Windows 10 tip: Customize your user profile folder name

When you set up a new user account, Windows 10 creates a profile folder and assigns it to the new account. Here's how to customize the name of that folder.

users-profile-folder.jpg

To avoid these truncated five-letter folder names, start with a local account.

Click to enlarge

When you do a clean install of Windows 10, one of the final tasks before you sign in for the first time is to create a user account. After Windows 10 is installed, you can add a new user account any time.

Regardless of which method you use, Windows automatically creates a folder for your user profile, adding that folder to C:\Users, as shown here.

Windows doesn't let you choose a name for that folder. In fact, if you create a new user by entering the email address associated with a Microsoft account, Windows uses the first five letters of that email address as the folder name. And it doesn't allow you to rename a user profile folder after it's created.

If you'd rather use your full name for the profile folder, the trick is to start with a local account; when you do that, Windows uses the full account name as the profile folder name. After you finish creating the user profile, you can switch the local account to a Microsoft account.

  1. Sign in using an account that has administrative rights and go to Settings > Accounts > Family & Other People.
  2. Click Add someone else to this PC.
  3. On the "How will this person sign in?" page, click I don't have this person's sign-in information.
  4. On the "Let's create your user account" page, click Add a user without a Microsoft account.
  5. Enter a local username that matches exactly what you want to see as the profile name. (If you include a space in the username, the profile folder name will also include a space.)
  6. Add a password and a password hint and finish creating the account.

You can now sign out and sign back in using the new local account. After you sign in, go to Settings > Accounts > Your Info and choose Sign in with a Microsoft account instead. After you finish, your user profile will still have the full name you created when you set up the local account.

Previous tip: Add extra details to Task Manager's Processes tab

Next week: Another Windows 10 tip from Ed Bott

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