How to Enable the Hidden Administrator Account in Windows 7 and Windows Vista

The built-in Administrator account has a blank password, and is kept disabled by default in Windows Vista and Windows 7 installations. If you need to enable this hidden Administrator account for troubleshooting purposes, say for fixing a software installation problem or fixing permissions, you can enable the account using the NET USER command-line.

Enabling the Built-In Administrator Account

Open an elevated Command Prompt window. To do so, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

Type the following command and hit {ENTER}

net user administrator /active:yes

This enables the built-in Administrator account, which has blank password by default, and shows up in the Welcome Screen. You may check the status of the Administrator account using the following command.

net user administrator

The "Account active" field specifies if the account is enabled or not. After finishing your work in the Administrator account, be sure to disable the account (highly recommended) using the following command.

net user administrator /active:no

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.