How to Rename a User Home Folder in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users how to rename a user home profile folder to match the new username of an account in Windows 11.

In Windows, when you create a new user, a home folder in the C:\Users directory is created to match the name of the user account. This has always been the case.

If you rename a user account to something different and unique, the user home directory unfortunately, will not be renamed to match the new username of the account. So you will end up with a different name for the account and home folder in Windows.

The steps below will show you how to rename a user home folder to match the new name of a user account. To do this, we’ll have to go through Windows Registry Editor and make some changes.

The new Windows 11 will come with many new features and enhancements that will work great for some while adding some learning challenges for others. Some things and settings have changed so much that folks will have to learn new ways to work with and manage Windows 11.

One legacy feature that’s also in Windows 11 is that renamed account does not rename the account folder to match the account name. All Windows editions have this drawback, and the only way to fix is to follow the steps below.

How to rename a user account in Windows 11

If you haven’t already renamed a user account in Windows, then the post below should help you do that. Renaming Windows accounts requires few simple clicks.

Click on the link below to learn how to rename a user account in Windows.

How to Change Username in Windows 11

The above post shows you how to change or rename a user account in Windows 11.

How to rename user home folder to match username

Now that you’ve learned how to rename an account in Windows, continue below to also learn how to rename a user home folder to match the account new name.

Before going forward, one thing you’ll need to understand. You can not be logged in with the account that you want to rename. You have to login with a different administrator account, before you can rename the user home folder.

In some cases, you’ll create a new account, make it an administrator, login as that new account, and rename the targeted user home folder.

Or you can enable Windows built-in administrator account, login as the built-in administrator account, then change then rename the account home folder you’re working with.

If you want to learn how to enable the built-in administrator account, click on the link below:

How to Enable the Administrator in Windows 11 – Website for Students

After you have logged as the administrator, go to Start and search for Command Prompt, then select the Command Prompt app to open.

windows 11 command prompt administrator

When the command prompt app opens, type the commands below to list all the account SID on the machane.

wmic useraccount get name,SID

This will output similar lines with all the account SID on the system.

Output:
Name                SID
DefaultAccount      S-1-5-21-2007855691-582224021-1368697043-503
defaultuser0        S-1-5-21-2007855691-582224021-1368697043-1000
LocalAdmin          S-1-5-21-2007855691-582224021-1368697043-500
JaneDoe             S-1-5-21-2007855691-582224021-1368697043-504
Richard             S-1-5-21-3044698505-590223214-3122486089-1001

The account you want to rename will also be listed above. For this post, the targeted account to rename its home folder is Richard with SID S-1-5-21-2007855691-582224021-1368697043-501

After that, go to Start and search for Registry Editor, then select to open.

registry editor in windows 11

When the Registry Editor opens, navigate to the folder path below:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Locating the SID for Richard and open it.

windows 11 rename user home folder

Now right-click on ProfileImagePath for the correct SID and modify the data to point to the new home folder of the new user account.

Click OK to apply your changes.

windows 11 rename home folder

Next, go to File Explorer on the Taskbar, and browse to the C:\User folder. Then select the account folder you want to rename.

windows 11 rename file explorer folder

Finally, type in the new folder name to match the user account name.

windows 11 rename user home folder new

Exit File explorer and you’re done.

Also make sure if you’re using OneDrive that it’s also pointing to the new user home folder. That should do it, and you log out or reboot the computer.

Login and disable the administrator account and you’re all set!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to rename a user home folder to match the new name. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report.

19 Comments

  1. Unable to open the folders on This PC. Getting an error saying that the location is not available. How should I proceed?

    1. Hi Chris,

      you need to use an different account than this one which you want to rename. Use netplwiz.exe to create a new user with admin rights, log off the account you want to change and use the created one instead. The folder of the account you logged in with is always in use and cannot be edited

    2. Devi riavviare il pc e eseguire il login come amministratore e riprovare. A me ha funzionato. Poi se usi oneDrive una volta fatto il login come utente apri l’app onedrive e imposta la nuova path utente.

  2. For some reason in Windows 11, following this, while it works there are two problems.

    One drive brings an error in each login that it cannot find the old folder.
    I cannot pin anything to taskbar

  3. Tried it in Windows 11, but search in settings is no longer working, cannot search anything in windows settings

    1. That is totally correct, yet all these posts fail to mention that and now you are stuck!! A lot of these so called guru-charlatan just copy from one site some info, yet don’t have clue or never test this themselves.

  4. As soon as I did this in same order my windows icon did not work. I tried to go back and lost windows .. I tried to restore and nothing is working.. even I created another admin user before I started this and its not working either .. this is crazy !!

  5. did not do the make a new account and i did it all in the account i want the folder to rename and now its stuck at preparing windows

  6. Thanks for a great and straightforward set of instructions. That Microsoft would make it so hard to make such a simple change is mind-boggling. I guess there must be some security reason, but obfuscation has never been a useful security strategy!

  7. This broke my windows – cannot open start menu and the windows 11 context menu broke.
    Don’t know if its related to the account being a Microsoft account – but no other way to restore but to reinstall windows.

    Honestly, don’t fucking do this.

    1. You went into safe made, so you can undo the steps to rename back to the original name it was and you will be back to the same condition.

  8. This worked for me, but later on none of the already installed apps can be updated/uninstalled as it looks at the path with the old name and errors out.

  9. I keep getting the error: Cannot edit ProfileImagePath: Error writing the value’s new contents.

    I’m logged out of my main account, logged into a local account I created. I opened command prompt with administrator access. Not really sure what I’m doing wrong here.

  10. This article caused more damage than the problem I was trying to solve.

    Maybe it works for some people, but if like me, your PC was preinstalled with Windows 11, then chances are your desktop and environment are actually romaing, and pointing to OneDrive directories.

    So after going through all the steps.. creating an admin user in order to rename original user, logging back in as original user, and then opening explorer it complained that the Desktop folder didnt exist, every single time I opened it.

    Luckily you can fix this. Open regedit, and navigate to..

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

    Now modify each value to replace each key where the value contains user1, and replace that bit with your new username

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