How to change the device name of your iPhone or iPad over-the-air (OTA)

How to change the device name of your iPhone or iPad over-the-air (OTA)

With iOS 5 going PC-free, you can now change the name of your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad right on the device itself. That's right, no more connecting via USB to iTunes on the desktop or fighting sync to get it done. With just a few taps in one app, you can now make sure your device has a memorable name for everything from iCloud backup and restore to Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot tethering.

A unique, easily identifiable device name is a great way to make sure you can always pick out your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad from a crowd, especially if that crowd is multiple devices in your own family.

How to change the device name of your iPhone or iPad over-the-air (OTA)

The device name is how everything from iTunes to iCloud, Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot to iPhoto identifies your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Tap on the General tab at the bottom left.
  3. Tap About at the top right.
  4. Tap on the Name at the top right.
  5. Change the text to reflect the name you want.
  6. Tap Done on the keyboard.

That's it. From now on when you go to Personal Hotspot, iCloud backups, etc. you'll see your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad listed under its brand new name.

How to change the device name of your iPhone or iPad using iTunes

If you have problems, want to go old school, or simply feel more comfortable changing the name of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using iTunes, you can still do that as well.

How to get more help with iCloud and PC-free

If you still need help with setting up your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, or any other iCloud or PC-free feature, head on over to our iCloud Forum and ask away!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 5 comments. Add yours.

SockRolid says:

Thanks Rene! I have always wondered if changing my iPhone's name would cause complications, but there weren't any. Didn't even cause any problems with Xcode device provisioning.

Keirp says:

I don't think this is what apple means by OTA. Changing your devices name on the device doesn't really sound like over-the-air in my opinion.

USTommyMC says:

You beat me to the punch but I concure your opinion. I was thinking this was about changing your iDevice's name remotely or Over-The-Air.

JPiLLa says:

ahem, Rene, it's actually the new iPad, not the iPad 3...

Dennis Legaspi says:

Thanks. I've tried all this and it already shows up with my new assigned name under settings.
But when I emailed something to myself (a video) it still showed up under the original name. Any ideas why and what I should do?