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How to rename a sound device on Windows 10

Sound devices connected to your PC show up with generic names. Often the name will just be something that tells you what driver you’re using for the sound card on your PC. If you use more than one sound device on your Windows 10 PC, a friendlier name might be better. You can rename an audio device pretty easily on Windows 10. This can be done from both the Control Panel and from the Settings app. The change you make will be reflected across both.

Rename sound device

There is one of two ways to get to the correct setting. Right-click the sound/speaker icon in the system tray and select ‘Open sound settings’ from the context menu. If you want to navigate from the Settings app, open it and go to the System group of settings. Select ‘Sound’.

You will see your input and output devices listed separately. Under each, you will see a ‘Device properties’ option. Click it under the device you want to rename. On the Device Properties screen, you will see a name field. Click inside it and enter a new name for the device. Click the ‘Rename’ button.

The new name will show up when you click the speaker/audio/sound icon in the system tray.

If you want to change it from the Control Panel, open it and select Hardware and Sound, and click Sound. Select the device that you want to rename on the Recording or Playback tab, and click the Properties button at the bottom (or right-click a device and select Properties from the context menu).  In the window that opens, go to the General tab and you will see a text input field. Enter a new name for the device, and then click Apply. The device’s name will be updated in the Control Panel and in the Settings app, as well as in the sound panel.

Generally speaking, the device name should stick. If you change the driver you’re using for your sound card, it is highly likely that the name of the device will change. In all other cases, i.e., if you update the current driver, the name of the device won’t change. There’s no option to reset the name of a device back to its default name but the name doesn’t have much of an impact as far as controlling audio goes. You can use it to identify and switch between devices but other than that, it doesn’t do much.

If you have a Bluetooth audio device that you want to rename, you might not be able to rename it from the Settings app or from the Sound settings in the Control Panel. It depends on the device itself but if you’re unable to rename it from the sound settings, you can rename it the way other Bluetooth devices are renamed.

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