How to change the name of your Mac computer in 4 steps, so that it's easier to find on your local network and AirDrop


Macbook Air

  • You might want to change your Mac’s name so that it’s easier to find on your local network, which can be useful for things like AirDrop.
  • Changing your Mac’s name can also make your computer feel more customized to your preferences.
  • The name you assign will also be your Mac computer’s hostname for devices that use Apple’s Bonjour networking technology.
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Every Mac computer has a name. Your Mac’s name can be important for transferring files, such as through AirDrop, or for finding it on your local network. 

It’s easy to add or change the name of your Mac using a few steps.

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Why should you change the name of your Mac?

There are several reasons why you might want to change the name of your Mac. If your computer is a hand-me-down, it might have the name of the previous owner on it and you probably want to change it to your name. 

If your Mac has a non-descriptive name such as “computer” or no name at all, it may be hard to find it when you want to send or share files.

If you have more than one computer, each should have a name that clearly identifies it so that you can tell them apart. You might do this by naming them for the model, such as “MacBook Air,” “iMac,” etc.

You might want to add your name, to differentiate your computer from others in your home that belong to other users. If multiple computers on your network have the same name, Apple will automatically add a number to the end of the name. 

Best practice, however, is to give each Mac its own unique name.

How to change the name of your Mac

It’s ridiculously easy to change the name of your Mac — once you know where to look, that is.

1. Click on the Apple icon on the upper left corner of your Mac screen. Select System Preferences from the dropdown menu.

How to change Mac name

2. In the System Preferences window, select the blue “Sharing” folder.

How to change Mac name

3. In the “Sharing” window, simply click into the text box next to “Computer Name” at the top and enter your new computer name.

How to change Mac name

4. Once you exit the Sharing window, your computer’s hostname will automatically change to match your new computer name. The hostname is an address (your-Mac.local) that devices equipped with Apple’s Bonjour networking software use to recognize and connect to your computer. You can manually edit your hostname by clicking the Edit button under the Computer Name field.

How to change Mac name

  • The hostname must contain only letters and dashes.
  • If you manually edit the hostname, it won’t change when you change your computer name. However, you don’t need to worry about this. Your printers and other devices should be able to communicate seamlessly with your Mac, even if you change its name several times.


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