How-To Geek

Enable the (Hidden) Administrator Account on Windows 7, 8, or 10

Many people familiar with prior versions of Windows are curious what happened to the built-in Administrator account that was always created by default. Does this account still exist, and how can you access it?

The account is created in Windows 10, 8, 7, or Vista, but since it’s not enabled you can’t use it. If you are troubleshooting something that needs to run as administrator, you can enable it with a simple command.

Warning: The built-in Administrator account has a lot more privileges than a regular administrator account—privileges that can easily get you into trouble if you use it regularly. We recommend only enabling the built-in Administrator account if you are certain you need it to troubleshoot a specific problem and then disabling it when you are done. If you’re unsure whether you need it, you probably shouldn’t use it at all.

Enable Built-in Administrator Account in Windows

First you’ll need to open a command prompt in administrator mode by right-clicking and choosing “Run as administrator” (or use the Ctrl+Shift+Enter shortcut from the search box).

Note that this works the same in all versions of Windows. Just search for cmd and then right-click on the command prompt icon in the Start menu or Start screen.

If you are in Windows 8.x or 10 you can right-click on the Start button and choose to open a command prompt that way.

Now type the following command:

net user administrator /active:yes

You should see a message that the command completed successfully. Log out, and you’ll now see the Administrator account as a choice. (Note that this screenshot is from Vista, but this works on Windows 7 and Windows 8 and Windows 10)


You’ll note that there’s no password for this account, so if you want to leave it enabled you should change the password.

Disable Built-in Administrator Account

Make sure you are logged on as your regular user account, and then open an administrator mode command prompt as above. Type the following command:

net user administrator /active:no

The administrator account will now be disabled, and shouldn’t show up on the login screen anymore.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/5/15

Comments (340)

  1. Chuma

    What is the difference between the Administrator Account and the regular account? I guess what I’m trying to say is: what can administrator account do that regular account (with UAC turned off) can’t do?

  2. Trebor

    Ive always been told you have to capitalize *Administrator*. Anyway thats how Ive always done it. Ive been using this for months (here come the attacks from the UAC fanatics).

  3. Greg

    Isn’t this a potential major flaw?

    If someone leaves their guest account enabled and you log in, can you then activate the hidden Administrator and thus have admin rights?

  4. Dan

    “Isn’t this a potential major flaw?”
    No. If i remember then somebody has to set a password for the Administrator user when they first install Vista. On some OEM versions I think the Administrator password is automatically set to the password of the initial user. I do not think guest accounts can run UAC because they are not users that can run it.

  5. Sean O'Hara

    What is the difference between the Administrator Account and the regular account? I guess what I’m trying to say is: what can administrator account do that regular account (with UAC turned off) can’t do?

    Probably nothing, but I’d rather get there through legitimate system options than registry hacks, which is the only method I’ve seen for disabling UAC.

    On some OEM versions I think the Administrator password is automatically set to the password of the initial user.

    So what happens with all the people who get a new Vista machine and don’t bother to set a logon password?

  6. Chuma

    Probably nothing, but I’d rather get there through legitimate system options than registry hacks, which is the only method I’ve seen for disabling UAC.
    I disable UAC all the time without registry hacks. I thought there was an option in control panel somewhere…

  7. Phoenix


  8. shinto

    I want to login to hidden administrator from welcome screen can u help me?

  9. andyp114

    administrator password can be changed from command prompt as far as i know: type: net user administrator *
    then it asks for the new password, a confirmation of the new password then says comand completed successfully.

  10. Mary Schmokel

    well, when I go to the command prompt, it defaults to “C:\USERS\[username]>” and I cannot use the command. The system response is :

    “System error 5 has occurred”
    “Access denied”

    I do not have an administrator log on icon at start up and there is no file for it when I use “Start” “Explore”

    did I delete the administrator user account or something?

    How do I fix it?


  11. ladonna

    I am getting the same error message as “Access denied”

  12. Paul

    This link may help explain some of the security issues for above comments, though it’s for mapped drive access:

    If you don’t really need to do this, I’d suggest that you don’t. Security is a tough thing to manage. I suspect that if you follow the registry edits at the link, then you’ll be able to change the Administrator’s password using “net user administrator *”

    I also don’t have a user file structure for Administrator and it doesn’t show in the user list, but it’s there. From the command prompt just type “net user” and Enter. To make it show up during startup I think you can type “net user administrator /active:yes” and Enter.

    Good luck.

  13. Ray

    The Administrator account is the one used by safe mode.

  14. Conway

    A hidden administrator account? That’s just sick…

  15. Kirk M. Schafer

    Several people asked about the difference between the built-in administrator account and the administrator created on Vista setup. Unless you are a very experienced user (more than 5 years in serious technical support) and require very specific access privileges, then the default account should be fine–you will know if you need the built-in administrator when, no matter what you do, you cannot perform an operation–and you will know immediately that this is the problem. Yes, there is a difference, and no, you shouldn’t normally have to worry about it.

  16. Kirk M. Schafer

    To answer other comments, above:

    User names are not case-sensitive for Windows logins, therefore you may type both Administrator and administrator. You can even type AdmINisTRatOR if you wish. In passwords, however, case does matter.

    The built-in administrator has more privileges than the automatic administrator, regardless of UAC. In fact, it has a dangerous amount of privileges, and you should not use it–especially on a new OS with all-new security concerns–unless you know exactly why you need it.

    Greg asked about the “guest” account and Dan answered about the administrator account. The guest account is disabled by default, and the (disabled) administrator is not available for the password to be set. Further, to acquire pseudo-administrative privileges sufficient to enable the built-in administrator, you’d have to be know a pseudo-administrator’s password. Therefore, unless one gives the guest account administrator privileges, assuming the security policies hold appropriately, this is not an issue.

    I am currently typing this message on a (fixed) Vista Business machine while configuring two new Vista Premium machines. I cannot speak for some OEM’s setting the built-in password to be the same as the first-created user, since I have not yet run into this, but all three of these machines failed to do so — it was blank. I would be…disappointed if some OEM’s did this, by the way…because that would make these machines a little bit difficult to support.

    UAC is indeed accessed through Control Panel. Start | Control Panel | User Accounts | User Accounts (yes, again) | Turn User Account Control on or off. You may, however, want to wait for the official release of SP1 in a few weeks; they’ve apparently addressed nuisance factors in UAC.

    People who don’t set logon passwords find that they cannot, for example, create schedule tasks, use file sharing appropriately, and/or access their computer from a network. These aren’t necessarily bad things, but it’s a little non-intuitive if you don’t realize what’s happening.

    For the person who wants to login to the hidden administrator…was the article unclear? Follow the instructions carefully and you should be fine. If you are trying to “break in” to the built-in administrator from an account that does not have administrative privileges…why don’t you have access to an appropriate account?

    For those of you receiving “access denied” errors, you may not be starting the command prompt properly. Many times these problems can be resolved by taking a closer look at the instructions and trying again.

    On previous versions of Windows, starting in Safe Mode was one of the easiest ways to reveal the built-in administrator, but on Vista, if the account is disabled you cannot use it to access safe mode. While this may lead some of you to conclude that “if my account ever gets corrupted I’d like that administrator around,” a better solution would be to create a second administrator and only login to it once (to setup the profile), then have the discipline to use it only when something bad happens to your main account. You can then enable the built-in if you absolutely need it, but you’ll probably get all the privileges you need from your backup account.

    I believe the comment about setting the password at the prompt is accurate, and with that, I think that’s all of them. Good luck, folks.

  17. tim

    i did this and got a system 5 error has occurred access is denied , error message,

  18. Andrew

    To resolve the “access denied, system 5 error”, simply run the command prompt as an administrator.

    (Right-click Command Prompt, then click Run as Administrator.)

  19. cari

    thank you so much! this fixed all my problems! i was never able to install updates because i wasnt the administrator, and now my computer is running great! thanks again!

  20. James The G

    I know about this super Administrator but i need the normal administrator password to get to the super Administrator. I think it might be because the only account i can access is guest but is there any solution please help.

  21. Helen

    I’ve got Windows Vista Business and the only account I have is an account which has guest privilege only – meaning I can’t use Run As Administrator, nor can I install anything … Everytime I try run as Administrator it wants a password – which I don’t have ….. HELP????

  22. Ron

    If I do a “right” click and do “Run as” for the command prompt I am unable to enter a password!!
    Please please please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Mike

    You know how the WindowsXP Log-in window had a function where you could key in ctr+alt+del twice, and have a different login window come up where you could type in the administrator account? Does Vista have anything like this – so instead of going in and manually changing it all the time, could I access a hidden login window, type in the Administrator details and login?

  24. Hannah

    Ugh, I’m having a problem. For some reason (I didnt even know it was possible) my only administrative account has been deleted. I had an additional account set up for my dad, but it has limited privelages. This is currently the only account I can use. When ever I need to do something that requires a password from the administrator, it still pops up, but it dosn’t give me the option of typing in a password. Is their anyway I can recover my missing account, or activate the hidden administrator account without running the cmd as administrator.

  25. fernando

    how can i get the administrator account to show up only in safe mode?

  26. Johan

    This total saga has turned out to be nothing but a total bloody joke for me. Here’s my story. I tried to setup Vista’s Admin Account using the following link:

    [mod removed]

    Anyhow all that part went well and after this I logged off and clicked on the Administrator icon in the start up screen. Now on the start up screen I got an option to log into my previous user account in which works when I enter the password in, but when I applied the password I appled to the changes on how its layed out in the above link, Vista just totally refused it and would not allow me in, no matter how many times I put the password in.

    I even tried the reset password option using a USB Flash Drive and that did not help.

    I mean to simply put it, I’ve setup a Vista Admin account, followed the proper steps and made up a password but sadly when I try to login to Vista under Administrator it all fails.

    Microsoft I am very dissapointed and if worse comes to worse and I got to call MS tech support i will not pay a cent to you lot, you made the error you fix it up, simple as that.

  27. Kirk M. Schafer

    !! IMPORTANT NOTE !! — Especially for Johan, and anyone else passing through…If you use that *other* link (or any other erroneous!! set of instructions out there) where you are told to type:

    C:\> net use administrator activate:yes

    *** YOU WILL SET THE ADMINISTRATOR’S PASSWORD TO “activate:yes” *** and I suspect that you will pay for support, because (and this is not meant to be harsh) this is your mistake–you followed bad instructions, and while that might be someone’s else’s mistake first, it is your responsibility to check the instructions, and it is your responsibility to read the comments.

    In the comments in Johan’s link. Arno Lips says: “step 6 is wrong”, corrects it improperly, leaves out what happens if you don’t correct it, and in the final case it was never fixed by the author–which should be a red flag. Many, many documents on the Internet also have this step, and it is going to cause you problems. For people with bad spelling / careless fingers, anything you type there will be accepted, so if you mis-spelled that last parameter…yikes! Your options are now limited to fairly complex password reset tools (since you will have no reset disk for administrator), making the same typo again or–for most people in this situation–reinstall.

    If you do not care to learn about the problem, skip this paragraph, though I highly suggest you read it if you’re already playing in the command prompt and you didn’t realize the instructions were wrong. At a prompt, if you type “net user /?” you will be shown the help for the “net user” command. Note that the parameter after the user name–if specified–is the password. In Windows, special command instructions almost always exhibit a forward slash (/). (Aside: Linux/Unix utilities ported to Windows frequently use dashes “-“, and you usually get to their help by typing “command –help”). Without the forward slash, you are providing data for the **normal** operation of the command, which at that position sets the password, not “alert net user to a special option.” This is case-in-point my earlier comments about knowing what you’re doing–this means asking the question “what will this command do” and if you don’t know, looking for how you can know.

    So, while step 5 at sets the password (and it should be clear to replace “password” with your own), so does step 6. Unfortunately, even if you added the forward slash, the command should probably be “/active:yes” (as it is–and works–in this article) instead of “/activate:yes”. Don’t take my word for it, however–check me. This article works for me, but your mileage may vary.

    I’ll leave off with a couple comments. This may not be true for James’ article at, but many sites “scrape” their news from other sites in order to get traffic. True or not, the fact that it has not been updated despite comments to the contrary is a bad sign.

    Secondly, don’t change your password at the prompt, and NEVER change the password for a user you are not currently logged-in-as. The problem with the first activity is typos (too bad net user does not default to *, and if you don’t know what I mean, I encourage you to learn about it), and the problem with the second is that you cause the account to permanently lose access to all files with special permissions, especially if they are encrypted. The correct way to set the password for an account is to login as the account to change, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete. and choose “Change Password” (the wording varies by OS). You will be required to enter your old password once and your new password twice, and it is the only appropriate way to change passwords for the overwhelming majority of Windows users.

    At the risk of too much typing, hopefully the above is more helpful than not.

  28. The Geek


    Thanks for the very helpful comment. I removed the link to the other site, just to make sure that nobody reads that and gets the wrong information.

    And to everybody else reading… it’s very important to type things correctly… typos can screw things up pretty badly!

  29. Kirk M. Schafer

    Agreed and emphatic second. Thanks for writing a good and concise article.

  30. A zmi

    I have a question on how to install any software in my PC office without inform the administrator cause the window(2000)will ask me to run it in administrator window.

  31. Tee

    Hannah – try this

    Use “Offline NT Password & Registry Editor” to either unlock the Administrator account or promote another user to the local administator group to regain access to your locked Windows Vista PC.

    Download it (free), burn to CD, reboot from the CD and follow the prompts.

  32. Dan

    I tried to get a command prompt using “Run As Administrator” to type in the net user stuff so that I can uninstall a program, but I can’t get the prompt to go to a C:\. It won’t get out of C:\windows\system32, I can’t get to the root directory.

    Any ideas?

  33. Kirk M. Schafer

    Dan, unless something is wrong, “net user” is in the path, i.e., it doesn’t matter where you are in the file system when typing it. To answer your question, however, to change directories (folders), you use the “cd” command. In this case, you would type “cd \” (no quotes), where “\” indicates the root directory for Windows hard drives.

  34. Drew

    nice. . . .thanks for the help!!!

  35. Qibili

    I Love the comments.You are forgetting one situation of activating the admin acc.Imagine being lock to the guest acc (u deleted other accounts bt nt admin & guest) & u wnt activate da admin acc but cnt coz no gpedit in RUN & cnt modify the registry either.Well this is the nytmare Iam facing.On my xp pro, I disabled the admin acc wit the ‘net usr /actv:no’ command.The reverse cmd is resulting in error 5.Help, wat shud I do?Thnx 4 readin’

  36. Kirk M. Schafer

    Qibili, you can infer from the comments that guest does not have appropriate privileges to escalate to administrator, regardless of what you’ve done to the other accounts, but if that’s not clear–this is me saying it.

    The unfortunate reality of disabling the administrator…which you’re not supposed to be able to do as one with escalated rights “must” exist…is that if you truly have no users with even partial administrative rights (the right to re-activate, for example)…you’re typically hosed. An expert can help you reset the administrator account–and I have even done this remotely–but with people I have personally authenticated.

    The fact of the matter is, the tools that enable you to reactivate the administrator without permission overwhelmingly allow you to crack the system. Since this borders on “how to break into a computer,” it’s an ethical matter; especially in a public forum. If you seriously need to do this–Google is your friend–keeping in mind that some of us are paid to (or simply for fun) set traps for people who shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing. You can hire an expert who can meet you face-to-face to do it for you (might cost you $50), contact your system manufacturer (who will probably tell you to reinstall), or verify your identity so that, e.g., we don’t get sued for helping you break into a corporate network. You may have a legitimate need…but cracking a system–even if you say it’s yours–is for good reason usually met with silence (above, elsewhere, etc). There is a more responsible solution if you explore the alternatives.

  37. postmanpat

    u have to have admin to used the Command Prompt but i messed up my pc and now i need admin to get it back right i chaged the privvalegs by assidend now i cant doeny thing i cant go on my pc C: dive it says access is denid and it needs admin to open up just a bout evrything plez help and repliy a.s.a.p thks

  38. joey

    i’m trying to solve this…
    the result is “net” is not recognized as a internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.


  39. Kirk M. Schafer

    Joey, you may wish to visit the howtogeek forums. There could be several causes for the error, e.g.: invalid path, corrupted file system, insufficient permissions, domain policy, and so forth–and comment streams just aren’t effective places for computer help. From the header of the comment box:

  40. Neal

    I was browsing some vista newsgroups about admin passwords and read this thread in there and followed the link here.

    I think this is a very handy back-up admin tool that should be used by people who know there good ol dos commands. It is true that you can access thepasswords in otherways even with guest privledges BUT that should be left to someone who knows EXACTLY what they are doing and willing to take the responsability for HACKING the system they are trying to fix.

    I am definately putting this link into my admin account for when I go “playing” with my settings and mess things up horribly.

  41. joey

    i am trying to access the admin profile like you said but i get the error “system eror 5 has a occured” what do i do to fix this

  42. Tim

    Reading the responses show how new a lot of these folks are especially those who don’t know anything about DOS. Unlocking the hidden Administrator profile will let you modify areas that you would normally get “Access Denied” in your pseudo-administrator profile. Plus it will let you modify all the folders in the Windows folder that you could not do before, such as applying a patch to ‘certain software’. If you are a newbie, I would not recommend doing this except for those who know how to type the DOS command without making a mistake (if you screwed up, you should stop what you are doing, you do not need to go there).

  43. Tim

    If yo do get the profile working, I would definitely drop a password on the profile and do not let anyone access it.

  44. Shade

    Hello everyone, i saw all your comments on enabling the administrative account on vista, I have actually done mine and it worked perfectly fine.
    Kirk M.Scheffer, i love your answers in the questions, it shows you really haveexperience on how vista works, if you could give me your mail addy, so that i could contact you if i have any challenges with my Vista, here is my email “”, expecting yours.

  45. Dennis

    I am trying to uninstall Quicktime for itunes as I get an error message which takes me to Apple. They recommend to uninstall Quicktime and then re-install. I am set up as an Adminstrator but when i select to uninstall i get an error dialogue box which says ‘the System Administrator has set policies to prevent this installation”. What is going on?

  46. Sami

    My comment is ‘sort of’ a question.

    If I would want to access the “run as administrator” under an .exe file I right-click, properties and go to compatibility tab. The privilege level is grayed out. But when I right-click the .exe it has the option “Run As Administrator.” Is that the same thing?

    Honestly, that’s the only reason why I was considering messing with the ‘hidden’ admin account hoping it would let me run programs under administrator.

    My login account is currently set to have administrator privileges though…

    I’m running Vista Basic and have SP1 installed if you need that information.

  47. David

    This does not work for me. The admin account is disabled, and I can ONLY log in as a regular user. Even with i do right click – Run as Administrator, it says access denied. I’ve tried opening the Local Users console from Administrative Tools as Administrator, but it also says access denied..

    What else can I try?

  48. Craig

    This title is very misleading. The administrator account is not hidden. It is just disabled by default.

    If you right click my computer, manage. goto local users and groups, users, you can see it right there just like any other user.

    You can also go to the groups folder, doubleclick administrators to see what users on the computer are administrators as well.

  49. Kirk M. Schafer

    *** Dennis: “problem with QuickTime”:
    . A Google search returns relevant results, e.g., As your setup isn’t clear and the amount of information required to help you isn’t really suited for the comment stream of an apparently loosely-related article, you may wish to visit the HowToGeek forums, a link in the comment box (below).

    *** Sami: “Run as…”:
    . The “Run As Administrator” option can be greyed out for several reasons, e.g., disabling UAC, using the “wrong” tab, and interaction with what’s called the application manifest. The following link may be helpful:–but you may be better served by the HowToGeek forums.
    . On Vista, setting your account to have “administrator” privileges effectively yields “standard” user rights, with the option to run programs with elevated privileges. To put this another way, under Vista you’re still not running as the administrator you’ve come to expect, even if you’re using “Run As Administrator.” You may wish to jump down to my response to Craig.

    *** David: “Doesn’t work for me…”:
    . I strongly suggest you try the forums, which are better suited for this type of in-depth support.

    *** Craig: “Misleading…”:
    . While I don’t feel the author’s title is misleading, I admit I’m looking at it from an expert perspective.
    . In XP, group membership was sufficient to determine your privileges–you just added yourself to the appropriate group and everything happened under those privileges. A “user” could use shortcuts to “run a program as admin” but this was mostly ignored by “users always logged in as administrators” who simply preferred the convenience of not knowing why this “extra work” is critically important–or that Vista tried to address this. While it gets complex once networking is involved–especially with the use of domains–the gross result is that your feedback is correct under this model.
    . In Vista (unfortunately) the administrator we initially see…isn’t. While I remark to myself that the process you describe may be release-dependant, i.e., Home vs. Business or a function of corporate domains, more to the point: this is where the exact terminology matters. A user can appear to be a Vista “administrator” but lack the privilege escalation available to the “built-in administrator.” In fact, Vista runs administrator tasks under the context of the currently-logged-in user–with multiple access tokens–UNLESS the user is NOT a member of the Administrators group, when the context used is the account used when authenticating with UAC. This is a critical security point, and enabling the built-in administrator is what the article is telling you how to do (think XP’s security model). While this may initially seem misleading, what’s happening is that this falls into the realm of highly-specific nomenclature, and my point is this: Many users don’t recognize a difference and would either fail to find this article, discard it as irrelevant, or find it too technical (which is the risk I carry in my own comments). The author has to make this easy-to-find while at the same time trusting the average visitor won’t get themselves in trouble. It *is* important to recognize the difference, because it *is* necessary to enable and use the “built-in administrator” in rare cases–but it’s a risky move. It’s why I keep coming back here to strongly caution non-expert users to be careful with this procedure, and to seek help on the HowToGeek forums when they need it.

    *** To wit, the “hidden (disabled), i.e., built-in, administrator” and the administrator stuff we can all get to in user management…are NOT the same thing.

    *** Finally, while this isn’t the only reason to install it, Vista Service Pack 1 adds an option for prompting (UIAccess) that does not exist in the initial releases of Vista.

  50. Louis

    Dear Mr. Schafer,

    I created the super administartor account but was unable to log in. Thinking I must have typed the password incorrectly, I went into the administartot account and changed the password for the super administartor account, and then was able to log in to the latter. This surprised me since I assumed that the ‘super’ account wouldn’t be changeable by another.

    But I wonder, if someone has a Vista OS and no administrator account, what would stop someone from establishing a password-protected administrator account and a password-protected super administrator account and getting complete control of the computer?

    Take care.


  51. Kirk M. Schafer

    Louis, that’s an astute observation. With physical access to the machine, the appropriate knowledge, and readily-available tools, the answer is: nothing. It’s an improvement on XP–where one only needs the ability to sit in front of a computer–but once administrator access is available, all files on the system (even explicit denies) can be seized. This isn’t a sky-is-falling comment–it’s part of my job description–but it’s said to show why we’re forced to have at least one administrator aside from the “super admin”…why we need to protect it properly…and why to be careful creating extra admin accounts.

    The behavior of the account with an “unset” password is not surprising; it protects the computer from trivial public (e.g., wireless) network attacks. Finally, I hope all readers will be careful changing passwords on other accounts. Windows will usually warn, but it is possible to lose access to data if done inappropriately.

  52. Ed

    I have gone through the first ste[. it says “The command has been completed successfully” however when i log out the acount isnt there. i have tried it again and again and i still have the same problem.

    how do i do it know?

  53. Ed

    ignore my previous comment i was typing it in wrong.
    however know i have the administrator account i cant log in. i have tried most of the passwords that are suggested on here but none of them wrong. whats the password or who do you get around it?

  54. mukhtar

    can anyone access my pc running vista but my HD is not shared from my network as ai am logged in as user and anybody can acess as administrator??
    please help

  55. Lee

    i had the same problem my default admin user account had a set password and i couldnt log in.
    just log in with your normal user account and go to users and reset the default admin password…. hey presto.
    isnt it fun working with xp’s slow brother

  56. Michael C.

    thanks! it worked. I’d been trying to solve this problem for days. In XP i was used to running programs that require full administrative rights and was confused when i didn’t find it

  57. IRENE D.

    To Whom it May Concern:

    I have some Download Issues. I was uninstalling my AntiVirus Software, AVG, to be exact. I was unable to get rid of all of it. Therefore, my Computer will not let me install any other AntiVirus Softwares, and I don’t know how to resolve this. My Browser Opens up, but I cannot download any files. I have tried to set my Computer to the System Restore, but this does not resolve the issue.

    Any suggestions? I have a Windows Vista OS. Thank you. Any Suggestions will help.

  58. Kirk M. Schafer

    Irene, without intending to be rude (at all), this is neither a forum nor the topic of conversation; you will surely find better results asking your question on the forums (which is a link immediately above the comment box used to comment on this web page) and choosing (or creating) a top-level topic that matches your request.

    Lee’s suggestion has a simple caveat: it will work from a pseudo-admin, not a “normal user” — and the risks with resetting an account that isn’t yours was covered before. As for Vista’s responsiveness…this has a lot of causes–many of which are caused by the manufacturer or end-users who need to spend a little more cash to obtain a machine that runs the OS properly; this is again a topic for the forums.

    That said, Ed, Mukhtar, and other “more help” questions–please visit the forums–it’s a better venue for additional concerns.

  59. jimmy

    well what if i have parents who set up parental controls and they have a admin account set up. They also set up a account for only me. What i would like to do is bypass the parental controls. ie; stay on the computer after the time limits have been up or something like that.

  60. Wayne

    Related issue – my niece has a problem with her laptop. It’s running Vista and has only ever been set up with a single user account. Recently she found that she was getting frequent ‘access denied’ messages when trying to access files or run programs. Often she could get by this by doing a right-click and then running as administrator but clearly this is a pain in the …

    She asked me for advice (unfortunately she’s 140 miles away so we’re working via ‘phone). We booted into safe mode and she logged into her account and everything was visible and accessible. Checked user account settings to ensure that her account was not limited and it is admin enabled.

    Rebooted back into normal mode and the problem returns. Grrrr!

    I’m looking for ideas as to why her account seems ‘normal’ in safe but then somehow restricted in normal. Any help gratefully received.

  61. Roman

    Hi. I’m trying to follow the instructions but instead of getting The command completed successfully message I receive Username not found (or smth like this – I use Russian version of Vista so I’m not sure how it will be in English). Please can anyone help me? I use Vista Home Premium SP1.

  62. Kehrin

    I’ve put the cmd shortcut on my desktop but when I click Run As Administrator, nothing happens. Nothing. I can open it normally and type the command and I get “Access Denied” (of course, ’cause I’m not running as an administrator lol). Why will it not allow me to Run As Administrator? There are two accounts on my pc, one labeled Standard, the other labeled Administrator, and I’ve tried it from both..

  63. shanna

    I am having the same problem I have been tryin to install my new canon printer and I keep getting the error message access denied while installing the MP drivers. Canon says my computer is not recognizing me as an administrator and gateway says that i need to reload windows, which may not be a sure fix and i would lose all of my data and software. Is there any other way to get my computer to recognize me as an administrator? I have windows vista home premium and this is so annoying CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME FIGURE THIS OUT ALL I WANT TO DO IS PRINT :(

  64. Matthew

    When I ty it says c:\users\Matthew> then whe i try it doesnt work

  65. crystal

    When I ty it says c:\users\kornlover> then whe i try it doesnt work

  66. Karen von Hnerbein

    Thank you so much for this website hint
    I have been so angry and helpless because until today I could not access important program folders,
    which I really needed for my work to test simulations for my customers. They are automatically created by the test program and I could not get not copy anything to them or from them I have needed this hint so badly.
    This is MY computer and I expect to be able to access anything if necessary. I am really mad at Microsoft for doing this!
    Thank you again!
    Best wishes

  67. PCsLoveemHateem

    I have a remote PC with employees accessing the internet and then deleting the history. I need internet access for them so that they can get their email. If I set-up an Admin account can i stop them from accessing the internet? Or at least can I stop them from deleting the history. I got one virus already and of course no one did it! If so should I follow the advice above and set-up the hidden admin or do I set-up a regular Amin account and then a user account. I see how to set-up a hidden admin. But how do I set-up a reg. Admin I see it in control pannel on the PC but i want to do it the correct way not just mouse my-way-around.

  68. Catch22

    Good article, but there seems to be one situation not covered.

    If the MountedDevices registry entry has incorrect volume reference, Vista will fail to load the correct desktop. IN that case, there is no desktop, Start or any visible icons to select and run as administrator.

    In this case, you can start a command window by Ctrl+delete | Task Manager | New Task (Run..) | cmd
    However, you cannot use the “runas /user:mypc/administrator cmd” command because there is no admin account active. You also cannot start the admin account using the “net user administrator /active:yes”….because that can only be done in a cmd shell that has been started as an administrator!

    Is there a way around this?

  69. Morgoth Bauglir

    Seems to work fine at first glance. Still don’t have access to Special Permissions though. Weird.

  70. Elias

    I cant find the command prompt in the start menu, but i do have a default programs that when i right click it shows me the option to run as administrator, but when i click that it just takes me to the regular desktop. whats a’ goin’ on?

  71. Morgoth Bauglir

    START –> All Programs –> Accessories –> Command Prompt.
    Should be right there.

  72. Charles

    Works fine, but didn’t seem to have UAC disabled. @Sean to use “Legitimate Settings” (No Run/CMD/Regedit) just open Administrative Tools in the Control Panel and then System Configuration and Click the last tab. There is an option to enable and disable it there. All click no type, so nothing fancy.

  73. karthik

    if i will try to runas administrator he will ask a password, but the administrative account not have any password. The administrative account defaultly having any password or not. if it have password how to find it.

  74. Nikki

    I have enabled my hidden administrator account and it says that the command was successful, however the administrator login is not available when i turn my computer on. It shows my account and the guest account. How do I log on as the adminstrator?

  75. Morgoth Bauglir

    The new “Guest Account” is the Administrator Account, just rename it.

  76. key

    i did wat u said above but i still get this message Windows cannot access the specified device,path,file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item and i am trying to install a program and it wont let me it worked 4 days ago wen i didnt have a product key wen i do it wont work

  77. Nikki

    The Guest Account is not a new account. It was the one that was already on there. It has limited access.

  78. Whit

    I got the Blue screen “windows detects a problem and is shutting down” it did and when it restarted there was a new user on the screen (i had myself/my wife/and guest profiles only)THE NEW ONE WAS-{Administrator -uuurrbb-10000000000} not sure the numbers and letters are right but it was something like that. I was able to log on my user profile and was able to open user profiles up in control panel. I deleted the new user(uuurrbb-10000000000) in question and set myself as / Administrator /. Everything runs fine I did Scans and it all works. Where did that come from and did deleting it mess anything up? Thanks Whit

  79. Mareen

    is there not any option for logon to vista by typing user name and password.
    this option is present in XP if we disable welcome screen from control panel in change the way users logon/logoff tab.

  80. luke

    whenever i type the command in it comes up with accses denied. what do i do??

  81. Matt

    When I try to start the command prompt it asks for the admin password but my admin pass was changed without me knowing so how do I run it in administrator????

  82. Max

    Help!I clicked on “Run as administrator” The cmd opened, but it doesn’t say “Administrator” at the top, and if you type all that things, it just say:
    System error 5 has occured.
    Access denied.
    How to fix this????? Pleeeaaaseee heeellpepppppp!!!

  83. Whit

    I did a system restore. I had to reset the password on admin(vista) and everything runs fine. If you have system retore run it. If you don’t have a password when you set yourself as system admin. when it asks for one to do a function /defrag or whatever,just click the enter/aplly/continue what ever your choise is and it will preform the function. that will happen if you are the administrtor but don’t have a password set up, it still asks but again if you don’t have a password just click continue.

  84. proudmarinemom63

    OK I seriously need help. MY administrator account was disbled. My password is not working and parental controls is limiting me to ask administrator password. I purchased the windows pasword unlocker and ran it. It says my admistrator has to be enabled to reset. I cant enable without administrator password. Then I tried Offline NT Password & Registry Editor. Now I have a guest account that asks for a user name and password. I dont have a user name and password. I am so stumped. Darn Vista sucks big time. This is a relative new laptop (3 months) my sons. He did not make a backup disk. The only account I can open is my sons and practically everything I do asks for that darn administrator password. HELP!!! Im $29.99 down and counting.

  85. Chris Bellis

    A really helpful article and string of comments which finally explained why I was having so much trouble installing Microsoft updates. I assumed as a user with admin privileges that I could “run as administrator” or even “take the ownership of the file” from the context menu and all would be fine to install the exe update file. In reality only logging in as the super admin and installing from there has allowed me to install many of the microsoft and Adobe updates. This article explains why. I might add “Super” to the label so that I know the difference, or perhaps “junior” to the user context menu entry. I should add when I made a mistake on another matter and had to use system restore, my password protected super admin account lost its password protection and became freely open from the welcome screen as it had been when I first enabled it using the DOS command. In some ways it’s a fairly dangerous, rather over privileged, account to be so readily available for all and sundry who might care to sit at your computer.
    Thanks for the article.

  86. proudmarinemom63

    Thanks but no help. I actually aleady tried this. It asks for administrator password to run as administrator. I dont’ have the administrator password. So is there another way to enable the administrator or to erase the password?

  87. astygmatyk

    It’s certainly important to avoid typos.. Amazingly nobody talks about
    importance to create the back-up image (drive image) with your complete
    installation. Personally I keep at least two.. One with the optimized
    OS installation and second with all the major software that I’m using..
    Typos or no typos, things get screwed.. And over time performance gets degraded. Rather than using a variety of doubtfull “healing” software, not
    to mention the background running antivirus programs that slow your performance… have a drive image copy or two… That way not only you
    need not be afraid of wildest experitments with say your registry
    or paranoic about catching a real virus killer.. If things stop working,
    you can always restore your machine to a previous ship-shape in about
    20-40 min…
    Periodically upgrade your drive image and you should be fine for the
    remainder of time…

  88. Tracy

    My daughter has a laptop with Vista. Someone put a password on the computer and now when she turns her computer on it asks for a password. We tried to re-install the OS but when Disk 1 starts running the system tells her she has to enter a password. How do we re-install the OS without the password?

  89. Nick

    after i do all that. how do i get the password to the administrator account back on.

  90. Shail

    net user administrator /active:no

    ^^^^Here “/” is NOT Required:)

  91. attaway

    thanks for the admin reavealed. but the important thing to me isn’t just revealing admin account but how to use it to rescue a lost password situation like in WinXP where one can hit the ctrl+alt+(del *2). is there any way like such with vista or 7 ?

  92. attaway

    thanks for the admin reavealed. but the important thing to me isn’t just revealing admin account but how to use it to rescue a lost password situation like in WinXP where one can hit the ctrl+alt+(del *2) from LOG-ON PAGE. is there any way like such with vista or 7 in a situation where the admin account hadn’t been reavealed?

  93. SH

    Pls advise how to enable the view actives report for account user.

  94. Melissa

    I started out with the same problem, not being able to find/acess this administrator account. I took my computer to the place I bought it and they said something happened to my user profiles…I got a virus or had a system failure and I’ll never be able to install another program again. GREAT! If this is the case, can this even be fixed? Or is my brand new computer toast? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  95. Igor

    when i do that its says acess denied what do i do

  96. Igor

    and also to run as administrator i need a password so… what do i do

  97. Aaron Lowndes

    I get `the username could not be found` error 2221. yes i have run cmd as an administrator as instructed. any thoughts?

  98. Kukkuu

    Here is a pickle:

    Your Vista is a member of domain, your administrator account is disabled, you remove your comp from domain (to add it to another domain), you reboot your comp and there is no administrator login. How are you able to login to anything without administrator login showing up? (and now since you are not a member of the old domain, there either)

  99. Dwight Stegall

    The Administrator disabler you have above does not work.

    net user administrator /active:no

    it has to be

    net user administrator administrator /active:no

  100. saman

    how to enable admin account vista

  101. Doris

    How can resolve the problem: `the username could not be found` error 2221. I already read the Kukkuu comment above.

  102. Dennis

    i have done what u said to be done about the command promt but while trying to access the “Run As Administatior” it still needed a password to even enter that specific command. what can i do now?

  103. Peter Hernandez

    i did what u said but it says System error 5 has occurred access is denied what does it mean and how do i fix it??

  104. John

    Cheers mate, this has just helped me get out from deep shit

  105. James

    I bought a new tower for my computer and moved. My girlfriend at the time was there and asked if she could use it and Being nice I said yes. We broke up and I got my computer back, but she has passwords in place so I can’t even load games onto my computer and she was the administrator, what or how can I get around the passwords and use my computer?

  106. Alexander

    Hey. This post seems very helpfull, but my problem is abit worse. Somebody had fiddled with the windows controls on our pc, and now for some reason, we only have 2 standard user accounts, and NO administrator accounts. Whenever a download has to be made, it keeps opening the administrator box for the password in order to continue. Only 1 problem ; there is no box to type the password in (probably because there is no admin accounts). Also, on 1 of the accounts for some reason, most of the programs keep getting blocked 1 by 1, and you cannot unblock them. If i try opening anything with “run as admin” it will give me a box for the password, but there is nowhere to type anything. Ive never had a problem like this, please help if you can. There are NO viruses what so ever on the PC. Have scanned 2 times with 2 different programs.


  107. Jamie

    Hi all. I have read this post but been very non technical I am either missing the soulution or its just not in here but my problem is as follows…

    I got my son a loptop and whilst in his user profile which was set as the default account i change the account name to his. I then created another two users profiles whilst still logged in his profile (one for me and my wife). I made mine an admin user and my wifes a standard user. I then removed the admin rights for the user account i was logged in as (my sons). When i then logged off and returned to the user profile menu after start up I could only see my sons and my wife’s accounts. Yet when i try to do anything that requires admin approval i get a pop up box with my account name and a request for the password i set. Now i know 1 million% the password i used to set up the admin account but it doesnt accept it, so therfore i now have no way managing anything that requires admin access.

    I have googled and looked for a solution and this thread seems to be the closest I can find that may have people reading that may know a solution. Can anyone help? I notice no one has posted anyresponses to questions here for a while so would appreciate any help!!

  108. Miodrag

    Very good totoriali instructions, you helped me with Ubuntu, Thanks :)

  109. K

    Ok, so I unknowingly changed the name of my hidden admin account in vista but still have no problems turning it on and off. What happened was i sent it to an IT guy and he must have turned it on and I thought it was just a new account that I could not delete. However, I cannot change it back to just being named administrator. Also, not many, but a few apps won’t let me run them on my just normal admin account. Anyone got an idea of what to do. I have Windows 7 as well, I just haven’t installed it yet on this particular computer, would doing a clean install help me get it back to normal. would just doing the upgrade option reset it back to normal aswell?

  110. markthrice

    not really a quetion, just a thought. i think it’s funny because i looked so forward to getting my windows 7. i preordered it like 10 minutes before it went from 49.99 to whatever it is now. anyway i have windows xp and win 7 both on my pc and i have very little experience with vista. this is an amd quad core with 4gb memory that i put together myself. the thing is with win 7 i can cross over into xp and look around but it’s very difficult to manipulate any files. I get so many administrator messages when i try to change something or even just view a file. But… when i boot into my trusty old xp i can enter windows 7’s house and reak havoc. i can look at and change, copy, move or delete anything i want.It’s hilarious. 7 won’t let me do anything but xp is a god. So who is microsoft kidding. It seems like they are trying to limit your abilities and to expand there’s. They can come in and take over your computer but you can’t get out. Slaves and prisoners of the cyber world.

  111. Luis Castillo

    When I first got my computer, which had windows vista, my brother accidently set himself as the admin. account and forgot his password. The problem is that if I try to download anything like adobe or limewire, it ask for the permission of my brothers account which is the administrator, and he forgot the password. So my question is that if find this “hidden admin. account”, will I be able to download what I want.


  112. help

    all my admin accounts got deleted and turned into guest accounts!help me icant install anything or do anything!

  113. Uday

    How do u enable it by using a limited account? is there a way…so that i could turn my limited account into and administrative account without administrative permissions?(windows 7)…is there a hack or something?

  114. vik

    For those who hid all administrator accounts in Windows 7, the “Run as administrator” command will not work properly–there is no box to type the password in. Instead, select the program you want to run as administrator by holding Shift and right clicking it, then select the now revealed option “Run as a different user”. You can now manually type in the username and password of any account, including hidden administrator accounts. This way you can run the program as the desired administrator, even if the administrator account is hidden.

  115. Luis Castillo

    Thanks Kevin, hopefully that will work. And as for “help”, I think it depends on what type of windows you have. EX; XP, vista, windows 7……

  116. Shaz

    Would we be able to enable the administrator account during the boot session?

  117. john

    I have an hp laptop with vista 64 bit. it has only one user and i have no access to his account. when i try to start in safe mode to enable admin i cant see that option. i only see the user log in and asking for pw. is there a way i can display admin login in safe mode and enable and disable it after am done.

  118. john

    I have a vista os on a laptop with 64 bit machine. I would like to recover user pw without deleting or resetting it.

  119. Aeryn

    Hey, would this work on other accounts? If I created and account “temp1”, would I be able to enable and disable it from the login in view? Like:

    “net user temp1 /active:no”

    Also, some might be having problems because when they run cmd prompt, it starts with: C:\Users\(Username)

    To get out of this you’ll need to change the directory so that the prompting begins on the C drive and not the user’s folder. To do that, you’ll have to type:

    “CD C:\” then press enter.

    CD stands for Change Directory, so you’re asking the prompt to change to the C Drive directory.

  120. Gajendra

    To resolve the “access denied, system 5 error”, simply run the command prompt as an administrator.

    (Right-click Command Prompt, then click Run as Administrator.)

    I did this and administrator account was showing up while logging so I logged in through admin login(no password) and then I changed my login id as standard user and then net user administrator /active:no which disabled the administrator id. Now i logged in through my login id which is standard user and now now i m tring to change my user id status from standard to admin but for tat it is asking me to enter admin password which no password…..

    Please advise

  121. pragan

    I am using the windows xp… if the system is in on how i know the password without any software installation?


  122. Alex

    i am sorry but it still is asking me for a password?????
    Can you help???

  123. Buck

    I followed your instructions to access the hidden adm account. When I logged, on I got the message that the profile for that account was missing. It loaded the default profile.
    Please help. I cannot install any programs. I have a new computer running win7 home premium, I loaded one program no trouble. Now I get the message that I do not have authority to install. I am using a regular adm account.

  124. VincentLauv

    This is very best articles.. thank. i will using for solving my problem in my local host

  125. Atif


  126. karl

    i tried the command prompt net user administrator/active:yes,it does not work please advise

  127. Chris

    Nice post,

    This is all well and good if you can get into a account, but what if you can’t? I want to remove a password but theres only one account, therefore getting no access.

    Running windows 7 home prem, when i try safe mode, can only log the account which is on the normal start up anyway.

    Ill remove the password with hiren, but there must be a way of turning on the administrator account without logging a account?


  128. Luis Castillo

    That hidden Administrator account wont do anything if you dont have an administrator account to work with in the first place. It doesnt do anything special. Im never going to get into the other acoount. :'(

  129. Heather

    I have had this problem for a while.
    i got my windows vista home premium computer last Christmas. I had created account named “heather” with my own password and my mom had a account also that didnt have a password.
    i wanted to change my password because i was bored, but accidently typed in the password wrong. I was trying to change it to “snickers”(my dog)
    and now im unable to get onto my account, which has games/pictures and more. I have been using my moms account, but everytime i try to play a game im required to type in the password for my administrator account,
    since the game is downloaded on the “heather” account.
    It really fustrates me. Ive tried the way given, and it says.
    “access denied. 5 errors occured.”im not sure why this happened.
    i repeated the instructions to make sure i typed everything correctly, and it said the same thing. ive also tried the USB flashdrive and it hasnt worked.
    By my research, i wouldnt being willing to pay about 100$ for them to reset my password, when i may be able to do it myself. Even thought that it was my fault for the problem.

  130. Heather

    also, when i try to run as administrator, it tells me i need my password.
    and i dont know it??

  131. dejaye michaels

    how do you run as administrator if you are a guest it keeps asking for admin password????? im locked out can only use guest log in

  132. Tu Pham

    It doesn’t work if you are a standard user. It only works if the account you are using is an administrator account I have tried the “Run As” administrator option and the Command Prompt even says in the Window Title “Administrator:cmd.exe” which looks like it is running under the administrator context but I also get the access denied error.

    I then went on to try the System Restore but it won;t let me and says that it “Requires Administrator Priviledges.” How stupid is that? All I want is to reset my Administrator account to factory settings… anybody know of such for Win7?

  133. Aleksey

    Windows 7 RC2 – /activate:yes – unknown option.
    I suppose lusrmgr.msc -> properties of Administrator user -> Account Disabled should give the same results.

  134. demn

    Hello, my User is an Administrator, but the i had a virus a day ago, and now nothing works.. messenger, any program.. nothing is working, not even the control panel, i can’t click this: run as admin or anything, i do but then the explorer lags……

    Please, how can i fix that?..

  135. Luis Castillo

    Heather – I think you just can create a new account and while creating it, make that one administrator. Then I believe you’ll have administrator rights and be able to play your “games”

    Hope it works :)

  136. Macie

    i forgot my administrator password and the CD rom thing is broken(i cant put no cd in it). i would like to find a way to get into the administrator account because there is to many problems. im on a user account but wishing to get into the administrator. plenty of things i need to do require the administrator pass.
    Please Help Me A.S.A.P.

  137. Jason S.

    Is it possible to double lock your computer? Thats somthing I need because i dont want anyone logging into my account.

  138. rodel

    hope this will help…before when i try to use the command net user administrator /active:yes then i get this message system error 5 has occurred.

    what i did…i run windows 7 in safe mode…give some administrator privilege to some active users..then after that i can do anything with admin privilege..

    : )

  139. alex

    thanx bro… More power…

  140. Daniel Reinhardt

    The difference between the Administrator Account and a user with elevated rights is the UID. The true Administrator as a UID of 500 which is checked by most programs. This is equivalent to the root user on unix/linux of having UID of 0. The elevated user account has a UID of 1000 and is part of administrator group, power user, super user, or some other group with administrative access to the machine. THere are somethings that an elevated user cannot do that the true administrator can do. For instance, the users path maybe different depending on the group policies set up by the Administrator.

  141. Dave Henderson

    I have Win7 home prem (lowest, not sure why it is called premium). I have a hidden user, working proper (not showing on welcome)

    The problem now is that I cannot access that user (CTRL-ALT-DEL) does not work as suggested.

  142. terry mills

    i can only use the guest account which will not allow me to run cmd as administrator what do i do

  143. Shoeless

    CAUTION! I “hid” the administrator account in Windows 7 Home Premium and got locked out of the machine. Win7HP doesn’t have a traditional logon screen and doesn’t respond to ctrl-alt-delete so it became impossible to log into the admin account. Because UAC requires an admin password to elevate processes, none of the other accounts on the machine could make system changes. It was reinstall/revert time for that machine.

  144. Haja Peer Mohamed H

    This is really great! thanks for the post.. and hope to get more and more info form u!

  145. David

    If the PC is running 64-bit Vista Home Premium do you rename Magnify64.exe and put it into the SOS..64 folder instead of modifying the 32 bit magnify and using the system32 folder?

  146. Kim

    when i disable the hidden account it ask for password but i didnt type anything and just click OK.
    sadly,i cant click OK after i do this method.can anyone solve it for me?

  147. Gavin

    I accidentally disabled my administrator and come what may I cannot enable it again. I have read some of the comments on the web and find that I definitely have some of the same problems reactivation my administrative rights on my computer. There must be a way of doing it, please help

  148. kyle

    basically this is probabbly gonna be the same story all over but, i changed my password on my account (FULL ADMIN RIGHTS) cause my brother new the old 1 the next day i got up and forgot i changed it and forgot what i changed it too!! now im using my mums account i created that seems to make my life a miserey by requesting me to put in a admin password to download or change anything!! any1 know how i can get my password back or change it!! (that lil cmd run as admin doesnt work cause i need admin password :S) please help peoples!!

  149. Michele

    how do i disable adminstrator rights on windopws 7. It wont allow downloads of store bought products

  150. Kale

    I have a regualr account and forgot admin password and it wont let me do nothing without the admin password how do i get by this?

  151. mike

    system error 5 did not hlep at all

  152. Michael

    When I right click “run as Administrator”, it goes straight to a normal cmd. It should say Administrator Command Prompt but mines just says “Command Prompt.” Any suggestions?

  153. Amanda

    well i got to the one step and then i dont even have a existing account so this stupid computer guy deleted it what should i do (i had the same people come out and try to get it back but the dum people didn’t know how( what should I do i now clue what to do help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  154. Bilbo

    Why don’t you just make changes to your current account by setting your account type to administrator in the control panel?

  155. Luis Castillo

    luis is the greatest alive in the whole entire world. you shall all bow down to luis today, tomorow, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, or the next day, etc…………….

  156. KEI

    After i type “net user administrator /active:yes” ,it said” ‘Net’ is not recongnized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.” * I can’t to use administrator login, how to solve this :(

    ( When i check “Users and Groups” in the Computer Management window ,I found that there was no “Administrators” list in the Member of box. And i cant change anything here too (it show access denied when apply change~).

  157. suliana

    omg I disabled the admin account my mistake and now I don’t know what to do!! I wanted to delete it but I didn’t know that disabling it means you can’t log in :(

    please help me

  158. Martin

    I have a machine running Vista and no matter how many times i input the admin password it says login failed. The password is correct. The other user account is fine, and the guest access is ok. It seems to no longer recognize the admin account. I would like to be able to fix this. I’m not an experienced user. I read this trail and saw some responses that seemed similar and was wondering if Kirk M. Schafer is still around and can assist. Please help

  159. Steven

    I’m fixing my friend’s computer. It’s Vista, and she’s lost the Admin password. She has to run as “Guest”. I’ve tried enabling the “hidden” Admin account, but no new account shows up. I’ve tried running in Safe Mode, still no 3rd account. I’ve tried resetting the administrator password using DOS. It says it’s changed the password, but it really hasn’t. I’ve tried using Petter Nordhal-Hagen’s “NT Password & Registry Editor” (which is apparently the god of all fix-its) and it choked. The only thing I haven’t done is spend money. And I don’t think people should have to do that to fix their own machines. Sorry. I realize IT people are there and want to make a living, but some of us want to fix our own shit.

    I’ve read every post on this page twice (no seriously, I have), and I still don’t see a definitive answer. What works for some seemingly does not work for all, even though the systems all sound the same.

    Can someone please post an answer that works?

  160. rittu

    it didn’t work because I forgot my password!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! can you imazine it eh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ha ha!!!!!!! not very funny because I downloaded windows password unblocker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  161. zubin

    i wanted to disable the administrator account through another account.I AM not aware of administrator password

  162. Misheck

    I have a problem
    The guy who was working on my PC set the password for disabled administator and removed privileges to the guest account and i can not perform any installations and so other task.

    How do i enable the administrator password in non privilege account? if i run the commands you provided above it doesnt work.

    Please Help.

  163. Tootsie

    I recently installed Windows 7 to replace Vista. Love the new program, but I cannot access my saved documents. It tells me I need the administrator’s permission. Since I am the sole owner and user, what can I do? Help, please.

  164. H Bruce Smith

    As per usual, what I get is entirely different from what your screen shot shows! Yea, Vista! My command prompt opens with C:\Windows\system32> When I type the activate command I get:
    Net User
    [username [password! *] blah blah blah

  165. Aris

    I am having a smal problem…i activated the hidden account but it asks for a password…and i never installed one in this account.I know that because i did all the windows instalations myself and no one else has worked on the pc but me….

  166. carl

    having loads of problems was wondering if anyone could help? installed a new programme tried to run it and then it tells me only the administrator can open this file i am the administrator in the computer dont get it!! tried the solution above but thats not done anything any help please carl

  167. Hotrod71

    How do I bypass the log on to change the password in Win7 starter when the user has created only an admin and forgot the password? When I use Recovery Console it shows only the user account no one else.

  168. sirenzo

    hi my problem is I’ve been stuck using guest account on my very own laptop hp and it has vista.
    Problem: is i had a really nasty virus and instead of just starting over again with a reformatting i simply made a new account over my guest account and set it as admin, but i made a mistake there i noticed and i deleted the actual admin account . so my ? here is how do i get back the controls of my administrator i tried all u been putting here nothing is working i have cs5 was expensive program and i need it for my hw for my classes in college, its saying i cant run it on a guest account .

  169. Mukesh

    i m using windows 7, i installed the corel 13, but when run the crack system displaing a message,for the first you need to be login as an administrator… and i tried to run in command window

    net user administrator /active:yes

    but i got message access denied.. while i am using administrator account please let me know the solution ASAP

  170. samser

    my cmd query is solved,thanks for help.

  171. Chucks

    done the administrator stuff buh mine requestin for a password…. don’t kno wat to do….

  172. Lawrene

    I have and admin account, my account and my daughters. My daughter can not get into hers without getting a message saying it is recommended that she uses a usb or a floppy…my computer has no floppy and all we want to do is get onto her desktop.

  173. Stuart Ramsey

    Thankyou to all the good info. It solved my problem of my only Admin user being disabled and all i had left were standard users. I now have 2 password protected Admin users instead of the one. Thanks again and no thanks to Microsoft.

  174. Masoesa

    Thank you so much. This helped me to install adobe acrobat standard on windows 7 instead of ordering a new upgrade for $99. Support wouldn’t help me because it’s an expired edition.

  175. orly

    This doesn’t work.

    I tried on windows vista home premium, and on all accounts the response is:

    Access denied.

    When I tried going to the command prompt. Nothing seems to be working, not even the free password crack programs. lol. ophcrack shows I have a hidden admin account, but, I can’t access it. lol.

  176. admin

    one l33t word Passware look it up

  177. admin

    better yet remove my comment and leave them in the dark

  178. Bjarnovikus

    It doesn’t work for me :(

    When I open the command prompt as an admin using UAC (so not directly!) it says “De opdracht is voltooid” (translated from Dutch: “Command completed”) but when I lock the workstation there is no new account saying Administrator :(. What can I do? :(

  179. kim

    I tried that and each time it says that access is denied, I am the sole owner of my laptop used at home for personal use. It seems as though everything that I do I get the message access is denied

  180. Tere

    THANKS! but i do have one tiny concern..
    what happens if i don’t disable to administrator account when i’m done?

  181. Ananthu

    Hey guys, I have a problem…my administrator account is disabled and i tried the command prompt thing.I even clicked on run as administrator but it shows that access is denied.How do i enable it???
    Please help guys…:( :( !!!!!!

  182. Brian

    For those running into the “System Error 5” error. What has happened is the user account you are logged in as, does not have administrator privileges and is the only active account on the system. Here is what you need to do to fix:

    Reboot in safe mode
    Log in as “Administrator” you will need the password to do this
    Start – Right click “Computer” go to “Manage”
    expand – Local users and Groups
    expand – Users
    Right click the Administrator account – properties
    uncheck “Account is disabled”


  183. M.Atif Siddiqui

    My administrator account is disable on windows 7 I’ve already set administrator password but it has not logon by administrator.I’ve gone to command prompt run as administrator but it was shown an Error message “Access denied” please give me a sulotion….

  184. Brandon

    Wow, this is so stupid you know why??

    “If you are troubleshooting something that needs to run as administrator, you can enable it with a simple command.”

    Ok that’s understandable, next step.

    “First you’ll need to open a command prompt in ADMINISTRATOR MODE by right-clicking and choosing “RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR” ”

    Did anyone notice this flaw? If you need something approved by an administrator but yet YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO RUN SOMETHING AS THE EFFING ADMINISTRATOR, then WTF do you need the secret admin account for?? IDIOTS!

  185. Gajen

    The User Profile Service service cannot be load. The Profile cannot be Load.
    This is the error I get in my Account when ever I restart the computer.
    This happen when I try changing the Date of My System.I have Vista Home Premium 32 Bit.
    And befor that I try doing the System Restore to an Previous Date from Safe Mode.After that all the Mess started.

    I have try doing this from Run Command :- net user administrator /active:yes that was successful.
    After that the Administrator Account was created but I cant file my data in that Account. And also when try Enabling the UAC I cant Log in to my user Account & if disable the UAC it works.

    Waiting Eagerly.

  186. Kurt

    ..Enable Built-in Administrator Account…

    This was good help…thanks a lot!


  187. Jim W.

    Since most everyone knows that running in safe mode, you can do nearly anything with a computer. I’m still a little puzzled as to really “why” there’s a secret admin mode. I will drop this as a piece of good advice. If you just want to try this in Win. 7 , watch exactly how you enter the commands in DOS mode. They are really picky about spaces, and you may have a difficult time reverting back to NOT having an extra admin. on your computer. If you type exactly how the above article explains, you won’t have any problem. If you get those moronic error messages, you most likely didn’t put those SPACES in correctly.Hope that helps someone having trouble.

  188. Callum

    Can you do that as a standard user. ‘Cause when I try to open it (i’ve got windows seven) with control-shift-enter it says I need to enter a password. Any Ideas?

  189. theo

    YOU ARE AN ANGEL !!!! I lost so much time on this.
    But you must add one important thing to your advice:
    In the command prompt window the cursor should be in the root directory C:\>|
    AND NOT in C:\>whatever>whatever>|

    I taught I followed you advice on a suggestion from another forum, but then looking at your instructions two things saved me
    1. your remark that I should see: the command completed successfully
    2. when that did not happen I looked closely at your screenshot and saw
    C:\>net user administrator /active:yes
    On my computer the prompt was flashing two directories deeper C:\>whatever>whatever>|
    Hence, remembering my old DOS days of 30 years ago, at the prompt, I did twice cd.. to get to the root directory.
    Once there I did C:\>net user administrator /active:yes

    Lo and behold: it worked like magic

  190. david

    when i try to run this on windows 7 i get “The user name cannot be found” can anyone help me with this

  191. Steve

    Hi guys

    1. How can I enable the hidden administrator account without being able to log into any account in Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit) and without having a Windows 7 boot disk?

    2. How can I access my bitlocked d: drive?
    If I plug the hard disk into another PC it things it’s an unformatted drive!



  192. Ananthu

    @Brian…The thing u suggested didnt work..
    What do i do???
    Plzz help anyone!

  193. dani

    please hlep me

  194. srikanth

    i am still able to see administrator mode on screen after doing net user adminstrator acrive:no
    plz help me out in this case i will be waiting for your reply

  195. Hector


  196. Monzy

    hi, i went on a holiday and i forgot my password. the problem is that usually the geust account is the administrator account but guest is not the administrator account …. my account is the administrator account.. Soo Is there a way i can my password with my account being the admin account??

    People Please help me and tell me as soon possible!! (L)

  197. mzmom

    Thank you! After a day of struggling to get access to our family computer this thread helped. Innocent mistakes do happen, like my 10 year changing the password right before vacation! Vista really is not easy to manage for a “family” computer.

  198. RobCr

    I had Administrator showing on my Welcome screen (as well as my normal User Logon).
    Don’t recall how I got that showing (I am 68, and it is lucky I can even remember that).

    I now would like to get rid of it.
    I found a plethora of suggestions including a few variations on this –
    net user administrator /active:no
    net user administrator / active:no

    Neither of those worked.

    I eventually navigated around to
    Computer Management
    System Tools
    Local Users and Groups
    and went to the Properties for the Administrator Account, where I ticked ‘Account is Disabled’
    That did the trick.

    HOWEVER, my question is – Does that have exactly the same effect as –
    net user administrator /active:no
    Or HAVE I DONE A MORE SERIOUS DISABLE, that will prevent me getting Admin access, when the OS stuffs one day ?


  199. RobCr

    PS The above is for Windows 7

  200. Thought Grenade

    I have followed the instructions and found the one saying to right click the DOS prompt and use as administrator worked. All I wanted to do was install an email program abd a media program, the fact that I had to remove/delete/whatever the administrator password speaks volumes for what passes as customer friendliness in Redmond. So far it’s taken 6 hours to set up a netbook and all I want is something that comes out of the box and works when I switch it on like I had with my Asus with Linux.

  201. pombo27

    i ca not active the administrator account the main reason is the account i use is standard then i ca not access the procedured above.. what we i do?? to active the administrator account?? is their different way to active it??

  202. Loco_T

    Hi guys, maybe u can help me or give me some advice.

    I recently broke up with my girlfriend, she was using my laptop and i created a standard user profile for her. I am the administrator account on the pc. I want to log into her windows account so i can get into her Online files that her passwords are saved on. I have a suspition she was cheating on me and im dying to find out. How can i log in or bypass her password without reseting it so that all password memory is still stored.

    I appreciate any advice or help> I am using win 7 Pro.


  203. daniel

    i keep getting the system 5 error access is denied response. i right click on the command prompt and click run as administrator and enter net user administrator /active :yes command and still get the access denied response. how do i get around this?

  204. Citlalic

    i followed the steps, but the command did not work. it read the following ‘NET’ is not recognized as internal or external operable program or batch file.
    please help me. i also went to computer managment and my administrator account is not enable but it does not appear.

  205. David

    Ok, now the question I have is how to do this with only having the bios to yourself? I can’t log into the computer.

  206. palash dewangan

    my internet explorer is preloaded with OS(windows vista) and now it is not working , so tried to uninstall it but it is not showing up in the programs and features window. So i tried to delete it from program file but access denied error is showing up while deleting that, though I am in administrator account.

    I also tried to enable the administrator account as u guyees have suggested “net user administrator /active:yes” and it showed the message that command completed successfully. Then i again tried to delete the internet explorer from program files but the same error ” access denied ” is coming. Even though i tried iIn command prompt but the error ” System error 5 has occurred” “Access denied” is coming.

    please let know how to fix this problem. thank you

  207. peter

    thanks so much!

  208. Stu

    Hi all… any chance of a simple answer to what i thought would be an easy question … my folder options seem to need administrator access… how on earth can i view hidden folders and files on my windows 7! it doesnt want to open Folder Options at all

    Thanks all

  209. Jared

    I ran command prompt as administrator and followed the steps but it says “Access is denied”. Please help

  210. Soumendu Nandi

    for the last 30 minutes, i really enjoyed the whole topic, actually when i was trying to find the answer of “Where it would be possible to unlock a account if the user forgets the password, further it’s the only account?” actually i’m trying to solve that problem, but i found that it may not be possible b’coz the built-in administrator accoun was not enabled.

  211. Soumendu Nandi

    now the point is what are the ways out for the following scenario.

    1. administrative password is set, i know it.

    2. The only user login password is lost and not working, and i want to to reset the user password from parental control.

    3. but the administrator account is not activated.

    If there is any way to get into the systen.??
    Looking for proper way. Thanks.

  212. Arun Thorat

    The only user login password is lost and not working, and i want to to reset the user password from parental control.

    3. but the administrator account is not activated.

    If there is any way to get into the systen.??
    Looking for proper way. Thanks.

  213. nina

    OK its not working for me someone plzzz help…i cant access the administrator account on my pc because my password was changed …i tried using the command prompt and then run as adminitrator but then it asks me for the administrators password …what do i do??

  214. Joanne Savoy

    Log onto an account that does not have administrator rights. How are you limitied in the way you can perform a Disk Cleanup? Why do you think this limitation exists?

  215. natsumerio

    It worked, but the allegedly ‘Super’ Administrator account is a WUSS account. It has EXACTLY the SAME rights as a normal administrator account, which doesn’t have any rights at all. Luckily, I’m not screwed, because I found some articles detailing how to trash WRP, which is the worst pile of crap ever. & to those who worship at the altar of WRP, I actually know what I’m doing.

  216. kyle

    Used thi is and if u run a disk defragg after activating the account within the account u will go in 2 windows 32 and programs and such and there will ne ghost files that are takin up space and yet they are just empty folders of programs and software that u previously installed and also I hate all versions of vista except busisness and 7 is only a vista with a service pack 3 they just changed the bname because they knew that no one would buy anything with the name vista on it and such so yeah that’s just my 2 cents

  217. unknown

    to change password
    use cmd.exe(run as administrator)
    type: net user [username] [the new password]
    if you get a message of accese denied
    make sure you run the cmd.exe as administrator
    to do that
    right click on the cmd.exe and click on ‘run as adminstrator’

  218. Stephen Akins

    I did something bad.

    I took my son’s Windows 7 starter netbook, installed Parental Controls, made him a regular user, and hid the Administrator account.

    Now whenever it needs to run as Administrator for any reason (e.g. install an update) the Administrator login appears except that IT’S MISSING THE PASSWORD BOX. It’s obviously supposed to be there but it’s absent.

    Does anyone know how I can reverse this? … maybe I should remove parental controls from my son’s account, I guess I can do that through Windows Live. Isn’t this how one would normally do this kind of thing? If one didn’t want the administrator account on the netbook’s login screen all the time?

  219. meeeee

    i got access denied man these school laptops r so tight

  220. eldho thomas

    how to change the administrator password???

  221. Tyler

    Thank God for people like you guys, seriously. I wanted to put firmware on my new SSD and it wouldn’t work because of administrator privilidges. Long story short, I never would have figured this out. I activated the administrator account by doing what you said and suddenly the firmware worked. Thanks so much. Cheers. God bless.

  222. Tommy

    Ok, I think I’m in deep shit…

    I followed the steps but I got the username error to enable my admin account.

    so I typed: net user administrator Tommy(my username) /activate: yes.

    Good. It worked. Command completed succesfully. Nothing there.

    So I rebooted, and I DON’T get the admin account, just my usual logon screen with my Tommy account. Hmmm… ‘kay. I think I should probably re-do things, and when I want to log in using my password, Windows gives me the finger and tells me my password is incorrect? I didn’t change it!

    I tried system restore in advanced boot, but since my password is incorrect I can’t get in.

    Tips anyone? It bothers me not so much that I can’t get into my regular account, but that the Admin account isn’t visible… Aaargh!

    Oh by the way, I’ve got Windows 7 Home Premium, if that matters…

    Thanks in advance!

  223. Meethyl

    While trying to install ARC Gis at work I played around with the user accounts. I am now unable to run anything as administrator. When I right click and run as admin, nothing happens.. No prompt to enter user name and password.

    So, cannot run anything as admin, cannot install any new software.

    Whats gone wrong?

    Cannot turn UAC back on.

    Please help.

  224. guest

    when i type net user administrator /active:no it say access is denied

  225. Yunchang

    Hi i am currently Running in my standard user account … i followed the steps on top … but still i cant get my administrator account …a few days ago my administrator account which i was using now became a standard account until today its still standard account… please help me solve my problem …

    OS : Window 7 (86x)

  226. Hank

    Internet Explorer won’t run in administrator mode (Win7) new Lenova SL510 Laptop. I setup the hidden Administrator account as sugested using Command prompt. Logged in as Administrator doesnot allow me to run Internet Explorer; any suggestions.

  227. Jessica

    When I click run as administrator it says I need the administrator password, in which I have forgotten I have tried several things to create a new account on my daughters account which is a limited account what can I do? she doesn`t have the administrative rights on the computer and this is stopping me from doing many things on my own computer, since I have forgotten the administrator password. Help please, I`d truly appreciate it.


  228. Michela

    I deleted one of my user accounts on vista, forgetting that i had important pictures..etc..etc on there. Is there anyway i can get it back? Pleasee helppp.

  229. Dream

    thanks for info

  230. JJBlade

    first of all everyone need to stop giving people the same fucking methods seriouly (right click to run as admin) for god sakes its 2011 get real (ctrl+alt+del) that doesnt work then yall say some damn click security tab come up with a method that cant be blocked comon your embarrising yourselve and second of all.stop saving it as .bat it doesnt work dumbas-es. then yall say net user (admin name) * that doent fucking work come up with a new method that works tell me a method that wont bore me and your 100% sure that it works thanks

  231. Llorond

    Hi all of you,

    I have been working with the offline NT Password and Registry Recovery tool since a couple of years.
    It brought back to live a lot of PCs with forgotten Admin passwords. with this one you can also bring back the hidden accounts again and blank their passwords to log on. I have never had something easier and it saved me from a lot of new installations. The only thing which can block it at the moment is Bitlocker. So from my opinion this tool is highly recommended. Of course, handle with care.

  232. Diana

    Here’s my problem: I am the only user on my notebook computer. I’ve tried to defrag the hard drive but keep getting a dialogue box with the message “Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item”. Under User Accounts my account is listed with my name and Administrator.

    If I type “cmd” (no quotes) in the Search box and right click on it, then click “Run as Administrator”, I get the same dialogue box and message.

    I’d really appreciate help with this…

  233. muraliporur

    that is why i like how to geek.i did it in my newly purchased laptop.thanks a lot.

  234. mike

    Hi i need help please.
    i just got a like new hp laptop with windows vista business from my friend and i deleted their accounts as i created mine, for some reason it has me wanting to put a password and i never set one up, i tried putting in the old passwords or no password at all and still no way to log in, my account is the only one available, and i cant get passed the welcome screen so none of the comments or advice given above work! is there any way around this or to show command prompt before sign in?? i would really appreciate it . thanks alot.

  235. Guest

    download requires a PASSWORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  236. Anne

    Mary Schmokel

    well, when I go to the command prompt, it defaults to “C:\USERS\[username]>” and I cannot use the command. The system response is :

    “System error 5 has occurred”
    “Access denied”

    I do not have an administrator log on icon at start up and there is no file for it when I use “Start” “Explore”

    did I delete the administrator user account or something?

    How do I fix it?


    TRYING to fix one problem just ends up creating another problem how do i get to the C prompt instead of the C prompt\users\myname????

  237. shadow12776

    I want command prompt but all downloads are blocked and need admin privleges to get it! Any suggestions anyone?

  238. Khudadad

    Dear all,
    I have disabled the member of administrator on win7 so now I have only user on welcome screen how can I log in to administrator accounts?

  239. James

    Your kidding me this account is just as crap as the rest still doesnt have the rights thats I need (I mean reading and deleteing Viruses!)

  240. Edouard

    my issue is a bit different on window xp by pressing alt+ctrl+delete i could see the administrator account even if I wasn’t the administrator can you do this with window 7

    I have a problem with mine every time I want to install a program or something it promps me but it doesn’t give me the option of entering yes even if I ask it to run as administrator

    I have no where to type in my password

    Help please

  241. mikiras

    if your administrator account is disable and you have only user account, and you know the password to administrator account. You can enable administrator account.
    Reboot machine and press F8, then select mode with command line.
    Give the admnistrator password.
    In the command line type mmc add snapin user ….. to manage users and groups, change what you want.
    type in command line
    net user administrator /active:yes

  242. John

    I just want to enable this I will disable it after I can get to the other admin acct, but that darn uac thing gets in my way asking for the other admin password to access the run as admin thing

  243. Jeffrey

    I have used the command net user administrator/active:no, it said it was completed successfully, yet the admin account still shows up on my start page. Why?

  244. Khristian

    Just a question… It is also possible to enable the built-in Admin account for windows7 home basic when the user doesnt have access at all in C:?

    If somebody could help, it would be much appreciated as I my user access to my C: was denied totally… :( Thanks!

  245. Scott

    I am unable to view the admin account or other accounts. It just logs on with the last one used and one that says other users. When it prompts me for the password to make changes to the computer the password works just fine. I tried switching the above and it took but did nothing.

  246. Scott

    Oh yes..Windows 7

  247. Ryan

    I have got a pc from someone who has past on and it only has 1 user account but it is password protected. How can i bypass this? I have no restore disk for this pc so i am in a jam. I would not care but it is important to take care of the bills and such that has been put in my lap.

  248. um

    usrmgr anyone?
    why type when you can click?

  249. brai

    pls help me…i cant run cmd via administrator coz 8 requires a password…and i dont hav a administrator password…..

  250. floop

    My access is denied when i try to activate Administrator on command prompt,
    any ideas?

  251. rod

    I have windows vista buisness because of loggin problems i just had fixed i was going to make a pasword reset disk withch i guess is not there to do unless i am loged in as administartor which i have tried to follow in this article. but with now luck. In comand promt i right click it then run as adminstrator on the sceen is shows this C:\Users\administrator>- so there i type this. net user administrator /active:yes and then hit enter and it thinks im am trying to type a new password or to that extent what am i doing wrong.

  252. Becksy

    Perfect! worked totaly fine for access to the hidden admin account. I opened the hidden account up to fix a major peoblem on a friends laptop. The virus couldnt be removed without full admin rights (running it as administrator in normal account didnt work) As I said, perfect and well described how to, thanks “how to geek!”

  253. Xakiz

    Hidden administrator account sucks…
    I just tried to specify sql database file for my c# sqlConnection object.
    I was told that “I can not open that file, cause I am not the administrator”
    What kind of crap is that? I can not imagine the purpose, initial idea for this. If it’s been made for less experienced users, to prevent them from screwing things up, warning messages system is – in my opinion – enough. I – on the other hand – am experienced user and all it does for me is problem.

  254. RodP

    UAC has been the worst pain in the neck I’ve had with Windows 7. And turning it off through the control panel doesn’t help because it doesn’t give you *real* admin privileges. Half the applications I installed into a brand new Windows 7 installation wouldn’t run, and they were installed directly from the CDs. UAC works in Linux, why can’t MS make it work in Windows? Doesn’t matter, because it appears that they can’t. The only solution is to get rid of it entirely. If you’re stupid enough to clobber your own system by deleting or altering system files yourself, leave it on and put up with the pain. If you’re not that dumb, get rid of it. I did and I’ve actually enjoyed Windows 7 for the first time because of it.

  255. Mona

    Tnx a lot

  256. Anthony

    So yesterday I disabled my administrator profile, and just using a standard profile. But now my profile wont load, it comes up with “The user profile service service failed the login. User profile cannot be loaded.” I go to do a system restore and the only restore date was back in 2009. Any suggestions on how to get my administrator profile active again if I’m unable to get into any profile to go through command prompt?

  257. Gayan

    Hi i get a message saying System error 5 has occured access is denied when i did this. what’s the solution?

  258. Angus

    When I type in the command it says access is denied

  259. insanity

    okay here it goes :- 4 user accounts, all as guest, one user with admin privilages, can’t access as parental controls are enabled.. can’t run command promt for the user admin as can’t loggin as admin hence parental control… logged in as a guest with limited access, can’t change status on user accounts as need the parental control enabled from the main user account which is the only admin account with a forgotten password… err help ?

  260. insanity

    oh and can’t bypass via bios or use safe mode in anyway… now i got a headache…

  261. Tobus

    I got the following:

    after windows update my own account with adminrights will not log on.
    “The user profile service service failed the login. User profile cannot be loaded.”

    I have no other adminaccount, but have one other normal account.
    To enable other adminaccount or promote normal account to admin account, I have to do that using adminrights. So it asks for the password of my non-working adminaccount, which naturally doesn’t work.
    Ergo: I’m stuck in a loop. In order to get a working adminaccount again, I have to have a working adminaccount. Doing system restore doesn’t work. Apparently, the adminaccount itself is corrupted.
    Any pointers will be much appreciated.

  262. Crimson


    you only need to use this in a non-administrator account right?

    it occur some errors when i type the command.

  263. Sundi


    Everyone- enabling the Administrator account IS a security flaw just like the Guest account is. A better method here is to just make a second account with admin rights. This helps just in case something ever go wrong with your current account. You do not want to use the built-in Administrator account because when a computer gets Viruses, Malware (or worse) some may use that Administrator account to infect your computer. If the account is disabled, then this is not possible because whatever is infecting the computer will not know another random/custom username to try to use to access the computer.
    DO NOT enable the Administrator account. Just create another user account with administrative rights and make sure that all accounts always have passwords.

  264. claudio

    hola estoy intentando ver si existe la manera de ocultar la vista de la cuenta administrador en la pantalla bienvenida, osea solo que no se vea y poder entrar solo yo, el tema es asi , mi novia acomoda todo en la pc y sin querer me cambia la ruta de programas de descarga etc, y si le pongo contraseña piensa que le oculto cosas…
    Asi que quiero crear tres cuentas una normal para mi, otra para mi novia y la de administrador, pero esta ultima que no salga a la vista y poder entrar yo solo…
    Existe esto???

  265. Jack

    Okay, I’ve gone through tons of command prompt codes, I constantly get the “System Error 5, access denied” so, naturally I tried the right click on Command Prompt and “Run as Admin” but that requires some unknown password from the previous owner, now I also tried the UAC change crap but that too, requires the previous owners password. I’ve done the “Net User (admins names) *” but also gives me the “System Error 5” I’m losing my marbles. So, if you have some hidden trick or happen to be Hugh Jackman from Swordfish, I’d appreciate your input, I’d rather it not involve any download (Because being a limited account I can’t download anything with the password) and would like it to not require a cd of some type. Get back to me….

  266. Bidkar Acosta

    It says access denied.

  267. leslie

    question..i was told to do this cuz i forgot my admin password but i cant run the command prompt as admin because AGAIN i forgot my whats the point in this?????

  268. lantonian

    If you try to run the command prompt as administrator you are immediately asked for the password of an administrator account.
    Come on.

  269. AL

    Thanks man this is very helpful…

  270. Jarrod1937

    @Leslie, the point of this is to unlock the “real” admin account. The one that is available to you is still a limited user account that requires UAC to run more complex applications and commands.
    It really should NOT be used by the average person, even if they think they’re “geeky” enough to handle it. Basically its an open invitation for malware to install itself without the user even being remotely aware of that fact. In a limited permission environment it means that you, the user, have to give permission to something for it to do things like edit your registry…etc, which means that it is impossible for a malware app to install itself without the user knowing.
    However, this real admin account can be useful for items like debugging OS issues and the like. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll want to use the real admin account to do development on. For a developer (web and desktop applications), it is a pain in the butt to use UAC as you get prompts left and right. For example, i frequently edit my HOST file, use command line apps, and compile programs. For users like me it is really the only route imo, though i only do so with the appropriate precautions.

    @Jack, the only way you’re going to get around the password is to either reinstall windows OR use some sort of bootable media to change the account password. There are apps that do this, but they have to run in their own bootable environment.

    @All others who get a permission denied error… read the article, it clearly states that you need to run cmd as Admin to run the command in the first place.

  271. praveen

    karthik nalla varuva pa nee

  272. mac

    Hi, Can anyone solve my problem that is i have disable all administrator user and actived only the limit user. while i try to login from administrator it is showing the no permission message. so how could i get back to the administrator login.

  273. Adit

    Mr krik
    iam going to instal vista , so i thought of asking
    should we really use d admin account ?
    And cant we instal updates while using regular acc ?
    Also will there be popups an app or something like that ?
    Pls reply to this.

  274. NICK

    hi im locked out of C drive n wen i try to run cmd as Run As Admin the sys prompts as “Windows cannot access C:\Windows\system\cmd.exe”
    now the real issue is that i also messed up the security button of C drive and Deny all :( now i’m stuck. how can i get out of it. Earlier with my normal Admin ac i was not able to run any exe file like anit virus but with inbuilt admin ac i’m able to do but still even the inbuilt admin a/c is not able to access C drive what can be done i’m running Windows7 Ultimate help pls…:( :

  275. Daniel P

    Great tip but I would like to add a little something else:

    If you try this but receive a message to say that the password does not meet the minimum required length and for more information, search net helpmsg 2245, then try the following:

    net user administrator /active:yes /passwordreq:no

    You can then create your admin account without a password (although not recommended)

  276. Mohammed

    hi my name is mohammed lyeequddin i am a system admin

    My administrator login is not showing on the desktop i tried several things from the manager and ro local policies security also but it is not showing administrator to login

  277. Luv2bird

    Hello and thank you in advance for help.

    1. How do I reset Windows 7 Home Premium OS edition running 64-bit (x86) to the default user permissions and security settings from the command prompt?

    2. My MSI A6200 Meganotebook (had 5 partitions) was running Windows 7 Home Prem 32-bit and the recovery disks didn’t work so I took it to a geek and he tried to restore/recover but ended up deleting the on-baord Win7 and repair tools then reformatted with a new Windows 7 HP 64-bit – could this cause multiple BSOD’s?

  278. Sanoop

    Nice one..
    But I have one doubt..,
    I have created a standard user account in Windows 7.
    Somehow the admin account is disabled, I really don’t know why ?

    While doing this operation a popup coming asking for admin credentials,
    but there is no fields to enter the credentails, and ofcourse the ‘Yes’ button is also disabled..

    What could be the reason ? How to resolve it ??

  279. ittechJEFF

    You will not be able to access the admin account via windows 7 login. You will need to enable the account by restarting your computer, press the F8 function key and start windows in safe mode. You CANNOT login under guess account. Then, you need to go to start/all programs/accessories/(((((((******right click*****)))))command prompt and “run as administrator”. Type the following: net user administrator /active:yes

    You will receive a confirmation.

    Reboot and login to administrator. It will not have a password until you set one.

    ***Note*** This account should ONLY be used for troubleshooting purposes. When done, I highly reccommend that you disable it.

  280. behzad

    To all users that problem with access denied prompt to enable administrator built-in account:
    Follow blow steps to enable administrator account in windows 7
    1. Boot with Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
    2. Selecting right partition that contain win 7
    3. In loaded hive menu select first item (1.Edit user data and passwords)
    4. In the User Edit Menu sub menu select item 4. (Unlock and enable user account)
    after above actions press y in
    about to write file(s) back! Do it? [n] : y

    after rebooting administrator account will enabled…

  281. behzad

    for detailed info about Offline NT Password & Registry Editor menu’s please go

  282. Pramod

    If Administrator account is disabled and no other account has been created. How to I login into the system to enable the account. Please help me.

  283. Pramod

    Essentially the problem is that Administrator account has been locked. It also says same for Guest account. There is no any other account created. Now How can I log into the computer . Wondering how can window allow to disabled all accounts

  284. Pramod

    Any answer to above query? Thanks

  285. rock

    i have not administrator account and foget the othe one account password what i do,my cd/dvd drive is not working properly

  286. Tanya

    Okay, I really screwed up this time. I accidentally changed permission and ownership to keep my c: drive secure, but didn’t know that no I could not update windows, or make any other changes using a diff user acct. I am using win 7 home premium and i think my lap top os crashing. It is not running the same and I have a hand full of critical updates that are not being installed. All this started when I couldn’t see movies on Netflix anymore and soem other java problems. Thought my lap was being jacked from an internet network virus. It was acting wierd for hte last month so,…thought I would secure it only I really fouled things up now.

    I have tried the suggestion listed on this site however, nothing has worked. I have also tried to reinstall, but no option for this is available when I load up the installation dic -drivers.

    Helpless in Palm springs!


  287. Tanya

    Can anyone please help me when I run command promt i get a msg “access denied” Also while trying to enable an administrative run it does not allow me the option. Another thin I found was that a msg at the C: drive when attempting to change permission and take bacak owner ship is, ” error code: 0x800704b3 C:\Windows\Diagnostics\System\Networking , source Engine

    Please help me


  288. Tanya

    I even tried to reinstall but I cant since I dont have administrative privilages HELP! this is my cons school lap top running win vista 7 home prem Has anyone been able to reinstall windows? All advice & tips welcomed tany

  289. Tanya

    I cannot change user account settings to change permission or update to take owner ship and administratyive privilages, since I am not an administrator. Runnign windows 7 home premium Please call me 818 220 2379

    Helpless in Palm springs!


  290. Marah

    I Have A Question Having To Do With The Administrator Account.. When I Want To Do Something, And The User Account Control Pops Up, It Says I Have To Type In A Password.. How Do I Disable Or Remove The Password Lock?

  291. Daziah

    i made another user account on my computer, but then i forgot my administraton password. How do i Delete it or reset the password. Any change i try to make requires a password. HELP PLEASE!!!

  292. Craig Torrie

    every time i try to access command prompt i right click go to “Run as Administrator” then it comes up “To continue please type an Administrator password and click Yes to continue” there is no password to it, i know because i disabled it myself, and the yes is un-click-able? anyone help me please!?

  293. aqsa

    I want to delete administrator account without administrator permission Please Help me Some body because when it ask me to install anything so i am always asked about the permission of administrator and when i click yes nothing is changed so i just wanna delete it HELP…!!!!!!! Thankss………….

  294. aqsa

    Craig Torrie This same problem is with my Laptop too so please help us sumbuddy plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

  295. Oscar

    Im not sure what happened.But I have only one account on my computer and it WAS administrator but now its set on standard user.No matter how many times I try to set it back to administrator and click change account type its still left on standard user.I really wouldnt care but right now there are a few things Im trying to do that requires for me to be administrator.I tried back up and restore and setting my time back but that also requires administrator.

    My last resort was resetting to factory settings but it says it cant find a problem so I really dont know what to do.If someone knows how I could solve this problem please please please… help me out here.I dont want to tamper with things I dont understand and make things any worse than what they are.

  296. kilq23

    why do i get “access is denied”

  297. Becky

    I can’t get into any account. I’ve tried pressing F8 and running safe mode to get to the hidden administrator account but it doesn’t show up. I tried safe mode with Command Prompt, but it doesn’t let me type anything. There isn’t even a place where it would allow me to type.

  298. Justin

    Make sure you’re starting at C:\ and not C:\WINDOWS\system32\ by typing: cd C:\

    Here’s how:

  299. Zakir Ahmed

    You probably get “access is denied” because you didn’t run the command prompt “as administrator”. Right-click “Command Prompt” or “cmd” and click “Run as administrator” and try again.
    PS: You won’t be able to do this without admin privileges.

  300. Mack

    man its so hard how do you do it mine has a parental control
    Please help!!!

  301. Gerry

    Program I was trying to get rid of still told me I did not have enough rights to unistall when logged in as this secret admin. Just downloaded and it worked a charm.

  302. Te Kahuwharariki

    Hi, The reason I need ‘administrator rights’ is because I need to set up a Brother Mulit Purpose Printer and the Quick Set up Guide states that I must be “logged on with administrator rights” to enable me to install it. What should I do?
    Thank you.

  303. David

    Once again, Microsoft proves their incompetence by making important features incredibly difficult to implement, and incredibly counter intuitive. I don’t have the finances for a Mac, but BS like this is compelling me to switch to Linux or Chromium. I hate “upgrading” windows, which is more like changing to a aesthetically prettier, yet more structurally convoluted version of the old one. Oh, the bane of the OS market.

    Thanks for your help.

  304. roshan

    guys need help
    i just created a net user account through my admin account and did a restart and now on the log on page the new user account is only visible but my admin account is missing plz help

  305. roshan

    i am using win 7

  306. RJ

    Thank you How-To Geek! This was just what I needed.

  307. RJ

    I thought it worked, but it didn’t… :(
    It must be something in my boot.

  308. DeeDee

    Thank you so much How To Geek!

    I was absolutely stumped. Needed to install new software as administrator and couldn’t find out how to access it. This has helped me out of a nasty situation, as only myself and Company Director use the computer and neither of us knew how to do it! Software support were useless, just told me I needed to use the main administrator and although my user is an administrator it didn’t have the access rights needed, and they couldn’t help me any further!

    Couldn’t have done it without your help, so thanks again.

  309. 1337 Man

    What is it with you people forgetting passwords? *calms down* Simply write it down and hide it just in case, keep repeating it to yourself, create a password recovery disc, make a backup drive of your user account without a password (disconnect when not backing up), and you should be done!

  310. Abby

    Hi, I recenty bought a game to play on pc. Which is Sherlock Holmes vs jack the ripper. I used the command box to get an administrator account. Yet it still won’t let me play it. I have uninstalled it and reinstalled it. It still doesn’t work. I have a acer aspire z5761 please help

  311. I hate Mexicans

    Can greasy, scumbag, fence-jumping Mexicans access this as well?

  312. wind7key

    Wind 7 Activator

  313. Lennie

    I bought a Pc second hand (fujutsi media player). It has win 7 premium or professional. When i boot its a user ‘R’ and i dont have the password and the seller forgot it.

    I used lophtcraft but it didnt find the password, but i found that there is an administrator account without password. But i cant change login user in the grafical login screen.

    Maybe admin account is locked in win 7 and it needs to be activated first? (which requires cmd which requires login…)?

    If admin not locked maybe i can reach it with rdp if it exist in home?

    Otherwise i guess i have to try with anoter password delete program or boot from dvd and try to change account or password with repair command console. (which command?)

  314. Bonsai

    Hey can somebody answer a few questions for me? They may sound extremely stupid, I am good with figuring out computer stuff for myself for the most part however there are some basics that I’m just not really clear on.

    My parents run an admin account on our laptop as do I (yes a separate one). I’ve heard this is bad. Yes, no?

    My point in doing so was because I wanted admin rights as well. What are the rights when it comes to admin vs. admin account?

    Can they see my files & pictures? Can I see theirs?

    Can they view my web history even if it is private?

    I have reason to suspect that they have some kind of tracking device, how can I find out forsure & prevent them from seeing my files?

    The computer claims to be a part of a homegroup, however it will not even give me the change the password / view or print password option. However they deny the homegroup & claim to not even know what it is (not buying it!) If it says it is on a homegroup does it mean it must have been created by them? (they are the only other users. If they are on a homegroup how do I find out who is in their network, and can those people see my information somehow even if i have the sharing settings set to nobody?

    almost done…. :)

    Our webcam program (youcam) has a new tab all of a sudden called surveillance settings, and it is set to “continuous recording”. Normal? As in, is it possible the program did it by default when new updates were available, or is someone really watching me? (I now keep a post-it over the webcam, I’m slightly uncomfortable until I know forsure).

    I found a file (among many other surveillance, security, etc..files) in the computer entitled “neighborhood cam” ???????????

    Why, when I try to open some of these files it claims to not exist? Or there will be files with peculiar names that were supposedly updated within the past couple days, but nothing will be in them. I have already chosen the “show hidden folders” action.

    Sorry so many q’s! Just information I would like to know & I figured this would be a great place to get it

  315. Johnny Poop

    Hi. I just took a big brown corn cob-like, smelly burrito-fueled CRAP in my pants. It was 2 5/8″ in diameter and approximately 6 3/16″ long. Bye.

  316. emo gokay

    this job is considered administrative task and it works only if you are logged in with admin privileged account otherwise will not work

  317. Christopher

    you can simply make yourself an admin by creating a folder with links to all of the settings, including the ones only accessible to admins, no password needed!

    Just make a new folder and name it:

    then just scroll down to the User Accounts section and click on “Create administrator account”
    then proceed to create the account, lo in, and make your normal account an admin, and follow the steps in the main article to enable the hidden superadmin that can’t be deleted or changed to a normal user (as a bonus it doesn’t ask you to confirm actions, it just does whatever you tell it to)

  318. Lynnette Jane

    I tried the Superadmin make a new folder thing and it still asked for an administrator password because of the User Account Control. :( I tried everything on this forum and nothing seems to work. There is no administrator account if i put in:

    net user administration/active:yes

    it just replies with:

    [username [password | *] [options]] [/DOMAIN]
    username {password | *} /ADD [options] [/DOMAIN]
    username [/DELETE] [/DOMAIN]
    username [/TIMES: {times | ALL}]

    can someone please tell me what to do or help me!!!???

  319. Helpme

    My girlfriend was given a computer by her sugar daddy then thay had a falling out. It is a gateway e series with windows 7, the problem is without knowing his password we cant log onto the cpu. can anybody help?

  320. FunkyDodo

    Hey man and thank you!

    Wanted to uninstall Dropbox but it asked me for administator account even when i never made an administrator account and even when my current account has administrator-rights… In account menu of windows the administrator-account was hidden, RLY ANNOYING!!
    With that simple cmd i was able to create a password for administrator account and finally uninstall Dropbox.Damn u Microsoft and thanks again!

  321. Stroldre

    It didn’t work I typed it and it said accsess denied.

  322. Theo

    I can’t log into my admin acountt i changed my password and then forgot it though it is typed on the admin acount please help mme E|:

  323. Theo

    me to ^

  324. bm34

    Hi everyone – this topic seems to be pissin’ us all off. Here’s my share of this damned feature of (the otherwise cool Win7)
    I have one account on the computer, it’s an Administrator account – but I know that’s not the real deal, ‘cuz it often happens that the account does not have rights to do this and that – so I enabled the hidden Admin account and checked out my options – like if my normal account is really set to be an Admin one, stuff like that – it helped in some cases ( file deleting, installing, moving system files around and stuff) but in some it did not – so I enabled the hidden Admin account again, and tried to fix my current problem form there… and guess what I am told my this goddamn machine that I am not the administrator!!! Is there a more hidden very special classified administrator account or what the hell???!!
    oh btw wht i was trying to do is executing some hard disk related commands in cmd like: chkntfs /x c:
    fsutil dirty query c:

    Anyone get this? maybe can even help me? thaaankss

  325. LexiLove

    Okay, so the computer is mine, but my dad set it up when I got it because I’m not computer savvy at all, but he made it where HE was the admin on my computer and not me. And then he put parental controls on it that makes me have to go get his password to do things like update Flash or Adobe. I’m now 18 and I think I should have full rights to my own computer. Is there any way that I can get it back without asking him to change it for me? It’s starting to annoy me when I need to update something but have to wait for him to get home from work to get it done. Please help?

  326. vinnysifter

    Same problem. Anyone know how to view admin. password

  327. Akon

    I have a problem with administrator password, i’ve never created one in the first place, how can i solve this, i tried all the solutions suggested here but none is helping, i need to install an anti_virus soft ware and i can’t unless it put the ‘pasword’ which i don’t know, please help!

  328. RohanG

    I am trying to copy a file on windows vista from one MT4 platform to another ! It does not come same! But I get the same exact file if I copy on windows XP Professional! Can some one tell me why and how to rectify!

  329. N69

    Thanks for posting this. It would have taken forever to figure this out :) !!!!!

  330. Lew

    I am running Vista on my Laptop…I want to install a printer. When I try and run the printer install disk software the program says I need Administrative rights to install. When I type in Net user from the C prompt it says I am the Administrator…..I have added the name Administrator to my log in screen by typing from the C:/ windows/system, “Net user administrator /active:yes. But when using the Administrator log in which at present is not password protected, the same thing happens with the printer install disk. I need adminstrative rights. Any ideas on why using my name or the Administrator log in will not let me install the printer software.

  331. Partosh

    its great wonderfull

  332. Wes

    I am trying to install updates and programs, i am on a so called administrator account and when i try to run these programs i get the message program must be ran as administrator… what gives?

  333. Sudhir Khanal

    Helpful note information for Windows 7 user.

    If you disable the admin account

    If you login by administrator account open C:\Windows\System32\sysprep\sysprep, the administrator account will be disable.

    We cannot enable, if you have not administrator access in the system so you have to follow this step.

    How to Enable
    1) Re-start the system in safe mode.
    2) The system will ask administrator credentials and guest credential.
    3) You login by administrator credential.
    4) Create new administrator (ex. abcde) user with password.
    5) Re-start system in normal mode.
    6) The System will ask new administrator credentials.
    7) Open command prompt (Run by administrator).
    8) Type net user administrator / active:yes
    9) Now logoff the system, now system will ask administrator credentials
    a. If you want to disable the temp administrator use this command – net user abcde / active:no
    10) Finally you enable the administration account.

  334. Frances

    Hi I’m wondering if someone can help…
    It appears that I have been locked out of my user account. I am the administrator on he laptop and I have a normal account set up for my mum. When I try to log on to the admin account it fails due to ‘the user profile service’. When I try to access my files via the normal account it asks for the admin password, however when I type it in nothing happens. I need to download iTunes for my iPhone which it won’t let me do and I’m now afraid that I’ve lost all of uni work which is saved in the admin account.
    Also, when I try to restore my laptop to an earlier date it fails.

    Can anyone help please!?? x

  335. Srinivasan Bosukonda

    Thank you very much. it works

  336. Terry Miles

    Sorry, you are wrong.
    You can “Run As… Administrator” in ANY edition of Windows.
    It is the setup account.
    It is there, it is always there.
    Go to Programs – Accessories – Hover over Command Prompt – and then Right Click and Select “Run As Administrator” or “Run As…” (and then select administrator).

    If this wasn’t there, then your Windows installation wouldn’t be working at all.

  337. Anand

    its working

  338. Lamont

    It said error 5 and access denied

  339. never stallen

    i realy was in need with this
    but i never understand anything ????

  340. Vinod

    when I save my java files in C drive it will not permit me to save my file in C.
    It gives a message “you don’t have permission to save file in this location
    contact the administrator to obtain permission”.and i am workin in administrater account
    please suggest answers.

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