Rename a computer

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To rename a computer

  1. Open System in Control Panel.

  2. On the Computer Name tab, click Change.

  3. Under Computer name, type a new name for the computer, and then click OK.

    If the computer is a member of a domain, you will be prompted to provide a user name and user password to rename the computer in the domain.

  4. Click OK to close the System Properties dialog box.

    You will be prompted to restart your computer to apply your changes.



  • To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.

  • To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click System.

  • To open System from a command line as an administrator, type:

    runas /user: computername \Administrator "rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl"

  • You must have permissions to rename the computer account for this computer in Active Directory.

  • The new computer name must not coincide with the name of a computer object that already exists in the domain.

  • A computer joining a Windows domain must use the name created for it by the network administrator, unless you have a user name and password with rights to create computer accounts.

  • If you supplied a valid user name and password for a secure Windows domain, the domain membership will be automatically updated with the new computer name.

  • Microsoft recommends using computer names that are shorter than 16 bytes. If you want to specify a computer name longer than 15 bytes and you want to join your computer to a domain that includes Windows 2000 domain controllers, the domain administrator should enable longer names in the computer account of the Active Directory domain.

  • If you rename your computer or workgroup when it is disconnected from the network, duplicate computer names might result. Check with your network administrator before renaming your computer.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


Change the DNS suffix of your computer
Join a domain
Join a workgroup
System Properties Overview - Control Panel
Rename a domain controller