Windows 11, Windows 10, and its previous version like Windows 7 allow you to change the account username, but they keep your username folder. Here’s how to rename the user folder in Windows 11/10 as easily as possible.
The username folder (like C:\Users\username) can’t be changed by just simply renaming it because Windows 11/10 would still use the original user folder anyway. Especially if you have a Microsoft account tied to the user account, it becomes more difficult.
If you have a local user account (which is an administrator account), you can simply make a new administrator account, move the content to the new user folder, and delete the old local account.
If the account is synced with a Microsoft account, you can simply do the same, but you need to unlink your Microsoft account and link it again to the new user account. Not counting the OneDrive linking/unlinking process.
That said, you probably need a better and easier alternative solution to rename your user folder in Windows 11/10. There’s no need to create a new account, delete the old one, then use the new one.
This post specifically talks about renaming the user folder in Windows 10, but you can apply it on Windows 11 although you might see slight differences in the interface.
Here’s what you need first
Before doing these, you only need this one thing other than a stable internet connection (for linking/unlinking the OneDrive process).
One unused administrator account
Yes, you might not need to create a new administrator account to replace the old account, but you might need to create a new, unused administrator account if you don’t have one just so you make the process work. Below are the detailed steps.
How to rename user folder in Windows 11/10 (step by step)
You need to follow these steps in the right order, otherwise, you might encounter possible error messages that are preventable and lead you to do a more difficult method.
Unlink OneDrive first
You need to unlink OneDrive first. This is the most important method particularly if you use OneDrive.
To do this, simply right-click the OneDrive icon on the Taskbar. Select Settings, which is where you can unlink OneDrive, allowing you to rename your user folder safely.
Here, simply click Unlink this PC located inside the Account tab. Then click OK.
Once you do that, you’re going to see a loading icon on the OneDrive icon, which says Signing out when you hover your cursor on it. This signing out process might take minutes until all the process is done. Just be patient.
When the signing out process is done, you’re going to see the Set up OneDrive dialog box pops up on your PC screen. This is followed by a gray OneDrive icon that says Not signed in when you hover on it.
Just ignore it, and close the dialog box. Let’s jump to another step.
Now prepare for an unused administrator local account (skip if you already have one)
This method is probably self-explanatory. But for those who get problems doing it, here’s the method to create a new administrator local account, so you can rename your user folder in the most convenient way.
Simply open the Start menu. Click the Settings.
Select Family & other users, then click Add someone else to this PC.
You’ll see a popup on your screen. Simply click I don’t have this person’s sign-in information to create the local account.
Select Add a user without a Microsoft account.
Here, just type some random name for this new user. It doesn’t matter what the name is, this new account will get deleted or unused anyway. Click Next.
Once the account is made, make sure it shows as Administrator – Local account. Otherwise, you’re going to see an error message saying you don’t have permission to rename your user folder. Click Change account type.
Select Administrator and then OK.
Now that the new administrator account is made, simply sign in to that new administrator account so you can rename your user account folder.
Renaming your user folder in Windows 10 or Windows 11
Keep in mind that at this point, you should’ve signed in to the new administrator account you just made. Now, simply head to the user folder:
Click the user folder that you want to change and rename it.
Once you’ve pressed Enter to apply the new name for that user folder, you’re going to see a message saying “You’ll need to provide administrator permission to rename this folder”. Click Continue, since you’re an administrator anyway.
That’s it. Your user folder has been renamed. But, only your user folder. At this point, Windows 11/10 still uses your old user folder name to refer to where your personal files should be placed when an app calls it, like when saving a new file.
Thus, if you try to sign in right now, you’re going to see an error message.
Changing a ProfileImagePath value into the new user folder address
Now that you’ve renamed the user folder using File Explorer, you need to change the ProfileImagePath value from the old user folder address into the new one.
Press the Windows logo and R at the same time. Type regedit. Press Enter.
Here, go to this address, until you get to the ProfileList. Find your user folder SID (security identifier) by checking every subfolder in the ProfileList and seeing its ProfileImagePath data. If it contains your old user folder address, that’s yours.
Once you find your own SID, double-click the ProfileImagePath there. Then, change the last folder name to a new one, the same as the one you’ve applied through File Explorer.
For example, the new folder that is the same as the previous user folder I’ve applied in File Explorer is Don. Simply click OK once you’re done.
Now, everything is done, and all you need to do is just restart your PC.
Final step: link OneDrive again in Windows 10 or Windows 11
Since OneDrive is unlinked and you’ve renamed your user folder, you may now link your OneDrive account again. Simply search for the app.
Open it, and sign in with your Microsoft account.
You’ll see that OneDrive will now use that new user folder as its OneDrive directory.
You will also get asked whether to use that folder or a new one.
That’s it. OneDrive has been successfully set up. You can close this dialog box now.
Renaming your user folder can be quite complex. But actually, you can do that conveniently without creating a new account and moving your personal data from an old folder to a new one. Simply do the above steps, your user folder will be renamed, and you’re fine.