How to enable or disable the hidden Administrator account in Windows 10

In addition to creating the first user account when people boot their fresh Windows 10 installation, there are two more that the users don’t know of. The one that the user creates is the main account. Its purpose is to allow the user to utilize the functions of the system in the best possible way. However, not all functions are available to the user.

We’ve mentioned that there are two more accounts which are the Guest Account and the Administrator Account. The first one, as its name suggests, is meant for users who don’t own the system, in other words, guests. These accounts can’t add additional software or make any permanent changes to the system. They are, sort of, passive. On the other hand, an administrator account can make the best use of everything that the system has to offer. We’ll discuss the method on how to enable the administrator account later. But first, let’s see what the administrator account actually is. More on that in the following section.

What is the Administrator account?

This account is also inactive when a fresh copy of Windows 10 is installed. If the users want to use its functions, they’ll have to enable it by following a specific procedure. This account is a bit different from the regular user account. First of all, this is a built-in administrator account that the users can use in order to troubleshoot specific problems and address them. It has access to more permissions than the account that the users create upon installation. Furthermore, it receives UAC prompts which the other one doesn’t. In a way, it’s far superior to the ordinary user account.

Windows 10 makes it easy for users to manage their accounts and assign permissions. However, only an administrator account has access to these settings. User and guest accounts can’t even access the list of all present accounts. In order to enable an administrator account in Windows 10, the user needs to input several commands.

That means that the user needs to have access to an ‘elevated’ Command Prompt. It’s impossible to activate the administrator account through normal account settings. Therefore, the elevated command prompt is still not available. However, there’s a way to fix that.

Enabling the Administrator account

Even though it sounds like a complicated procedure, it really isn’t. If the users want to enable an administrator account in Windows 10, they need to do the following.

  1. Press the Windows key.
  2. In the dialogue box, type ‘cmd’. That should bring up the Command Prompt.
    Right-click on the result and select the Run as Administrator option.
  3. The users can also hold down the Shift and Ctrl keys before starting the cmd.exe.
  4. In the Command Prompt, type ‘net user’ and hit Enter.
  5. That should display the list of all available accounts on the system, including the administrator one. To activate the administrator command, enter the following line:
  6. Type ‘net user administrator /active:yes’ in the Command Prompt.
  7. There should be a note that says ‘The command completed successfully’. That means that the account is finally enabled.
  8. (Optional) To enable the guest account type ‘net user guest /active:yes’.
  9. Hit Enter.

Changing the Administrator account password

Now that the administrator account is active, the users would want to protect it by setting the password. That is perfectly understandable. Otherwise, anyone who has access to the computer would have access to the account as well. Why go through this hassle just so you could enable it for someone else as well? It makes no sense. So here’s how you can change the password for it.

  1. Open up the Command Prompt.
  2. A password prompt should appear.
  3. Simply type in the password that you want.
  4. Confirm it.

Disabling the Administrator account

Disabling the accounts is almost the same, except the process just goes backwards. Use the following commands:

  1. In the Command Prompt, type ’net user administrator /active:no’.
  2. Additionally, the user can use the following commands. These are completely optional, however.
  3. To display information about the account, use ‘Net user administrator’.
  4. To delete the username, use ‘Net user username / delete’.

Keep in mind that Windows 8 requires a slightly different procedure. The reason for it is because its Command Prompt uses different commands. These methods that were showcased here only work for Enterprise and Professional versions of Windows 10.

Using Local Groups and Users

Enabling the administrator account through the Command Prompt is not the only way to do it. There’s a method for users who avoid using the Command Prompt, and it’s related to local groups and users.

  1. Click the Start Menu to open it.
  2. Type ‘lusrmgr.msc’ and select the result.
  3. Click the Users in the left sidebar.
  4. A list of available accounts should appear on the right side.
  5. Right-click on the Administrator.
  6. Choose Properties.
  7. Uncheck the Account is disabled option.
  8. Click Apply and OK.

Using Security Policies to activate the Administrator account

The last method that we will be presenting is to use the Local Security Policy tool in Windows 10. Here’s what the users need to do.

  1. Open up the Start Menu.
  2. Type secpol.msc in the dialogue box.
  3. Select the Local Security Policy.
  4. Navigate to Security Settings.
  5. Choose Local Policies, then Security Options.
  6. Check the Security Setting to enable the Administrator account status.
  7. If it’s disabled, enable it.
  8. Click OK, and close the tool.

That’s it. Now you know everything that you need to know when it comes to the ways to enable the administrator account in Windows 10.


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