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Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable in Windows 8

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  1. #1
    Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable in Windows 8

    Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable in Windows 8
    How to Enable or Disable Built-in Elevated "Administrator" Account Windows 8 and 8.1
    Published by Brink is offline
    27 Sep 2012
    Default Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable in Windows 8

    How to Enable or Disable Built-in Elevated "Administrator" Account Windows 8 and 8.1

    information   Information
    This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable the hidden built-in elevated Administrator account in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

    Note   Note
    Standard user (Users) - The standard account is an unelevated restricted users account. It can help protect your computer by preventing users from making changes that affect everyone who uses the computer, such as deleting files that are required for the computer to work. It is recommend to create a standard account for each user instead of an administrator account for the user. When you are logged on to Windows with a standard account, you can do almost anything that you can do with an administrator account, but if a standard user wanted to do something that requires elevated rights that affects other users of the computer, such as installing software or changing security settings, Windows will give the standard user a UAC prompt to enter the password of an administrator account for approval and confirmation before allowing the action.

    administrator user - Is an unelevated administrator account that is created by default during the installation of Windows 8 or 8.1, or is already setup or you on a OEM (ex: Dell) computer. An administrator account has complete access to the computer, and can make any desired changes. To help make the computer more secure, this administrator account type will be prompted by UAC by default to give confirmation before allowed to make any changes that require elevated administrator rights. Such as those that affect the system, other users, or when running anything elevated (Run as Administrator) since running elevated will allow it to have access to the entire computer.

    Built-in "Administrator" - Is the hidden elevated local administrator account that has full unrestricted access rights and permission on the computer. By default, this elevated "Administrator" account is not prompted by UAC by default to provide confirmation before allowed to make any changes that require elevated administrator permissions since it is an elevated account.

    warning   Warning

    • You will not be able to open and run "Metro" Store apps while signed in to the built-in Administrator account.
    • The built-in Administrator account is a local account that cannot be switched to a Microsoft account.
    • The built-in Administrator account's C:\Users\Administrator folder will not be created until the first time that it is signed into.
    • If you enable the built-in Administrator account, it is recommended that you create a password for it to help prevent unauthorized access of it.
    • For better security purposes, it is not recommended to leave the built-in Administrator account always enabled, or used for everyday purposes. The built-in Administrator account should only be used as needed instead.



    EXAMPLE: Built-in "Administrator" Account Enabled in Windows 8
    NOTE: This is for the Sign in screen and Switch User. If you do not see an option to select another user account at sign in, then click/tap on the back arrow button.

    Click image for larger version
    Click image for larger version






    OPTION ONE
    To Enable or Disable Built-in Administrator in Command Prompt

    1. Open an elevated command prompt, and do either step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do.

    2. To Enable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

    A) In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below and press Enter, then go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)

    Note   Note
    If you had previously renamed the built-in "Administrator" account's name, then you will need to substitute administrator in the command below with the new name instead.

    If your Windows uses a different language than English, then you would need to substitute administrator in the command below with the translation for your language instead.



    net user administrator /active:yes


    Click image for larger version


    3. To Disable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

    A) In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below and press Enter, then go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)

    Note   Note
    If you had previously renamed the built-in "Administrator" account's name, then you will need to substitute administrator in the command below with the new name instead.

    If your Windows uses a different language than English, then you would need to substitute administrator in the command below with the translation for your language instead.



    net user administrator /active:no



    Click image for larger version


    4. Close the elevated command prompt.

    5. The built-in Administrator will now be available to select to sign into.





    OPTION TWO
    To Enable or Disable Built-in Administrator in Command Prompt at Boot

    NOTE: This option is great for when you are unable to sign in to Windows 8.

    1. Open a command prompt at boot.

    2. In the command prompt, type regedit and press Enter. (see screenshot below step 3)

    3. In the left pane of Registry Editor, click/tap on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    4. Click/tap on File (menu bar) and on Load Hive. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    5. Open the drive (ex: D ) that you have Windows 8 installed on, and browse to the location below. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: The drive letter (ex: C) will not always be the same as it is from within Windows 8.

    D:\Windows\System32\config


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    6. Select the SAM file, and click/tap on Open. (see screenshot below)

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    7. In the Load Hive dialog, type REM_SAM and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

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    8. In the left of Registry Editor, navigate to and open the key below. (see screenshot below)


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\REM_SAM\SAM\Domains\Accounts\Users\000001F4



    Click image for larger version

    9. In the right pane of 000001F4, double click/tap on F to modify it. (see screenshot above)


    10.
    Do step 11 or 12 below for what you would like to do.


    11. To Enable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

    A) In the 2nd column and 8th row, change 11 to 10, click/tap on OK, and go to step 14 below. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: You would do this by clicking to the left of 11 to place the cursor there, press the Delete key, then type 10.

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    13. To Disable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

    A) In the 2nd column and 8th row, change 10 to 11, click/tap on OK, and go to step 14 below. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: You would do this by clicking to the left of 10 to place the cursor there, press the Delete key, then type 11.

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    14. Close Registry Editor and the command prompt. (see screenshot below step 3)

    15. Click/tap on Continue to Windows 8, or restart the computer. (see screenshot below)

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    16. The built-in Administrator will now be available to select to sign into.




    OPTION THREE
    To Enable or Disable Built-in Administrator in Local Users and Groups

    NOTE: This option is only available in the Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise editions.

    1.
    Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type lusrmgr.msc and click/tap on OK.

    2. In the left pane, click/tap on the Users folder, then in the middle pane, double click/tap on Administrator. (see sceenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    3. Do step 4 or 5 below for what you would like to do. (see sceenshot below)

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    4. To Enable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

    A) Uncheck the Account is disabled box, click/tap on OK, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below step 3)

    5. To Disable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

    A) Check the Account is disabled box, click/tap on OK, and go to step 6 below. (see screenshot below step 3)

    6. Close the Local Users and Groups window. (see screenshot below step 2)

    7. The built-in Administrator will now be available to select to sign into.





    OPTION FOUR
    To Enable or Disable Built-in Administrator in Local Security Policy

    NOTE: This option is only available in the Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise editions.

    1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type secpol.msc and click/tap on OK.

    2. In the left pane, click/tap on the Local Policies folder to expand it, and click/tap on the Security Options folder. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    3. In the right pane of Security Options, double click/tap on Accounts: Administrator account status. (see screenshot above)

    4. Do step 5 or 6 below for what you would like to do. (see sceenshot below)

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    5. To Enable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

    A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below step 4)

    6. To Disable the Built-in Administrator Account in Windows 8

    A) Select (dot) Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below step 4)

    7.
    Close the Local Security Policy window. (see screenshot below step 2)

    8. The built-in Administrator will now be available to select to sign into.




    That's it,
    Shawn


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  2. #1
    LittleJay's Avatar

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    Thank you for another useful tutorial Shawn!


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  3. #2
    Brink's Avatar

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    You're welcome Jay. I'm glad you like it.
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  4. #3



    Member

    Join Date : Nov 2012
    Posts : 17
    Windows 8


    I just recently discovered this and was curious about it. Is this the same as windwos XP default admin account as far as priveleges go. Is it more dangerous so to speak to use this than the default windows xp admin account or just about the same as far as security goes? If I use a PC where the windows partition is deepfeezed would it be safe to use this or is there bots from the net that can still use the cpu even after a reboot? I would like to use it because I find that things like disabling auto updates in java and software I use require admin rights and some programs won't save there settings etc etc. I would like to have a normal working machine like windows xp where settings and programs running properly did not require run as admin or special tweaks. Is it a bad idea to run in this mode on a deepfrozen computer?
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  5. #4
    Brink's Avatar

    Administrator



    Join Date : Jul 2009
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    us texas


    Hello papayrus,

    Yep, that's correct. The built-in elevated "Administrator" in Windows 8 is basically the same as an administrator account in XP.

    Since Vista, a normal administrator account no longer has elevated rights by default and acts like a "standard user" account now. While signed in an administrator account you can either use "run as administrator" (elevated) or approve an UAC prompt when prompted to allow something to elevated instead.

    The built-in elevated Administrator account and anything that runs while signed in to this account has full unrestricted elevated rights. That's why this account should not be used for everyday usage, but only as needed instead. Something could easily run in the background with full elevated rights without you ever knowing about it since you never got a UAC prompt for you to allow or deny letting it run elevated first.


    For your trusted programs that need to run elevated, you could set Compatibility Mode for them to always "run as administrator". While signed in to a normal administrator account, you would be prompted by UAC first when you want to open the program before it is allowed to run elevated.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #5



    Member

    Join Date : Nov 2012
    Posts : 17
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Hello papayrus,

    Yep, that's correct. The built-in elevated "Administrator" in Windows 8 is basically the same as an administrator account in XP.

    Since Vista, a normal administrator account no longer has elevated rights by default and acts like a "standard user" account now. While signed in an administrator account you can either use "run as administrator" (elevated) or approve an UAC prompt when prompted to allow something to elevated instead.

    The built-in elevated Administrator account and anything that runs while signed in to this account has full unrestricted elevated rights. That's why this account should not be used for everyday usage, but only as needed instead. Something could easily run in the background with full elevated rights without you ever knowing about it since you never got a UAC prompt for you to allow or deny letting it run elevated first.


    For your trusted programs that need to run elevated, you could set Compatibility Mode for them to always "run as administrator". While signed in to a normal administrator account, you would be prompted by UAC first when you want to open the program before it is allowed to run elevated.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
    I have not had any problems with windows xp and programs running in the background and as well like I said I use deepfreeze. So would this mean if I keep windows xp free of background garbage then I should be able to do the same with the admin account of windows 8?
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  7. #6
    Brink's Avatar

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    Yes, you could.

    However, it would still be considered to be a security risk since everything runs elevated and unrestricted while signed in to the built-in Administrator account.
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  8. #7



    Member

    Join Date : Nov 2012
    Posts : 17
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Yes, you could.

    However, it would still be considered to be a security risk since everything runs elevated and unrestricted while signed in to the built-in Administrator account.
    Yeah I understand it is considered a security risk but it sounds like it would be no more of a security risk than running windows xp as it is and I have no issues with malware and crap on my windows xp machines.
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  9. #8



    Member

    Join Date : Nov 2012
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    Windows 8


    That's ok I wish they would put back in the start menu without having to use a third party program as well.
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  10. #9



    Power User

    Join Date : Nov 2012
    Jakarta, Indonesia
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    Indonesia


    Option two is very useful if you were not able to gain Admin rights (UAC asks for admin password while there is no text box and Yes is greyed out).
    I have experienced this once, and i must do a reset (refresh won't fix the problem).
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