How to pimp out your account name in Windows 8.1

So check it out:

I was reading an article the other day about DNA profiling and how each and every person on the planet is unique. Unless you’re an identical twin, your DNA sequence is sui generis, one-of-a-kind, completely unlike any other person’s DNA code.

That’s pretty amazing so I started thinking…

If every individual is different shouldn’t our software reflect that truth?

Sure, people customize their desktops and tweak their settings but I wanted to know if there was a way to personalize the account name field in Windows 8 and 8.1.

Whenever you log into your computer with a Microsoft Account, your first and lastname appears in the upper right corner of the screen next to your account picture.

That’s fine for most people; however, you’re not most people and therefore should have a special phrase here that reflects your uniqueness.

I think the conventional first name, last name format is utterly insipid and quite dull.  That’s why today I’m going to show you how to add a little tagline under your name so you can set yourself apart from the crowd.

Tricking Windows

We need to trick Windows because technically it only provides fields for your firstname and lastname.  There’s no tagline field.

Log into Windows with your Microsoft Account then click your name in the upper right corner and choose Change account picture.

Change your Account Picture

In the right pane under your name click the blue More account settings online link.

This will flip open a browser window that will let you log into your Microsoft account so you can change your display name.

View more account settings online

The full spectrum of Microsoft account settings live here.  But we only care about your display name so in the right pane choose Edit display name.

Microsoft Account Settings

Now you need to unleash your creative genius.

You can put anything you want here but if you put your full name in the first name field you can make the last name field function like a tagline.

Edit Display Name

Unfortunately you can’t put some symbols in the last name field.  For example, I wanted to add my Twitter account @fixedByVonnie to this field but since people can’t have @ at symbols in their lastnames Microsoft denies my request.

You can still put apostrophe’s and dashes though so keep experimenting with different things until you enter something Microsoft likes.

You might get an error after saving the changes, if so just click Save again and it should go away.

Microsoft Account Temporary Error

Making it all work

Now to make everything work you’ll have to perform a few account switching maneuvers… that are pretty annoying but are necessary.

We need to reboot and login with a local account.  Then we need to logout our local account and sign back into our Microsoft account.

This sounds stupid but it’s the only way I was able to force Microsoft to realize I changed my name.  I guess you could wait to see if it happens by itself; however, impetuous people like myself don’t have time for that.

You can login to a local account by pressing the Windows Key and typing:

your account settings

then click the blue Disconnect link beneath your Microsoft Account name.  You’ll be prompted to enter your Microsoft account password then you’ll see an option to either create a new account or sign-in with an existing account.

Create Windows 8.1 Local Account

Click Sign out and finish

Switch to a local account

In a few moments the login screen appears.  Now you can login with your local account password.

Login to your local account

Go back to your account settings and click Connect to a Microsoft Account

Connect to a Microsoft Account

You’ll see a screen to enter your current password and Microsoft account credentials.

Microsoft will also ask you to verify the last four digits of the phone number you have registered with Microsoft. After a few seconds you’ll see a text message on your phone with a 7 digit code.

Yes, yes I know this is a pain but once you enter the code you’ll see your new tagline on the Start Screen beneath your name.

New Account Name Windows 8.1

Now, wasn’t that worth it?

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Posted in Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: ,