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 profile gets corrupted (and you have no alternate user account with admin privileges), you’ll need to enable and use the built-in administrator account to fix things up or create a second administrator account.
This post applies only to the situations where the user remembers the password for his account, but cannot log into the account due to a corrupt user profile or per-user registry. Corrupt user profile causes the error “The user profile service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded” when logging in to the account.
Whereas, for the “lost password“ or “lost admin privileges” kind of situations, you need to follow the instructions in the article Windows 10 Password Reset Methods for Lost Password Scenario to reset the user account password or restore the admin rights for the user account.
This article tells you how to enable the built-in administrator account (named “
Administrator“) in Windows 10 and log in to it from Safe mode. It assumes that you know the password for your user account.
Enable 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 you cannot log in to your account.
Note: On a perfectly working Windows 10 computer with an admin user account already present, you won’t need to use the Recovery Options to enable the built-in administrator (“Administrator”) account.
Step 1: Log in 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.
- Attempt to boot the system 2 or 3 times. After 3 failed tries, you’ll have the option to get into the Recovery Options directly, after going through the automatic repair (“Startup Repair”) process.
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 the Recovery Options menu.
- Exit and Continue to Windows 10.
- You’ll see the “Administrator” account in the sign-in screen.
- Carry out the administration tasks using this account — e.g., creating a new administrator account, fixing the registry or file system permissions, etc.
- Once done, log off from the “Administrator” account and log in to your user account.
- For security reasons, it’s better to disable the built-in administrator. To disable the built-in Administrator account, open an elevated Command Prompt window and type:
net user administrator /active:no
You can check the status of the “Administrator” account by running the command “
net user administrator“. The “Account active” field tells if the account is active or not.
That’s it! Use your built-in administrator account very scarcely.
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