Finding your Username in Windows

(or “What’s in a Name?”)


Username vs Display Name

You may think you know your Windows username, and you might be right. We have found oftentimes though, that people’s usernames are not what they think they are.


This is NOT my username.
This is NOT my username.
Most people think that their username is whatever it says on the “Welcome” screen when they log into their computers in the morning. The fact is that this is actually their Display Name. There used to be restrictions on the number and type of characters you could have in a Username. In order to get around this Microsoft invented the Display Name, basically a pretty version of a username that sits on top of things. They also use it in the Start Menu.

Also, not my username
Also, not my username

Step 1

There are a few ways to get your actual username. The easiest way is to run the command whoami in a command prompt. The first step is to click on the start button and type cmd and then press the enter key.


Windows 7                                                 Windows 8/10

Step 2

In the black box that comes up type whoami and then press the Enter key. The response is your fully qualified Username.

Step 3

Let’s break that Fully Qualified Username down. “Win7-virt” is either my computer or domain name. This is important because if you’re in a domain your computer probably has both local as well as domain accounts. “sysadmin” is my username. If we asked you for your username, you should probably read us the whole thing.