Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to change the text of “My Computer” to something else

Have you ever wanted to change the text of the My Computer desktop icon in Windows imageXP (or Computer desktop icon in Windows Vista or Windows 7) to something else, such as the computer name or the login ID of the currently logged on user? Well, if you do a lot of remote support like I do it is very helpful to have this information right in front of a customer’s face. One of the first things that a help desk usually asks is the name of the customer and the name or asset tag of the computer. Having this information right in front of the customer’s face can help cut down time the helpdesk is on the phone with a customer. And for help desk personnel, it can be helpful to have the computer name or user name right on the desktop if you are switching between multiple remote connection windows.

Here is how to make the change in Windows XP:

  1. Open REGEDIT
  2. Navigate to [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}]
  3. Change the LocalizedString value to your desired text string. Below are some examples of what you can place in this value box.
    1. Display the text “Computer”, following the computer name:
      Computer – %computername%
    2. Display the Computer’s name and the login ID of the user currently logged on:
      %username% on %computername%
    3. Display the text My Computer and the user name:
      My Computer – %username%
    4. Display the current date and the computer name:
      %DATE% – %COMPUTERNAME%

Here is how to make the change in Windows 7:

  1. Open REGEDIT
  2. Navigate to [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}]
  3. Right click on the folder, choose permissions.
  4. Click Advanced, then the Owner tab.
  5. Change the owner of this permission to your own user account, then click OK, then OK again to save.
  6. Change the LocalizedString value to your desired text string. Use the examples above.

You will notice that this registry fix changes the My Computer text in every place on the Windows computer (the desktop icon, the Start Menu, and in Windows Explorer). I hope this little hack helps you out!

- Joe