Naming Your Computer: How to Do It & Why It Matters

June 26, 2024
laptop with name tag attached that says

One of the tools you will be using daily at work is your computer, and that’s why one of your first onboarding assignments is usually naming your computer. Your computer is an extension of you, your interests, and your work!

At SEP, we like to give our computers a unique name that feels meaningful to each team member. It may feel like a minor detail, but a unique computer name can enhance a sense of ownership, bring creativity, and foster conversation with others!

Why We Name Computers

Before we jump into naming tips, let’s explore why we need to name computers in the first place. The specifics of naming your computer may look different depending on your company, but the benefits make it a best practice.

Benefits of Naming Your Computer

  • It makes it easier for the IT team to track and troubleshoot devices and keep up with updates.
  • It helps in monitoring and managing access control.
  • It means quicker and more efficient support from IT.

Basically, unique names benefit a computer network’s identification. If two machines have the same name, IT can experience communication issues and confusion when identifying them. Not to mention, directories typically do not allow the same hostnames in the same domain.

The SEP Approach to Naming Computers

At SEP, we want each team member to feel connected to their machine. Letting everyone name the machine gives them a sense of ownership of it. Because we do custom software design and development work, each team member’s machine is truly an extension of themselves.

Since there’s no technical difference in the technical setup for custom computer names compared to auto-assigning a name, it’s a natural fit for our team to let everyone choose. If anything, it is more productive when a team member names their own machine versus IT assigning it as “ABC1234.” When Johnny Appleseed names their machine “Macintosh,” IT can more easily identify it as belonging to Johnny Appleseed.

Tips for Naming Your Computer

This guide will help outline naming schemes, some rules, and clarity on naming your computer. Let’s explore the perfect name for your new trusty partner in crime!

💯 Begin with something meaningful.

A good computer name should bring up great memories: “SkyDiving,” something funny, “ByteMe,” maybe your favorite TV or movie character, “R2D2,” or even your favorite food, “Pizza!”

🤏 Make it simple and easy to pronounce and spell.

Your computer will have a label on it with that name, which means people will be able to see the unique name of your computer. Something easy to pronounce will help engage others in your interests.

BONUS BENEFIT: This also helps the IT team identify/pronounce your computer’s name.

✅ Follow formatting guidelines.

When it comes to formatting, be sure to follow any company guidelines provided by IT.

At SEP, we have some basic formatting rules, like:

  • make the name 15 characters or less
  • do not include any spaces or special characters in the name (numbers are permitted), so “Darth Vader” should be submitted as “DarthVader” without the space

🚫 Avoid personal or sensitive names.

Depending on your IT policy, you may need to include some identifiers when naming your computer, such as department codes or your initials. However, at SEP, our policy is to intentionally not include personal identifiers for security purposes.

Our goal in IT is not to be the fun police, but we want to ensure that a device’s name does not have information such as real names, addresses, etc.

😉 Lastly, keep it work-appropriate.

While your computer name is a reflection of you, it’s also a reflection of the company. Be sure to stay appropriate and tasteful, avoiding any words or phrases that could reflect poorly on you or the organization.

With this in mind, I hope you find the best name for your new partner!

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