Windows Computer name: how to change and use

For what is Windows computer name used?

A computer name is assigned to each computer during the installation of Windows. This name is used as a convenient replacement for the IP address. In the local network, you can use the computer name instead of local IP address.

How to see the computer name in Windows

To check what name your computer has, open File Explorer, find the “This PC” tab in it, click on the “Computer” button at the top and click on the “Properties” button in the menu that opens:

In the new window that opens, you will see “Computer Name” and “Workgroup”:

How to change the name of a Windows computer

If you want to change these values, then click “Change Settings” (see the screenshot above).

Click the “Change” button to assign a new name to the computer:

Enter new Computer name and click OK button:

You must restart the computer for the changes to take effect:

How to use a Windows computer name

The IP address of a computer on the local network can change over time or when the computer is turned off and on. But you can access any computer by its name – in this case, you will not need to first find out what its IP address is.

For example, on one of the computers on the local network, a web server with websites is running. These sites can be viewed in a web browser, but you need to know which IP address to enter. Instead of IP, you can use the computer name. For example, the computer name is HACKWARE-MIAL, then it is enough to open the http://hackware-mial/ link in a web browser:

Please note that you do not need to configure DNS or the hosts file – everything works out of the box!

When accessing shared folders (Shares), you can use links like \\COMPUTER-NAME, for example:

\\HACKWARE-MIAL

If there is a problem communicating with a computer on the local network, you can ping it with a command of the form:

ping COMPUTER-NAME

For example, to ping a computer named HACKWARE-MIAL:

ping hackware-mial

Finally, to find out the IP address of another computer on the local network, run a command of the form:

nslookup COMPUTER-NAME

For example, to find the IP address of a computer named HACKWARE-MIAL:

nslookup HACKWARE-MIAL

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