There are situations where you’ll need to activate and use the built-in Administrator account in Windows. The built-in Administrator account is disabled by default. If your existing admin user account gets locked up and you need to create a second administrator account, you’ll need to use the built-in administrator account to accomplish the task.
This article tells you how to enable the built-in administrator account (named “
Administrator“) in Windows 10 and login to it from Safe mode. This article assumes that you’re unable to start Windows 10 normally, or unable to login to your existing administrator-level user account for some reason.
How to Enable the Built-in Administrator in Windows 10 via Recovery Options
Enabling the built-in administrator account can be done through Windows Recovery Environment (aka “Recovery Options”), if Windows doesn’t boot normally or if you’re unable to login to your account.
Note: If a perfectly working Windows 10 computer with an administrator user account already present and working correctly, you won’t have the need to enable the built-in administrator (“Administrator”) account. This article assumes that you’re either unable to start Windows 10 normally, or unable to login to your administrator-level user account for some reason.
For example, here is one situation (lost administrator account password or lost the admin privileges) where you’ll need to activate the built-in administrator account. For more information, check out article Fix: Lost Administrator Rights or Password in Windows 10
Step 1: Login to Advanced Recovery Options (Windows RE)
- From the sign-in screen in Windows 10, press and hold the SHIFT key on the keyboard.
- With the SHIFT key still pressed, click the Power button and then click Restart.
- In the Recovery Options menu, click Troubleshoot, and then click Advanced Options.
Note: If Windows 10 doesn’t boot, follow these steps to access the Recovery Options screen.
- Boot the system using your Windows installation media or Recovery drive, if you’ve created one already. If you don’t have one, download the Windows 10 ISO and then create a bootable media from another computer.
- In the Windows setup page that appears when booting using the Windows installation media, click Next
- Click Repair your computer.
Step 2: Enable the Built-in Administrator account from Windows RE
- In the Advanced options dialog, click Command Prompt.
- In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press ENTER:
net user administrator /active:yes
exitto return to Recovery Options menu.
- Exit and Continue to Windows 10.
Step 3: Login to built-in Administrator account
- When you get to the sign-in screen, hold the SHIFT key down while you select Power icon, and click Restart.
- Your computer restarts to the “Choose an option” screen.
- Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
- After your computer restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Select 4 or F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode, or select 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
- Log in as Administrator from Safe mode.
- Carry out the administration tasks using this account, such as creating a new administrator account or fixing registry or file system permissions etc.
- For security reasons, it’s better to disable it once you finish all your tasks using this account. To disable the built-in Administrator account, open an elevated Command Prompt window and then type:
net user administrator /active:no
That’s it! Use your built-in administrator account very scarcely.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in Windows — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP (2003-2012) who contributes to various Windows support forums.