windows 10 resources

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

Mauro recommends all these affordable accessories

Hi, I'm Mauro Huculak, Windows Central's help and how-to guru. I wrote the post you're reading now, and I know the Windows OS inside and out. But I'm also a bit of a hardware geek. These are some of the affordable gadgets on my desk today.

Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse ($72 at Amazon)

I know mice, and this is the one I use every day. The MX Master is a wireless high-precision mouse that's very comfortable to use and has many great features, including the ability to connect with multiple devices, an infinite scroll wheel, back and forward buttons, all of which you can customize.

Ktrio Extended Gaming Mouse Pad ($12 at Amazon)

If you spend a lot of time typing, your palms and mouse will leave tracks on your desk. My solution was to start using gaming mouse pads, which are big enough for you to use the keyboard and the mouse comfortably. This is the one I use and recommend.

Supernight LED light strip ($20 at Amazon)

You could just use a regular light bulb in your office, but if you want to add some ambient lighting with different colors, an RGB LED strip is the way to go. This one is Mauro-approved.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.