Windows 10 and Windows 11 include a built-in Administrator account that, by default, is hidden and disabled for security reasons. All these types of accounts — Local (user), Administrator (user), and built-in Administrator — provide the user with certain levels of privileges. A Local account providing the lowest level through to a built-in Administrator which provides an even higher level of privileges than a user Administrator account — hence the reason it is normally disabled and hidden.
However, there are occasions when you might need to access the built-in Administrator account to make use of the elevated privileges — particularly to troubleshoot/manage issues and accounts. The simplest way to enable the built-in Administrator account is via Command Prompt.
Enable Built-in Administrator Account
Open an elevated Command Prompt (Admin): either right-click the Start button and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu or type cmd into the search field and then right-click the top result and select Run as administrator.
- Type or copy and paste the following command: net user administrator /active:yes
- To confirm that the account is now enabled, type or copy and paste the following command: net user administrator
Restart the machine and now, in the Login window, you should see the option to log in to the Administrator account. NOTE: Once you log in, it will take a few minutes to set up and then you’ll be good to go.
Disable Built-in Administrator Account
As mentioned earlier, this type of account affords the highest level of privileges so it’s not a good idea to leave the built-in Administrator account enabled. To disable it again:
- Open an elevated Command Prompt (Admin) and type or copy and paste the following command: net user administrator /active:no
- To confirm the account has now been disabled, type or copy and paste the following command: net user administrator
While the built-in Administrator account can certainly come in handy at times for troubleshooting purposes, I cannot emphasize enough how risky it would be to leave it enabled, especially if it is a shared computer or the computer is readily accessible. I have to admit, in all the years I’ve been dealing with Windows PCs, I’ve never needed to enable and access the built-in Administrator account. You might never need to either but, if you do, at least now you’ll know how.