Changing your Mac’s Computer Name
Want to change the name of your Mac computer? You can change the identified computer name of a Mac easily from the Mac OS system settings. This not only changes the Macs computer name, but it also changes what the name of the Mac is as identified by other users on a network, and by default it will adjust the name shown at the command line prompt in Mac OS 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 to change the name of a Macintosh, you will find it’s the same in all versions of Mac OS X.
How to Change a Mac Computer Name
- Go to the Apple menu and launch ‘System Preferences’
- 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 the Mac computer name is 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 from others.
The default naming convention for a Mac is usually something like “Username’s Computer”, for example “Paul’s MacBook Air” or “Bob’s iMac”. Whether or not you want to leave a personally identifying name within the computer name is up to you, but if the Mac is frequently on a network with other Macs and other computers, naming the Mac something obvious is generally a good idea. One common approach for naming Macs, computers, and hardware in general is to label it quite literally as according to the model of the computer itself, something like “Retina MacBook Pro 15” or similar. You’ll find that many corporate network naming schemes are often less legible with names like
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 Mac OS command line.
Another thing to think about when changing the name of the Mac is the command line. If you’re a frequent Terminal user you might want to consider how it will look with the default settings in the Mac OS 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 separately from the general computer too if desired.
Many Mac users probably know how to change their computer name already, but for those who don’t, now you do.