Change Your Mac’s Name on Lion or Snow Leopard

Here is how to change your Mac’s name. This method works on both OS X Lion and Snow Leopard.

Your Mac’s computer name is used to identify it on the network. By default, other computers will see your Mac as something like “Tasman Hayes’s MacBook Air“. I like to change it to something simple like “tazair“.

To change the Mac’s name:

  1. Click the Apple menu at the top and choose System Preferences…
  2. Click the Sharing icon. (It’s in the Internet & Wireless section, third row down.)
  3. In the Computer Name field, type your Mac’s new name.
  4. Click the red cross in the top left corner of the window. This will close the Sharing preferences window and apply your Mac name change.

Did you know in geek speak the Mac computer name is called a host name, or hostname?This is because Mac OSX’s was developed in part from Unix, which uses this term.

Tested on Mac OS X Lion 10.7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 (10.6.7, 10.6.8).

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2 Responses to Change Your Mac’s Name on Lion or Snow Leopard

  1. Bud Simrin says:

    In Snow Leopard and earlier, the Terminal prompt would display My-iMac:~bud$ where My-iMac is my computer name. But in Lion, my prompt uses the computer’s hardware address instead. That is, it prompts with unknown34ce6f4c0ea5:~bud$ . I understand that the hardware MAC address is also a way to refer to the computer name, but I hate looking at this awful prompt. Is there any way I can change the prompt to use the computer name?

  2. KellyVanRijn says:

    I just set up a new iMac (Lion) and an Time Capsule/AirPort. The problem is, I just went with the default setups and now my name shows up as the network name for everybody to see. I understand how you can change the name of the computer, but don’t see anywhere where I can change or hide the name of the network. Help!

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