Rename a client on an Essentials network

Dont PanicI see this question crop up a lot, and people can get themselves tied up in knots second guessing the Essentials Dashboard.  The key thing to remember is DON’T PANIC, as our dear friend Arthur Dent was often told.

Firstly, why do you want to rename your pc? Actually scratch that, you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have a good reason. (Obviously)

Secondly, how are you planning to do this? Because, stop right now.. thank you very much. (excuse the Spice Girls reference)

For todays lesson i will be starting with a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Server, and two clients, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

As you can see here in the Dashboard our clients are helpfully, if not unoriginally named as their respective Operating Systems.


I will start with the Windows 7 machine, hopefully you know how to reach system properties and the computer rename area.

Windows 7 Rename

Of course we need to reboot our Client PC for it to rename itself.

After a reboot lets go to the Dashboard. Magic! It has updated it’s new name.


Just for fun ill update the description as well, which does not require a reboot on the client, however we will perform another reboot on this pc just to refresh all of the Essentials services.


Again, Magically shortly after a reboot the Dashboard reflects the changes.


Could it be just that simple for Windows 8? Yes.


So what about the older versions of Essentials does this method work?

Server 2012 Essentials Yes!
SBS 2011 Essentials Yes!

As always, hope this saves you some time.

About Robert Pearman
Robert Pearman is a UK based Small Business Server enthusiast. He has been working within the SMB IT Industry for what feels like forever. Robert likes Piña colada and taking walks in the rain, on occasion he also enjoys writing about Small Business Technology like Windows Server Essentials or more recently writing PowerShell Scripts. If you're in trouble, and you can find him, maybe you can ask him a question.

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