Change Display Name of a Device

No, we’re NOT talking about renaming the Computer or the Hard drive name.
We are talking about renaming a device like sound card interface, network card, webcam name, or any other device on the windows system.
In this article we are going to rename the webcam. As of now it’s name is “C922 Pro Stream Webcam”. We want to change this to a more specific name as more cameras of the same kind are gonna be attached soon.


So, first thing we want to do is to open up “device manager“.
This can be done in several ways, but to mention two this is how;

  • Hold down the Windows key and press “Pause/Break” key, then you’ll see a link on the left side called “Device Manager”
  • Or, click the start menu button, and start typing “device manager

This will open a window that will list all the devices connected to your computer. It will also list components that’s not working, or is not recognized (Typically named “Unknown Device”).

The category system is quite straight forward so it shouldn’t be hard to navigate in here. The only difficulty that might occur is on the “Unknown” section. Sometimes the system can make out what it is, but not how to use it. In those cases it will be under the correct category, but be named “Unknown”.

Now as that has been sorted out, locate your device that you want to rename. Once you find it, right click it and choose “Properties“.

The device properties window will open. Here all known details of your device will show up like manufacture, driver, driver version, date the driver was made, and the event list of when the device was installed.
What we want to do now is to navigate to the “Details” tab, and click it. Here you should be able to see the Property drop-down list. This is a list with tons of different types of information regarding your device, both useful and useless.
Click the drop-down list, and find the entry called “Driver Key” (you might need to scroll a bit).
Once you find it, click it. Now have a look in the “Value” window.
A key representing the driver that is responsible for the functionality of your device is listed. This key is what we’re after so right click it, and choose “Copy”.

Now here comes to scary or tricky part..
Click on your start menu, and type in “regedit“. This will trigger the computer’s Registry Editor to pop up. This is the tool we need to change the name of our device.
Start the tool and try not to get overwhelmed by all the entries (Unless all the folders are collapsed, then it’s not that bad).

In the Registry Editor window, go to “Edit“, and then to find.

That Driver Key you copied a minute ago; yes that goes into the search field.
Paste the copied key you got from the Device Property window, and click “Find Next

This will do a deep search so be patient as this WILL (most likely) take a bit of time to locate.
But once it’s found you are listed a bunch of different “keys” on the right side of the Registry Editor. What you need to look for is the key called “FriendlyName“. This is a text string that is NOT dangerous to change. Think of it like this: No Friendly name sections are dangerous. They have nothing to do with the underlying functionality to make a device work. It’s just there for us humans to better recognize the object.
Just think about it; what’s easier to remember?
The Driver Key, or the FriendlyName?

Now that this key is found, make sure it’s the “FriendlyKey” key and right click it. Then choose “Modify“.

In the tiny window that pops up you should see the current name of your device. In this case i see that the name is set to the default webcam name for that specific device. This name is erased, and changed to “Camera Digital Brekke“. Once the name has been set to a desired name you click OK, and close the Registry Editor.

Now the last thing to do is to preform a restart on the computer. This will remove the current setting that has been loaded in, and replace it with the new one we just created.
And that’s it.
Open anything that can use your device, and you should see that is has changed to the new name it was given.

Thanks for reading,
and Good Luck!


NB! – NB! – NB! – NB!

DigitalBrekke is not responsible for any damage to your system/software that may occur.
Messing around in Device Manager and Registry Editor without knowledge
could harmĀ  your computer

What you choose to do is on you!