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 (computername).
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
- Preliminary Step – Before You Change the Computer Name
- Instructions for Editing LocalizedString in Registry
- Screen Shot of LocalizedString
- Key Points
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 drill-down to:
2) For safety, rename the LocalizedString item, also save the registry hive.
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.
- 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 HKLM?
Answer: 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
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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More Windows 7 Registry Tweaks
- Gpedit – Local Group Policy Editor
- Editing the Windows 7 Registry with PowerShell
- PaintDesktopVersion (Build Number)
- Change the Name of a Windows 7 Computer
- Hide User From Welcome Screen
- RegisteredOwner – Windows 7 Registry Hack
- Delete Roaming Profile Cache
- Windows 7 .Reg Files Examples
- Performance Monitoring