Changing Name in Windows 8.1

How to Fix Name Display in Windows 8.1 when you Rename Microsoft Account Name

There are two types of accounts in Windows 8. One is the local account which is created on your computer and second is the linked account or the account which is created using your Microsoft or Live account. The later is set up when you first signed up on your PC with a Microsoft account. Creating a Windows account using your Microsoft account brings in tons of features like seamless sync and Skydrive integration, many of you who never happened to have internet during the setup might have just used the local account option.

Problem: Windows 8.1 accounts which are connected to online account does not have rename account option. This can be done by changing the name in your online account but sometimes it does not sync. You will have remove the connection and reconnect again to fix this problem.

Changing Name in Windows 8.1

How to change:

Now one of the odd thing which I have noticed with online connected accounts  is that there is no option to change the name of the user. Many of you might have always kept some funny names or even names of your super star but since everything is synced online, you have no option to change it directly from your PC. Now if you want to change it, follow the steps below:

  • Go to your Microsoft Account Page here
  • Look for an option which says “Edit Display Name”, Click on that.
  • Next Edit your First and Last Name there. Remember, First name has a bigger display area compared to last name on Start Screen.
  • Done that, the name should start appearing on Start Screen in sometime.

Now it may so happen that the change in name does not get reflected immediately and might take sometime or it may never happen. Follow up the steps below to fix this situation.

How to fix (Reflect Name Change)

In case it doesn’t, I will suggest you to restart your machine and see if the change gets reflected. If this doesn’t workout, lets fire up the nuke button.

  • Go to Start Screen and select your account on top right.
  • Choose Change Picture and this will take you to account settings.
  • Right here select Disconnect. This step will take you though many steps and might also prompt for password.
  • Next it will warn you about what you will lose and then create a local account with new password.
  • Once done, you will have to repeat the everything but this time choose connect to Microsoft account.
  • During this process, use the same MS account which was used before.
  • Now your name will reflect properly if you changed.

This step can be used every time you think the name is not getting synced properly.


Now there is one major problem here. Since this is an online account, the name change gets reflected across connected services and though you wanted to only change the display name in Windows 8.1 Account, it has reflected everywhere.

9 thoughts on “How to Fix Name Display in Windows 8.1 when you Rename Microsoft Account Name

  1. Jim

    I am running Win 8.1 repeat 8.1. I want to change both the local account user name and the online windows account name which is used on the Start screen. Your article addresses the latter issue. However, when I try to change the online name (which is used for the Start screen) will not let me leave without filling in the last name. My goal is to change the user account name from ‘Joe Blow’ to just Joe. I cannot seem to accomplish either. Any advice on either task?

  2. interested reader

    These instructions do not work with 8.1. I just want to change the user name that appears in the folder system, not on the start screen. Can’t find how to do that.

    1. john

      Exactly, interested reader. My online account name is listed in the folder system, in addition to my local user account name, but it does not appear as a User in my Accounts. I want only one Account on my computer, and I want to be able to rename it. Can I be any more clear?

  3. ComputerUser

    Same problem here and my expert son has been helping and we still have failed, My silly on line name is all over this computer. I want nothing linked or synched and Microsoft are forcing all these connections left right and centre and will make mockery of me next time I give a legal talk using this new laptop!

  4. Jim Jackson

    Hello, on my W8.1 laptop, no username or any account details appear on my Start screen. Only the Search icon appears in top right corner. Why is this and is there a fix? Fyi, Windows update is on so I assume any recent updates for this to happen have been installed.


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