How to Fix the “PC Name Is Invalid” Error on Windows 11

How to Fix the “PC Name Is Invalid” Error on Windows 11

Your PC name is a set of distinctive characters that designate your device from others within a network. Though your PC comes with a default name, changing it to reflect a more personal outlook can make it easily identifiable among other devices.

However, you might run into a problem trying to achieve this. An example is seeing the “PC name is invalid” error message displayed on your screen. This can be quite frustrating to contend with, seeing as it prevents you from renaming your PC.

As a result, this article will examine the factors that could cause this issue, as well as methods to resolve the problem.

What This Error Means and Why You Might Encounter It

The words “PC name is invalid” might imply the nullity of the name you are trying to input into the naming field. But sometimes, not quite literally. The error might come up even when your name meets the character specification, thus, the result of a different problem entirely.

Usually, this error message will indicate something amiss in your PC setting or configuration. Or, it might be an issue with bugs, in which case you might need to update your PC to set things right.

In any case, here are a few preliminary checks you should run before getting into the main fixes:

1. Pending Updates

As mentioned earlier, the problem could arise due to a system bug, keeping your PC from working as it should. Hence, a simple update might be just the fix you need to make renaming your PC possible.

To check for updates on your PC, go to Settings by clicking start or enter the shortcut Win+I. Then, click on Windows Update from the left sidebar.

Screenshot Showing Windows 11 Updates Settings

You’d see a list of pending updates, and you can click on any one of them to install. Once your PC is updated, cycle back to System Settings and try renaming your PC to see if it works.

2. Character Limits and the Use of Special Characters

Screenshot Showing the Rename Your PC Field on Windows 11

Generally, your PC name should be within a 15-character limit, and you are permitted to use only letters, hyphens, or numbers. Thus, using special characters–characters other than alphabets or numerals will invalidate your choice of name. Examples are punctuation marks and symbols.

You should also avoid the use of spaces. As a first step, look back over the name you intend to use and ensure it meets the character specifications. Doing otherwise will necessarily make it impossible to rename your PC.

3. Check if You’re Currently Signed In as an Administrator

Certain modifications and changes can be implemented only at the administrator level, which requires logging into an administrator account on your PC. Renaming your PC is one such case, and using an account without admin rights might be why you are experiencing the problem.

So, one of the things you might want to double-check when you encounter this problem is your account status. To do this, open the start menu and click on the user icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Screenshot Showing Windows 11 Account Settings Menu on the Start Menu

Next, click Change account settings.

Screenshot Showing Windows 11 Accounts Settings

You’ll see the current status of your account beneath your profile details in the top left corner of your screen.

After running the 3 precursory checks above, if your PC is still encountering this error, it might be time to try something else. In cases like this, you can attempt the troubleshooting methods below:

1. Restart Your PC

The first course of action when running into minor computer problems is usually to enable a restart. No doubt, restarting your PC is a great way to refresh your computer and swing things back into action.

As such, If you are facing a problem while trying to rename your PC, consider using the restart button to restore normalcy on your computer. Also, this will help install any pending updates (if you haven’t done that already).

To restart your PC, click the Start icon and then the power icon at the bottom right of the menu. Hit restart, and wait for your PC to come back on.

Screenshot Showing Windows 11 Power Off Options on the Start Menu

2. Create a New User Account

If the error doesn’t clear away still, you can try creating a new account (with administrative rights), then attempt renaming your PC.

Do this by locating the Control panel through the search bar on your Taskbar.

Screenshot Showing the Control Panel

Next, click on User Accounts.

Screenshot Showing User Accounts Settings on the Control Panel

Then, click Add or remove user accounts.

Screenshot Showing How to Add a New User Account in the Control Panel

After this, click Add a new user in PC settings.

Screenshot Showing Windows 11 Accounts Settings (2)

Finally, click the Add account icon.

3. Disable Preference Sync Across Your Devices

The preference settings sync is one important feature Windows offers. When using multiple devices with your Microsoft account, your preferences and settings are harmonized across your devices without having to reconfigure each one individually.

Though helpful, it could also present a potential problem when renaming your PC, so you might consider turning this off while you do so.

To do this, go to Settings > Accounts > Windows Back-up.

Screenshot Showing Windows 11 Sync Settings

Afterward, toggle off the Remember my preferences option to disable sync.

4. Use Windows PowerShell

Lastly, you can resolve the “PC name is Invalid” error by running a command on Windows PowerShell. In the search bar, type in Windows PowerShell, and once the app comes up, select Run as Administrator.

Screenshot Showing Windows Powershell in the Search Bar

Once you’ve clicked Yes in the confirmation dialogue, PowerShell will come up. Then, type in the command Rename – Computer – NewName “New name” where the words in quotes are replaced with the name you intend to rename your PC.

For example, if I wanted to rename my PC “MakeUseOf”, I’d type Rename-Computer -NewName “MakeUseOf” as shown below:

Screenshot Showing Powershell Command to Rename PC

Personalizing Your Windows 11 Experience Made Easy

Renaming your PC is vital, even more so when you work within a network of computers. Not only is it a great way to personalize your PC, but it also makes it easier to distinguish among other devices. But what happens when you run into an error trying to do so?

We’ve featured possible reasons why the Invalid Name error might come up on your computer and, equally, quick fixes to help make this change possible. Needless to say, the process doesn’t have to be disrupted by this error; following the instructions above will make all the difference.