How to Enable the Built-In Administrator Account in Windows 10

Posted on October 29, 2015 by Daniel Petri in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

After completing the Windows 10 installation, you’ll be asked to enter a username that will be used as the primary user account for this system.

Building on the online, cloud-based momentum that started in Windows 8, Microsoft encourages Windows 10 users to log on to the system using a cloud-based Microsoft Online user account, which is typically one that uses [email protected] domain. This is true for home users and those not logging on with their organizational user account.

Once that new user is created using the welcome wizard, he or she is automatically added to the local built-in Administrators group and has full administrative permissions on the local system. This same user can also be used for any local management task.

Like in past versions of Windows, the original built-in administrator’s account is disabled by default. Furthermore, this account is not associated with any password.

However, there may be situations where one would like to use the built-in administrator account instead of the new user.

Warning: Because the built-in administrator account does not have a password, enabling it without properly setting a password for the account will open a serious security flaw on your system!

There are two methods of enabling the built-in administrator’s account.

1. Using the Local Users and Groups MMC Snap-in

Follow these steps to enable the built-in administrator’s account by using the Local Users and Groups snap-in:

Open Local Users and Groups by typing lusrmgr.msc in the Start search box or in the Run command and pressing ENTER.

Opening Local Users and Groups in Windows 10. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Opening Local Users and Groups in Windows 10. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Or, you could open Computer Management by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Computer Management.

Opening Computer Management in Windows 10. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Opening Computer Management in Windows 10. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Alternatively, you can also do this by right-clicking on This PC in Windows Explorer and selecting Manage.

File explorer in Windows 10. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

File explorer in Windows 10. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Expand System Tools > Local  Users and Groups > Users.

Notice how the built-in administrator’s account is disabled.

Right-click the administrator account and select Set Password.

Setting password in Windows 10. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Setting password in Windows 10. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

In the Set Password for Administrator dialog, click Proceed.

Proceeding with the password change. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Proceeding with the password change. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

In the Set Password for Administrator dialog, enter the administrator’s desired password twice, and click OK to confirm.

Entering a new password for the administrator's account. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Entering a new password for the administrator’s account. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

A dialog box pops up to let us know that the password has been set successfully. Click OK.

The password has been set successfully. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The password has been set successfully. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

To enable the administrator’s account, right-click the administrator’s account and select Properties.

Selecting properties for the administrator's account. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Selecting properties for the administrator’s account. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Uncheck the Account is disabled checkbox. You can also select the User must change password at next logon or the Password never expires checkboxes, depending on your needs. Click OK to confirm your settings.

Setting properties for the administrator account. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Setting properties for the administrator account. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The administrator’s account is now enabled and configured with a password.

If you attempt to log on to the system now, you’ll see that the administrator is now a logon option on the sign-in page.

The ability to log on as the administrator is now available. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The ability to log on as the administrator is now available. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

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2. Using the Command Prompt

A second method to enable the built-in administrator’s account is to use the command prompt.

1. Open the Start menu and type CMD, It is best to run the command prompt as an administrator. To do so, don’t click on CMD, instead, right-click it, and select Run as administrator.

Running the command prompt as the administrator. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Running the command prompt as the administrator. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

An easy way to open CMD is to right-click the Start button and select Command Prompt (Admin).

An alternative method for running the command prompt as an administrator. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

An alternative method for running the command prompt as an administrator. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

When prompted, click Yes to allow the Command Processor to run.

Confirming that you want to make changes to the PC. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Confirming that you want to make changes to the PC. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

In the Command Prompt window, type and enter:

Although you might notice that the administrator account is here, notice how the new user account has not yet been created.

To set the administrator’s account password, type and enter:

Next, enter the desired password and confirm it.

To enable the administrator’s account:

Entering the desired administrator's password in the command prompt. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Entering the desired administrator’s password in the command prompt. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The administrator’s account is now enabled and configured with a password.

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If you attempt to log on to the system now, you’ll see that the administrator is now a log on option on the sign-in page.

The ability to log on as the administrator is now available. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The ability to log on as the administrator is now available. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

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