Administrator Account

ByLine
How to Enable or Disable the Real Built-in Administrator Account in Vista
Synopsis
The hidden built-in Administrator account in Vista acts like the one in XP with full rights and no UAC. This will show you how to enable or disable the real built-in Administrator user account.
How to Enable or Disable the Real Built-in Administrator Account in Vista


information   Information
In Vista, even though you are using an administrator account, you still run with Standard account privileges. When a program or a action by you tries to run with administrators rights, you must first give it permission before it is allowed. This is the User Account Control (UAC). The hidden real Built-in Administrator Account does not use UAC and is like the one in XP with full rights on your computer. For more information, see: Microsoft Help and Support: KB942956
warning   Warning
If you enable the hidden Built-in Administrator Account, it is recommended that you do not use this account all the time since everything installed and running on your computer will also have full access to computer too. Instead, I would recommmend that you use it for administrative purposes only, and then use a Standard or normal administrator user account that is restricted for everyday tasks for better security.
Note   Note

  • This will not delete your current account. It just adds a new account named Administrator that is the real administrator account in Vista.
  • If you do not have any other administrator account on your computer, then you will automatically startup into the built-in Administrator account when you boot into Safe Mode.





Here's How:
2. To Enable the Hidden Built-In Administrator Account
A) In the elevated command prompt, type the command in bold below and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
net user administrator /active:yes
CMD_Enable.jpg

B) Go to step 7.​

3. To Disable the Hidden Built-in Administrator Account
WARNING: Make sure you are not logged into the built-in Administrator account when trying to disable it. You must be logged into a normal administrator account to do this instead. It will not work if you try to disable the built-in Administrator account while you are still logged on to it.​
A) In the elevated command prompt, type the command in bold below and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
net user administrator /active:no
CMD_Disable.jpg


4. You will get the message, The command completed successfully. If not, repeat the step.​
NOTE: If you are still unable to enable the built-in Administrator account from here, then try this again in Safe Mode instead.
5. Close the elevated command prompt.​
6. Log off (in Start Menu) and you will see your new built-in Administrator account next to your current account(s).​
LogOff.jpg

7. Click on the new Administrator account display picture icon and log on to it.​
8. You should create a password for this account for better security.​
9. You will then need to set up it's desktop preferences like any other account.​
That's it,
Shawn




 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

I tried the instructions listed in this thread, and I continue to get the "system 5 error." I right-clicked on the command prompt and ran it as an administrator. I then cut and pasted this command--net user administrator /active:yes--into the command shell thing. Still, I get oogatz!

Here is a print-screen of my command shell thing after attempting this hack. As you can see, it clearly says "Administrator" at the top of the window.

Can anyone clue me in as to what's going wrong?



Edit: I finally got this to work. I had to boot into safe-mode (press F8 as the computer boots.) No matter how many times I right-clicked on cmd and selected "run as administrator," this absolutely would NOT work in normal mode.
 
Last edited:
Hi Hoopskidoodle,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

I'm glad to hear that you where able to get the buil-in Administrator account enabled.

Normally this error happens when one does not click Run as Administrator for the command prompt, but you clearly did. This link may help explain some of the security issues for the error message, though it's for mapped drive access it may be related.

Error message when you try to access a mapped drive that is mapped to a Windows XP-based computer from a Windows Vista-based computer: "System error 5 has occurred"

Shawn
 
Hi Torquenada, and welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

UAC will have not affect on the built-in "real" Administrator account on or off. It would be best to have UAC turned on for the other accounts though for better security. If you do really do not like the UAC pop-ups, then you might consider just elevating the regular administrator accounts instead. This way UAC is not turned off completely. You can see how to in this tutorial if needed.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/80938-user-account-control-uac-elevate-privilege-level.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
I bought a Toshiba laptop with VistaHome premium and created a standard Admin account since I am the only user. But, I couldnot access some of the normal folders thru Windows Explorer, i.e. Cookies, Application Data, System Volume Info, etc.

I called Toshiba and over a period of almost 3 hours 3 different ITs gave me several different solutions (it's the firewall, its that you are not an administrator, it's that the os is corrupt and needs reinstalling--which I knew wasnt true so didnt do it--, that becoming a real administrator is an Advanced Technical task beyond any regular IT expertise and so I'd have to buy some Advanced Tech info from Microsoft to do it). Thanks to your website I was able to verify everything they said was untrue.

I followed the "Enable hidden built-in Admin Account" tutorial and it worked fine. I created a password and logged in and out and turned off the machine. Then I tried to access the above accounts and it still wont work.

Is it possible that I am not a "real" administrator but just a "standard" admin? How can I tell the difference? How can I access ALL of my computer? I hate these "for your own good" roadblocks.
 
I bought a Toshiba laptop with VistaHome premium and created a standard Admin account since I am the only user. But, I couldnot access some of the normal folders thru Windows Explorer, i.e. Cookies, Application Data, System Volume Info, etc.

I called Toshiba and over a period of almost 3 hours 3 different ITs gave me several different solutions (it's the firewall, its that you are not an administrator, it's that the os is corrupt and needs reinstalling--which I knew wasnt true so didnt do it--, that becoming a real administrator is an Advanced Technical task beyond any regular IT expertise and so I'd have to buy some Advanced Tech info from Microsoft to do it). Thanks to your website I was able to verify everything they said was untrue.

I followed the "Enable hidden built-in Admin Account" tutorial and it worked fine. I created a password and logged in and out and turned off the machine. Then I tried to access the above accounts and it still wont work.

Is it possible that I am not a "real" administrator but just a "standard" admin? How can I tell the difference? How can I access ALL of my computer? I hate these "for your own good" roadblocks.
I'm not sure if I should be posting here or in the other Administrator forum. However, I thought I would try logging in in Safe mode to see if I could tell if I was Real Admin or not. I logged in Safe Mode and saw the startup screen with both my User icon and the Admin. icon. I clicked the Admin one and tried to open some of the same folders. I get the same message before: "[folder] is not accessible. access is denied."
 
Hello cp-mbaby,

What are the location and files that you are trying to open. Some files, like the one with My .... , are not actually files but junction points to the real file instead. You will not be able to access these junction points from any account. They are for backwards compatibility for programs made for older versions of Windows. These programs will try to use the My .... files that are no longer use in Vista. Vista uses the personal user folders now.

Shawn
 
just the folders I said above: Cookies, Application Data, System Volume Info, plus I have tried Documents & Settings with the same result: Not Accessible, access denied
 
Here is another question but I sure dont know where to post it because I cant fine anything that talks about it. Everybody except us newbies seem to have a photo or avatar with their posts. I added a pic on my profile but cant figure out how to get it to be included with my posts.
 
You are not talking about folders but about junction links or NTFS symbolic links.
Do not worry, it is normal, even being administrator, that Vista refuses to link you when you click on some particular "folders"..... I can't explain you here the exact definition of symbolic/junction links with Vista/NTFS, maybe in a tutorial when i'll have some free time but for the time being, Google will be your friend.

It is just important to know that for example:
Junction links
C:\Documents and Settings links to C:\Users
C:\ProgramData\Desktop links to C:\Users\Public\Desktop
Symbolic links
C:\Users\All Users links to C:\ProgramData
And so on.....
 
Here is another question but I sure dont know where to post it because I cant fine anything that talks about it. Everybody except us newbies seem to have a photo or avatar with their posts. I added a pic on my profile but cant figure out how to get it to be included with my posts.
You can add one by clicking User CP at the top of the webpage. In the User Control Panel, click on Edit Avatar in the left pane under Control Panel.

Have fun,
Shawn
 
You are not talking about folders but about junction links or NTFS symbolic links.
Do not worry, it is normal, even being administrator, that Vista refuses to link you when you click on some particular "folders"..... I can't explain you here the exact definition of symbolic/junction links with Vista/NTFS, maybe in a tutorial when i'll have some free time but for the time being, Google will be your friend.

It is just important to know that for example:
Junction links
C:\Documents and Settings links to C:\Users
C:\ProgramData\Desktop links to C:\Users\Public\Desktop
Symbolic links
C:\Users\All Users links to C:\ProgramData
And so on.....
ok, from wandering around c:\ I've realized that, for example, all the Cookies folders point back to one main folder and if I delete cookies in my usual user folder it also shows as deleted in the other folders so I understand that there is some virtual connection. However, if i cant get into any of the cookies folders, how can I be sure everything is deleted? I know that using Windows normal "delete cookies" buttons do not take out all (for my protection, in case i didnt really mean to and might want to use them again tomorrow, grrr). For security reasons, there are times when I want to make darn sure my bank or credit card company didnt leave any cookies on my laptop.
but to access their accounts, you must let them put the cookie on for the session. So, in vista is there any way to work around the "good for you" controls and delete ALL cookies?
 
cp-mbaby,

Nice avatar.

For cookies, you can delete them manually from the two locations at the top of this tutorial.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/60641-cookies.html


You may also want to try the free program CCleaner. It does a great job of managing cookies and getting rid of junk files.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/60641-cookies.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Thanks. It is my original Osborne 64k CP/M system disk circa 1979. I checked the cookies tutorial and the IE Tools tab didnt clear all of anything in WinXE so I assume it doesnt in Vista either. but the manual location you refer to (under Users...AppData...) does get me to a place where I can now delete all my cookies.
Thanks again.
 
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