Understanding Computer Names

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 9, 2017)

1

When you first start a computer with Windows installed on it (or when you first install Windows on an existing computer), you are asked to provide a name by which the computer will be known. Your computer's name is used to differentiate it from other computers on a network. The name can also be a help to other people on your network, so that they can identify your system.

In small networks, it is not unusual to give computers a name related to the person using the computer. For instance, I have a computer named "Allen" and another named "AllenLaptop." Computers might also be named according to their purpose, such as "AccountsReceivable" or "Shipping." These are just suggestions, however: What you name computers (and any conventions you may follow within your organization) is entirely up to you.

The key thing about computer names is that they must be unique within the network to which they are attached. This is why I have computers named "Allen" and "AllenLaptop": Because I cannot have two of them named "Allen."

In addition, there are some restrictions on what characters can be included within a computer name. You may have figured that out because I have a computer named "AllenLaptop" instead of "Allen Laptop." The reason is because you cannot use a space in a computer name. You also cannot use a quote mark ("), a comma, or any of the following: /\[]:;|+=?*_.

In order to change the name of your computer, check out this tip: Changing a Computer's Name.

 This tip (13166) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using Extend Mode

One of the most overlooked shortcut keys in Word has to be the extend key. Yet, learning how to use this simple key can ...

Discover More

Creating Scenarios

Excel allows you to create different scenarios for the data in your worksheet. These can be saved and managed using the ...

Discover More

Finding the Sum of a Sequential Integer Range

In mathematics, the sum of a range of sequential integers, starting with 1, is known as a triangular number or Gaussian ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Customizing What Appears on the Right Side of the Start Menu

You're probably used to seeing your Start menu appear a certain way. But is it the most effective display for how you ...

Discover More

Modifying the General Startup Process

Having problems getting Windows to start properly? You can try to track down what is causing the problem by using the ...

Discover More

Disabling Automatic Updates

If you don't like that Windows automatically downloads and applies updates in the middle of the night, you can gain some ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 - 1?

2017-10-09 06:26:31

Tom Van Dam

I work in a smaller company (60 people) with about 35 computers. We started naming computers based on the user but as we grew and a computer was moved to another person to give the original user an upgraded computer, the names became cumbersome. I know just use the initials of the company and a number (USA01, 02, etc.). This works effectively for us and I can put the user name in the description of the computer on the domain.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.