How to: Rename User Profile Folder in Windows 10/8/7

Last updated on December 27th, 2018

This tutorial contains instructions to rename the user profile folder in Windows OS. As you may know, when you rename a user in Windows, the name of the user's profile folder (which contains all it's files and settings), remains unchanged.

For example, if you rename an account from "Mike" to "John", the profile folder under the "C:\Users\" directory will still named "Mike" (C:\Users\Mike) and not "John" (C:\Users\John). This is happened because by Windows design, the profile folder name doesn't changed automatically when you change the username.

This tutorial contains instructions to change the name of the Profile folder Windows 10, 8/8.1 & 7 OS.

How to Change the User Profile Folder Name for a Local Account *

* Note: If you 're using Windows 10  with a Microsoft account, then the only way to change the name of the user profile folder, is to create a new local Administrator account (with the desired name) and then to connect the new account with your Microsoft account.

To Change the Name of the Profile folder:

Step 1. Enable the Hidden Administrator Account

1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator. To do that:

a. In the Search box type: cmd (or command prompt).
b. Right click on the command prompt (result) and select Run as Administrator.

run command prompt as administrator

2. Inside the command prompt window, type the following command and press Enter:

  • net user administrator /active:yes

Enable Administrator account

3. After that you should view a message that says that your command was completed successfully.
4. Close Command prompt.

Step 2. Change the User Profile folder path in Registry.

1. Sign Out from the current account and Sign-In as Administrator.

2. Open Registry Editor. To do that:

1. Simultaneously press the Win image + R keys to open the run command box.
2. Type regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.


3. Inside Windows Registry, navigate (from the left pane) to this key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

4. Right click at the "ProfileList" key and select Export.

registry export backup

5. Type a name for the exported registry key (e.g. "ProfileList") and save the file to your desktop. *

* Note: If something goes wrong at the end of the process, just click at the exported registry file to restore the registry settings back.

backup registry

6. In registry editor, double click at "ProfileList" key to expand its contents.

7. Now, under the ‘ProfileList’ registry key you should see two (or more) subkeys named "S-1-5-21" followed by a long number (e.g. ‘S-1-5-21-1001432958-3492499226-3494023764-1001).

8a. Click each "S-1-5-21-xxxxxxx" subkey and look at the right pane, at "ProfileImagePath" value, to find out which "S-1-5-21-xxxxxxx" subkey shows the path of the user folder that you want to rename. *

* e.g. Let's suppose that you want to change the name of the profile folder "Mike" to "John". At this case we look for this value "C:\Users\Mike" in "ProfileImagePath"

Rename User Account folder

8b. Once you find which "S-1-5-21-xxxxxxx" subkey, contains the path (location) for your profile, double click at "ProfileImagePath" value and change the current folder name (e.g. "C:\Users\Mike") to the new one (e.g. "C:\Users\John").

8c. When done, click OK.

rename profile folder

9. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.

Step 3. Rename User Folder in Windows Explorer.

1. After restart, Sign Out from the Administrator account and sign in using the new account name (e.g. John"). *

* Note: At this point, you 'll sign into a temporary and empty user profile.

2. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to "C:\Users" folder.

3. Right-click at the profile folder that you want to change it's name (e.g. "Mike") and select Rename.

rename profile folder windows 10-8-7

4. Type the new name for the profile folder (must be the same name with the name in "ProfileImagePath" in registry, e.g. "John") and press Enter.

change profile folder name

5. At "Folder Access Denied" window, click Continue to rename the user account folder.

change profile folder name

6. Restart your computer.

7. After restart, you should sign in to your normal profile, with all your personal files and settings in place!

That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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