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30 March, 2010

Enable the (Hidden) Administrator Account on Windows 7 or Vista

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 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.


Note: You really shouldn’t use this account for anything other than troubleshooting. In fact, you probably shouldn’t use it at all.


Enable Built-in Administrator Account


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)


Run Command Prompt as Administrator


Now type the following command:


net user administrator /active:yes



The Command Complete Successfully


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 the screenshots are from Vista, but this works on Windows 7 too)


Administrator Account


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 Command Completed Successfully


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

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