How-To

Enable or Disable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 10

sign in security feature

Windows 10 includes a hidden built-in administrator account. Here’s how to enable it or disable it.

Windows 10 includes a hidden Administrator account you can use to manage all the resources of the computer. In previous versions of Windows, such as Windows XP, this account was readily available when you set up your computer for the first time. Starting with Windows Vista, the built-in administrator account is disabled by default. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can enable this built-in administrator account in Windows 10 and why you may or may not want to.

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

There are two ways to enable the built-in administrator account. The easiest method is from within Computer Management.

Note: Computer Management is only available in Windows 10 Pro. Use the Command Prompt instructions below for Windows 10 Home.

Right-click the Start menu (or press Windows key + X) > Computer Management, then expand Local Users and Groups > Users.

Select the Administrator account, right click on it then click Properties. Uncheck Account is disabled, click Apply then OK.

Enable Built-in Administrator from Command Prompt (Windows 10 Home)

The command line can also be used to enable and disable the administrator account.

Open Start, type: CMD, right-click Command Prompt then click Run as administrator.

Type the following command and press Enter:

net user administrator /active:yes

To disable it, type the following command and press Enter:

Disabling it is just as easy, type net user administrator /active:no

What’s the Built-in Administrator Account for?

Explaining how to enable the built-in administrator account in Windows 10 is a lot easier than explaining why you would want to. Simply put, unless you know why you want to use the built-in administrator account, you probably don’t need it. In fact, you should probably leave it disabled—the built-in administrator account has free rein across your entire system which makes it a security vulnerability. But more to the point, there’s practically nothing that the built-in administrator account can do that a standard Windows 10 administrator account can’t do. When you first set up and configure Windows 10, the first account you create will be an administrator account.

If you’ve accidentally demoted, locked out, or forgotten the password to your administrator account, using the built-in administrator account may be your saving grace, but only if you’ve already enabled it beforehand since you need administrative privileges to enable or disable it. If that’s the purpose you’re using it for, you’re still better off creating a separate standard administrator account, rather than using the widely-known and abused built-in administrator account.

So, why does the built-in administrator account exist in the first place? It’s mostly for OEM system builders, who may want to make tweaks to the system before the out-of-box-experience is complete. If that’s not you, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a reason to ever use the built-in administrator account.


10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. David Schiff  

    I have Windows 10 Home version 1703
    I do not have Computer Management/ Local Users and Groups. That is, there is nothing between Shared folders and Performance

    • Computer Management is not available in Windows 10 Home, so you’ll have to use the command prompt instructions.

  2. luislast  

    Wouldn’t you have to create a password as well, to access the Admin account?

  3. Abdul Rehman  

    bro its show me
    System error 5 has occurred.

    Access is denied.

    • Clive Lloyd-Jones  

      What’s “it”? The command prompt or computer management? If you mean the command prompt, did you run it in administrator mode?

      • Antonio  

        From command prompt I also get ‘System error 5 has occurred’
        Access is denied

        • Clive Lloyd-Jones  

          You need to open what is called an “elevated” command prompt (which is basically a command prompt with admin rights).

          Windows 8 & 8.1 have a built-in admin command prompt (press windows key+x) and you will see the option which says “Command Prompt (Administrator)” or, if it’s windows 10, in the search bar / Cortana, type cmd. When it shows you the cmd results (on your machine, not the internet) use the right mouse button to click it and select “Run as administrator”.

          This will open a command prompt with admin rights. Now try the fix again. It shouldn’t give you any access denied issues :)

  4. Tyler Jenkins  

    What happens if the laptop has an error stating that there was an error saving the account is disabled?

  5. Jonathan Sandrelli  

    Run as administrator. how do you run as admin if you don’t have admin?

    • Clive Lloyd-Jones  

      Right mouse click and select run as administrator.

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