Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


How to change your username in Windows 11

You can change the name for a local account and also for a Microsoft account through Windows 11.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
Reviewed by Min Shin
Woman using laptop while holding coffee cup
d3sign/Getty Images

You're probably using Windows 11 with either a local account or a Microsoft account. 

Either way, maybe you want to change the username associated with your account. 

No problem. 

The process is easier and quicker with a local account but doable with a Microsoft account. 

Also: Microsoft just made a huge investment in ChatGPT maker OpenAI. Here's why

Let's see how this plays out.

How to change your username in Windows 11

1. Open Control Panel

Assuming you're using a local account in Windows 11, open Control Panel in icon view and select the applet for User Accounts to change your local account username. 

Cursor hovering over User Accounts in Control Panel

Go to User Accounts in Control Panel.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

2. Click "Change your account name"

At the next screen, make sure your account pops up and then click the link for Change your account name.

Cursor hovering over the link for Change your account name

Click the link for Change your account name.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

3. Type in your new name

Type the new name you wish to give your account and then click the Change Name button.

Cursor hovering over the Change Name button

Click the Change Name button.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

4. Check for your new name on the sign-in screen

The next time you see the Windows 11 sign-in screen, your new account name will appear.

Login page in Windows 11 with new name

Your new account name appears on the sign-in screen.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Change your Microsoft account name

With a Microsoft account, you can change your first or last name. You don't do this directly in Windows 11, but you can follow the breadcrumbs to get to your Microsoft account website to make these changes.

Also: How to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10

In Windows 11, go to Settings > Accounts > Your Info. Under Related settings, click the option for Manage my accounts.

Cursor hovering over the option for Manage my accounts

Click the option for "Manage my accounts."

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Alternatively, go directly to your Microsoft account page. Sign in with your account if prompted. At the site, click the tab for Your info. Next to your full name, click the link for Edit name.

Cursor hovering over the link for Edit name

Click the link for "Edit name."

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Type the name you want to use for your account. Enter the displayed CAPTCHA characters and then click Save. Your new name then appears on the page.

Edit name page for account

Type the name you want to use for your account.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Reboot your computer and you should see your new name at the sign-in screen.

Charlie Whitney on the sign-in screen

Your new name appears at the sign-in screen.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Change your Microsoft account email address

If you change your Microsoft account name, you may also need to change your Microsoft account email address. With this process, you add a new address to use as your alias. Return to your Microsoft account page and click the tab for Your info

Also: How to create and manage Windows accounts for your family

In the Account info section, click the link for Sign-in preferences.

Cursor hovering over the link for Sign in preferences

Click the link for Sign-in preferences.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

At the next screen, click the link for Add email. Assuming you don't have an existing email address that you want to use for this account, select the option for Create a new email address and add it as an alias and then type the name you wish to use. By default, the new address will use the domain name of Outlook. Click the button for Add alias.

Typing a new name to use with cursor hovering over Add alias

Type the name you wish to use.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

If the address is already taken, you'll receive a notice telling you so. Choose a different name and then try again. Once you submit an address that's not taken, the next screen shows your existing address and the new alias one. To switch to the new one, click the link next to it for Make primary. Confirm that you wish to make it the primary address.

Cursor hovering over Make primary link

Make the new email address the primary alias.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Finally, you can then remove the old address if you no longer want to use it as an alias. 

Also: How to manage your Microsoft 365 subscription in Windows 11

Click the Remove link next to the old address and then confirm that you wish to remove it from your account.

Removing the previous alias

Remove the old address.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET
Editorial standards