Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Log on as administrator?

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1

    Log on as administrator?


    This is my first post but probably not my last!

    I have recently bought a new laptop with Win 8.1 installed (I also have an older one with Windows 8.0 which I have not used until a couple of days ago - don't ask)

    I have managed to download and install a lot of software from the web on both machines, no problem. Then I tried to download and install my own program from my website (ie an .exe that I have written). It downloaded fine but when I tried to install it, after the usual warnings it came up with (on both machines):

    "blah blah. Log on as administrator blah blah"

    So, I went to the Control panel and duly appointed myself as an administrator and closed the machine. When I restarted it, there I was, as an administrator. Hurrah!

    But it still did NOT allow me to install my program. Many hours later (I hate you Microsoft) I realised that what the warning message should have said was:

    blah blah "Log on as The Administrator blah blah". Not just any old administrator but as the Superbeing known as "The Administrator". So, who is he and where does he live? Well, it appears he lives hidden on your PC.

    So, how do you unleash this dragon from his cave and set him to work. Well, this worked for me:

    1. Control Panel (I use ClassicShell to make my life easier - am I allowed to say that? - no connection to me and it is free)

    2. Programs

    3. WindowsSystems

    4. Command Prompt BUT do NOT left click on it. RIGHT click on it and then

    5. Left Click on "Run as administrator" (this is CRUCIAL)

    6. Then the familiar DOS Black Box headed: "Administrator: Command Prompt" should come up

    (It does not seem to matter which directory you are in but if you need to change or are just curious, you can change directory like this "cd C:\" but without the quotes - this will bring up the C: drive for example. This is what we worked with back in the mid 1980's but with .bat files to make life a little easier)

    7. Then type precisely this:

    net user administrator /active:yes

    It should then come up with "Command was completed successfully". Anything else and you are in trouble

    8. Close down PC

    9. Start the PC

    10. The opening screen should show just you but with a crucial ARROW pointing left

    11. Click on the arrow and the dragon will be there - probably with no password (later, be patient)

    12. Log on as the "Administrator". Everything will look totally different because this is a different user

    (OR you can just use the switch user option in the closing down options)

    13. Attempt to install your program (it will deny it is present in downloads but if you look properly on the drive it will be there under users etc). Or just download it again. It should now install

    14. Switch back to being plain old you! You can put the dragon back in his cave via

    net user administrator /active:no

    if you want to

    15. Make a new shortcut on the Desktop to your program

    16. To run it, right click and run as administrator if it refuses to run

    Simples.

    So, my question: Is this really the only way to do this or am I missing something simple?

    Thank you in anticipation
    Last edited by wavering; 26 Aug 2014 at 04:00.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Forever West
    Posts : 591
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1


    The actual Administrator account is usually hidden by default but the first user created during setup is usually an Administrator, has most administrative rights. Succeeding Users created usually are as Standard, can't do some things that may be critical to the Operating System itself. At least one User has to be an Administrator.

    Most times the right-click, Run as administrator allows things be done but I have seen a few times where the actual Administrator account was needed so had to unhide it, do the task, then rehide it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8.1


    Unfortunately, this is the only way in certain situations. (However you don't need a restart after activating the account, just relog.)

    The embedded administrator account is the only user account that runs every process with administrator privileges by default. With the sheer amount of problems the normal execution behavior poses, i myself was better off using this administrator account as my default account. There were just too many issues where programs couldn't communicate with each other, because non-admin programs couldn't even make a simple query to passively gain information from a program that had admin rights. Before this practice i had to run programs as administrator most of the time anyway, but then for example, drag&drop would cease to work, one of the dozens of issues i had with regular admin accounts.

    As soon as i started using the built-in administrator account as my main account, each and every one of my usual unexplainable problems just went away. No more issues with launching a software from another software, no more programs ceasing to execute without an error message, no more "Access Denied!" (when i wanted to save something in root folders for example), and so on ...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Asagrim View Post
    However you don't need a restart after activating the account, just relog
    Well, in fairness to me, I did say "OR you can just use the switch user option in the closing down options" - see after point 12

    Edit 1
    Incidentally, I discover that if you press the Win button and X together you get a list of handy technical places, including "Command Prompt (Admin)". So that is a quicker route ...

    1. Win button and X
    2. Command Prompt (Admin)
    3. Type in: net user administrator /active:yes
    4. Swap user

    Edit 2
    I have had to roll back to the start because of malware and discover this:

    1. Control Panel
    2. Action Centre
    3. Windows smart screen
    4. Choice of whether to ask admin approval before installing stuff from the internet

    Have not tested this option but looks like a possible route to dispensing with the Administrator

    Anyway, thanks for that! I will leave this up for a few days to see if anybody else comments then mark as "closed"
    Last edited by wavering; 26 Aug 2014 at 04:01.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    You can change to administrator rights on any program in it's properties > Compatibility > "Run this programs administrator" and it will not ask for permission any more.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    You can change to administrator rights on any program in it's properties > Compatibility > "Run this programs administrator" and it will not ask for permission any more.
    Thank you!

    This worked! I found the exe file in downloads, right clicked and ran as administrator and it installed OK. Sigh ..

    Well, hopefully, the above thread will help people who have struggled with this

    PS Ironically, now that it is installed, if I right click on the program icon on the desktop and try to run as administrator, nothing happens ie the exe doe NOT run

    If I just click on it normally, it runs OK ...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8.1


    [QUOTE=wavering;419989]
    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post

    PS Ironically, now that it is installed, if I right click on the program icon on the desktop and try to run as administrator, nothing happens ie the exe doe NOT run

    If I just click on it normally, it runs OK ...
    Yep, like i already mentioned, that this would be the case. It simply does not suffice to run the program itself with administrative privileges, if it relies on other program external components to be able to do the same. If you are having a lot of these issues you are better off using the Administrator account as your user account, because it will save you a lot of headache. Windows security measures evolved from holding your hand (XP) to slapping your wrist (7) and now they are keeping you on a leash (8). These security measures try to restrict malicious softwares' ability to do damage, but all they actually do is restrict the user.

    If you are skilled enough to use your computer in a manner that you don't deliberately expose it to malicious software, and have some sort of real-time virus protection you don't turn off for alleged "false positives" (IYKWIM), then using the Administrator account as a normal user account won't be a source of trouble for you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Security measures are not there for skilled user but for the masses. With more sophisticated attacks more security measures are needed and hardening OS is the first barrier. That may be inconvenience to some but there's price for everything.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    [...] more security measures are needed and hardening OS is the first barrier. That may be inconvenience to some but there's price for everything.
    Yes, but these security measures are not optional anymore. The barrier between admin mode and user mode processes is hardcoded into Windows, with every disadvantage that comes with it. Using the built-in administrator account to overcome these limitations is not solving the problem, it's just avoiding it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    They pretty well are, that reminds me of cake and eating it. The moment you circumvent them, you are back to old system that everybody was clamoring that it's not secure enough. Everybody and his brother are massing thru the system and complain it's not good.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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