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How to rename the User folder in Windows 10?


This can be done without folder renaming and messing with registry:

  1. Create a local account with the user name you wish.

    • Local account creation is well hidden; here is how to find it:
      Settings > Accounts > Family & Other users > Other users > Add someone else to this PC > The person I want to add doesn’t have an email address > Add a user without Microsoft account
  2. Change account type to administrator (can skip if there is other administrator).

  3. Remove original Microsoft linked account
  4. Link local account to Microsoft account if you wish

Microsoft has actually documented a very simple and clean way to rename a user profile folder.

There is no need to create a new user account, so all the settings associated with the existing user profile are preserved. And the only registry change required is to edit a single string value (the one that tells Windows the path of the user profile folder):

  1. Log in by using another administrative account.

Note You may need to create a new Administrative account at first.

  1. Go to the C:users folder and rename the subfolder with the original user name to the new user name.
  2. Go to the registry and modify the registry value ProfileImagePath to the new path name.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionProfileList<User SID>

That’s it!

The procedure quoted above was provided by Microsoft (here) in relation to a perceived issue with Windows 7, and continues to work in Windows 10.


<User SID>

The ProfileList registry key contains a number of sub-keys. To find out which one to change, click on each sub-key and examine the values, to find the sub-key with the right ProfileImagePath:

enter image description here

For example, let’s say we want to get rid of the space in a user profile folder name. So in step 2, we use File Explorer to navigate to C:Users and rename the John Smith subfolder JohnSmith. And in step 3, we click on the <User SID> sub-keys until we find the one with ProfileImagePath C:UsersJohn Smith, and change it to C:UsersJohnSmith.

Administrative login

You may find you have to restart instead of just logging out and logging back in. Otherwise, when you try to rename the folder, Windows may report that it is being used by another program.

Environment variables (info)

Some applications create env vars with the user profile path fully expanded, so it’s advisable to check for these and reboot if any needed fixing.

While not a direct answer to the question, a symbolic link can be a risk-free solution if the problem is not just aesthetics, but that restored or legacy configuration files or links refer to the user directory.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt
  2. Change to the user directory
  3. Create a directory junction targeting the real name of the user directory


MKLINK /J Jeremy jerem

This enables you to use c:UsersJeremy..... to refer to parts of your profile.

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