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Change the My Computer Icon in Windows 7

written by: John Garger•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 12/27/2010

My Computer has been the default name of the icon for accessing a Windows-based computer’s drives and network since Windows 95 was released about 15 years ago. Read this article if you want to change the name of the My Computer icon on the Windows 7 desktop.

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    Since Windows 95, the icon that gives you access to your hard drives, optical drives, floppy drives, network and a whole lot more has been named My Computer. When first released, many people were not thrilled that Microsoft chose such a kitschy name.

    Luckily, users of the Windows operating system have always had the opportunity to change the name of the My Computer icon to anything they want. If you are like most people, you find it convenient to store the My Computer icon on the Windows 7 desktop. Read on to learn how to place the icon on the desktop (if you haven’t already) and rename it to anything you want.

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    Show My Computer on the Windows 7 Desktop

    Show My Computer on Desktop To display the My Computer icon on the Windows 7 desktop, begin by clicking on the Start Menu and locating My Computer on the right hand side of the menu. Right click on My Computer and select Show on Desktop.

    That’s it. Now you can look for the My Computer icon on your personal desktop. Keep in mind, however, that this change is only in effect for your account. Other people who have accounts on your computer won’t see the My Computer icon on their desktops unless they too follow the procedure above.

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    Change the Name of My Computer

    Now that you have the My Computer icon on your desktop, you can change it to anything you want. To change its name, right click on My Computer on the desktop and select Rename. You can rename the icon to anything you want. About the only limits you have is that the name must be 255 characters or fewer and the name cannot contain any of the following characters:

    \ / : “ < > |

    These characters are reserved for special functions and naming conventions in Windows 7 and cannot be used to name any file including the My Computer icon and other regular files such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc. files.

    Notice that when you change the name of My Computer on the desktop, it doesn’t take immediate effect for the other places My Computer is stored. Click on Start and notice that the icon is still named My Computer on the Start Menu. The name change will take effect once you log out and log back in or if you were to restart Windows 7.

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    Changing the name of the My Computer icon on the desktop involves first making sure that the icon is visible on the desktop. Then you can simply rename the icon just as you would any other file on your desktop. However, the changes in other places My Computer shows up won’t take effect until you either log out or restart your computer.