Changing your Mac’s Computer Name
You can change the identified computer name of a Mac easily from the OS X system settings. This not only changes the Macs computer name, but also what the name of the Mac is as identified by other users on a network, and by default it will adjust the name of the command line prompt in OS X too.
You can change the name of a Mac at any time and for any reason. Changing the computer name of a Mac is really quite simple, and the setting location is within the file sharing portion of system preferences, whether you use file sharing or not. Let’s walk through this easy process, it’s the same in all versions of Mac OS X.
How to Change a Mac Computer Name
- Launch ‘System Preferences’ from the Apple menu in OS X
- Click the ‘Sharing’ icon
- Type in what you want your Mac’s new computer name to be
- Close ‘System Preferences’ for the setting to take effect
Name your Mac whatever you want, but you’ll want to keep it distinguishable from other Mac’s on your network. Also keep in mind that since it’s displayed to other Macs on the same network by default, you’ll want to choose an appropriate name to identify the computer and differentiate it.
Adjusting the Macs name this way will also change what you will see in the remarkably basic “Computer Name” screensaver. Someone recently asked me how to change their Mac’s computer name because they were annoyed by the extra lengthy default in that ‘Computer Name’ screensaver. Although this individual was concerned about their screensaver, changing your Mac’s name is also important because that is how others will find you on a network share, and it’s also what you will see by default in the OS X command line. If you’re a frequent Terminal user you might want to consider how it will look with the default settings in the OS X command line, to do that you just need to launch a new Terminal window and look at the prompt. By default, the computer name appears as part of the prompt name at the command line, though that can be changed too if desired.
Many Mac users probably know how to change their computer name already, but for those who don’t, now you do.