Change OS X Computer Name

I finally figured how to change the annoying “Matthew-Mullenwegs-Computer” hostname and such: System Preferences › Sharing › Computer Name. This seems easy but since Simon didn’t know it either I thought I’d share.

49 thoughts on “Change OS X Computer Name

  1. Hopefully it’ll be a lot easier in Tiger when you could just search for “computer name” in System Preferences and it would tell you where to change it.

  2. Wow, sorry I didn’t catch you were looking for that, I could have given you the answer in 2 seconds! And yeah things are much easier everywhere in Tiger. I am now using it as my everyday OS at home and it is pretty snazzy. Spotlight rocks my socks off as they say.

    Oh and I am serving my site and 4 others right now on that iMac running Tiger.

  3. Thanks for posting – much faster to find you via google than to search through my own system :)

  4. Very obscure place to put it :)

    Thanks for the tip, I too found it through Google and as a new Mac user am very happy to have found it at last :D

  5. yeah, w/out saying too much it was in the last place i’d have looked for it, too.. lol.. glad it’s done though

  6. Sharing == Computer Name?! Nice one Apple. Nevermind I was just trying to ping an iMac, not share anything on it :P I couldn’t even find the answer to this in OSX Help so thanks for the tip, haha…

  7. I’ve been struggling with this for a week or so. Thanks! :-)

    Love me some 12″ Powerbook! It’s now called: “Glacier of Thought”

  8. Yeah. I found it by googling too, but the spotlight trick (search for “computer name”) does work to find it in Tiger.

  9. Works in Tiger 10.4.8, just reinstalling my old PowerMac dual G4 to put it in the loft for my children to possibly use when they’re older.

    It seems so obvious now.

  10. I kept poking around the Network settings since I was seeing the computer over a network. Thanks for the tip (google got me here too:)

  11. TYVM. I’ve finally been able to rid our new system of the name of the foolish IT guy that set up whole system under his name. It’s just too bad he registered all the software under his name as well.

    It’s rather insulting to have product emails forwarded to you from some noob that doesn’t use the system because they are listed as the point of contact.

    Bit by bit his presence shall be eradicated. At least dream about it.

  12. If you have trouble with your DHCP server changing your hostname on you, it can be VERY frustrating to figure out. For increased Googability, I’m posting this here.

    The Leopard way to insure that your hostname doesn’t change on you is:
    sudo hostname my-permanent-name; sudo scutil –set LocalHostName $(hostname); sudo scutil –set HostName $(hostname)

    That should make “my-permanent-name” survive reboots and connections to corporate and hotel networks. However, you may still find the DHCP assigned name used in System Preferences>Sharing if your network has an exceptionally oppressive setup (like my company has).

    1. @RichardBronosky: Thank you for that. My constantly changing hostname would have been simply a minor annoyance if my idiot manager hadn’t insisted we use a ruby script to set the RAILS_ENV in our rails apps. But with his insistence, this is now a major annoyance / minor roadblock as this script stops working every other day.

      SO I am VERY grateful for your comment here. Your decision to post this here did, indeed, increase the Googability of this bit of knowledge. :)

      So three cheers for you! Huzzah! And thanks again. :)

  13. I thought you could not change it… or it would involve a complicated command line procedure… I was wrong. I dont think “sharing” is the logical location to put such a setting though…
    Thanks for the tip

  14. Contrarian view: Sharing is a reasonable location for the computer name, if you consider the computer name means very little until you share it, or at least present it, on a network. What is possibly more confusing is the separate hostname (DNS) and local name (mDNS) settings. As RichardBronosky points out, the hostname (.com, .net, etc.) may change according to a corporate or ISP DHCP server with reserved names, but that will not affect your local name (.local).

  15. wow i’ve loked everywhere, well, almost, computer name on the sharing in preferences… now i renamed my macbook, it had some other persons name, now i can name it whatever i like, and i decided Macbook Snow White (^_^)

  16. THANK YOU!!!!!

    Everyone kept on pointing me to network–advanced–wins–netbios but the change wouldn’t stick.

  17. Thank you for the tip. I’ll try
    it on my Snow Leopard computers.
    One seems to change its name when
    it “wakes up”. Something tells it
    it already exists so it changes its
    name to “hostname (3)” or
    hostname (4)” etc..

  18. Wow! I would have never thought to look there. Thanks for saving me the headache! My terminal prompts are now back under my control.

  19. Still helpful in 2012 :)

    And the best is that right above this post I see the command to do it on the commandline.

    Mine’s called Eden because of the whole bite-the-apple issue.

  20. Still helpful in 2013 AND still valid for OSX 10.8.2!

    Thanks to the OP and to the additional comments that provided more help.

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