Change the Name of a Windows 7 Computer with LocalizedString Registry
How to Change The Computer Icon on a Windows 7 Desktop
The idea behind this registry tweak
of LocalizedString is to change the label under the computer icon, which you see on the Windows 7 desktop.
As a result the name reflects the true username and computername. For example,
Guy (username) at W7-Ultimate
Please note that unlike the cheap-shot where you just rename the Computer icon; this tip dynamically adjusts the name for each user who logs on.
Topics for Changing the Name of a Windows 7 Computer
Before you try this
LocalizedString registry tweak, make sure that Windows 7 displays the the
Computer icon on your desktop. Right-click the desktop, Personalize,
now select: Change desktop icons, check 'Computer'
and click OK.
This tip also works for XP and Vista, just make sure that you display the 'My Computer'
icon on the desktop.
Our mission is to find a specific class id (CLSID) in
the registry's HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. Then we change the value for LocalizedString from 'Computer' to a variable which will
reflect the user who logs on to this particular computer.
1) Launch Regedit Edit Menu, Find LocalizedString Else click and
2) For safety, rename the LocalizedString item, also save the registry
Problem, cannot rename LocalizedString to LocalizedString.Old
Solution, Edit Menu, Permissions. Take ownership and assign
yourself Full Control, just as you would for folder.
3) To be safe, rename LocalizedString to LocalizedString.Old
4) Create a new VALUE. Note type should be Expanded String Value. Name it: LocalizedString.
Again if you get an error, check the permissions.
5) Edit the 'Value data'. I double-click LocalizedString, then type in
the dialog box:
%Username% at %Computername%
Incidentally, you could choose more creative words in place of 'at'. For example, 'King of' or 'Queen of'.
6) To see the fruits of your labours, just press F5 to refresh the desktop, your
computer icon should now say the equivalent of: YourName at YourComputer.
See screenshot to the right (Guy at W7-Ultimate).
Here is a panoramic view of the
registry, which shows regedit displaying the REG_EXPAND_SZ LocalizedString.
Recommended: Solarwinds' Permissions Analyzer - Free Active Directory Tool
I like the
Permissions Monitor because it enables me to see WHO has permissions
to do WHAT at a glance. When you launch this tool it analyzes a users effective NTFS
permissions for a specific file or folder, and takes into account network share
access, then displays the results in a nifty desktop dashboard!
Think of all the frustration that this free SolarWinds utility saves when you are
troubleshooting authorization problems for user's access to a resource.
Give this permissions monitor a try - it's free!
Before you make a difficult change to the registry, rename the existing key.
Preliminary step, make sure that Windows 7 displays the Computer on the desktop. right-click, Personalize and select: Change Desktop Icons.
Do you find the LocalizedString value in HKCU** or
neither, it's under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.
Do you have to add a value, or modify an existing setting? Answer: Rename, then create a new value.
Is it a String Value or a DWORD? Answer: Neither it is an Expanded String.
Do you need to Restart, or merely Logoff / Logon? Answer: Neither, just refresh the desktop by pressing F5.
Tip: Add this Value, LocalizedString to Regedit's Favorites menu
** HKLM is an abbreviation of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, and HKCU is shorthand for
HKEY_CURRENT_USER. These acronyms are so well-known that you can even use them in .reg files, Windows 7 will understand and obey the registry instruction.
How to Create a .Reg File Which Changes a Computer Name
Creating a .Reg File
This page explains how to create, and then edit .reg files for your computer. As it's easy to import the contents of a .reg file into the registry,
however, do take extra care with procedures.
Example LocalizedString .reg file.
Summary of How to Change the Name of a Windows 7 Computer
This registry tweak of LocalizedString will change the label under
Windows 7 computer icon. As a result the label reflects the actual
username and computername. For example, Guy (username) at W7-Ultimate
(computername). Before you make this change the Classes_Root section
of the registry you may need to take ownership of that particular hive.
Once you become the owner, give yourself full control. Now you can
make the necessary changes to LocalizedString.
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