Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Deleted admin account in Win 8.1 update. How to restore?

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 Update x64

    Deleted admin account in Win 8.1 update. How to restore?


    Here is my dilemma. I only had one account on my Windows 8.1 Pro Update 1 x64 computer. Then I messed it up when I changed rights. Now the computer boots up and I can log in but as a user.

    Most of the suggestions I read require admin rights which I no longer have. I can't create a new account or edit the built-in admin account but I keep getting the error 5.

    So I need some help with this. Should I try to boot in safe mode with DOS prompt and hopefully admin rights?

    Would a system restore work? I do have recent restore points but will I be able to restore if I am not the administrator?

    I am asking all of this because I am not in front of my computer at this moment... I had to leave on a business trip so I will attempt repairs when I get back home.

    Worst case scenario will require me to start from scratch, which I am trying to avoid.

    I know that I am not the first nor will I be the last to do something stupid like I did, but I chalk it up to a learning experience (sigh). I also saw that many of the suggestions failed with no follow up posts (pity).

    I know that some of you were in exactly the same predicament as me so I am seeking help from those of you who experienced this AND found the solution.

    Crossing my fingers...

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,213
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Flashfox, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    When you do not have another administrator account to sign in to, then you could try one of the following options below to enable the built-in Administrator account to sign in to and use..

    A) Boot into safe mode, enable the built-in Administrator, sign out, and sign in to Administrator.

    OR

    B) Open a command prompt at boot, enable the built-in Administrator, restart the PC, and sign in to Administrator.

    If you are not able to, then you'll need to reinstall Windows.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 Update x64


    I tried option 2 and it failed, BUT I realized that I forgot to "run as administrator" so I will try when I get home. I will also try the safe mode boot

    What about a system restore to an earlier point? Can I perform this if I am not the administrator?

    Thanks for the info... I am certain to NOT set up my computer the same way once I fix this problem.

    By the way, my files are safe and I can access them to back them up. I also use Carbonite so the key files are backed-up off site. It's just the hassle and waste of time if the simple approaches fail.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,213
    64-bit Windows 10


    It'll prompt you for an administrator's password to be able to do a system restore.

    I'm glad you got backups. Without an administrator account, it's almost impossible to do anything.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,848
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    In addition to the above, here's another approach to sneak in with the elevated command prompt without having a password/Admin account.

    1. If you have Windows 8 install disk. Boot it up, follow what on the screen shot to find out exactly what your Windows drive letter is assigned to. In this case, it's still C:.
      Click image for larger version
    2. Type: exit <enter> to exit diskpart
    3. Type: C: <enter>then type: cd windows\system32 <enter> <=== use appropriate drive letter if it's not C:
    4. Type: ren Utilman.exe xxx.exe <enter>
    5. Type: copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe <enter>
    6. Reboot your PC. Do not login then follow what on the next 2 screens:

      Click image for larger version

      Click image for larger version
    7. Now login with your user name. You should be in the Administrators group.
    8. Boot up with Windows Install disk again, Type C: then type cd windows\system32
    9. Type: del Utilman.exe then type: ren xxx.exe Utilman.exe


    Hope this helps !!!
    Last edited by topgundcp; 10 Jun 2014 at 08:24.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 Update x64


    Fixed my problem by performing a system restore to a point before I messed-up the ADMIN account. This was the simplest way to fix my mess-up and as I do create restore points, it was very useful. Thanks for the suggestions :-)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 22,213
    64-bit Windows 10


    Great news.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 Update x64


    Although I fixed my problem I am now amazed at how easy someone could gain access to a computer by using such a back door approach. As I see it, you can become the admin and take control. Scary... But not really unexpected ;-(
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 22,213
    64-bit Windows 10


    Yep, it would be best to password protect all accounts.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    This doesnt work says you dont have access to the files in winpe. I read somewhere this doesnt work on microsoft accounts......

    Ok that was what I originally typed this does work but not in this fashion please leave this up for posterity this link is a life saver. I installed Phasure NOS1 XXHighEnd(audiophile computer dac player software) and it installs some kind of administrator override and now I cant get into Metro apps and so I thought I would fix it by turning my one account from the administrator account into a Standard User account this is a no no no now I see that man I haven't had one of these all day search the internet fixes in years whatever you do never downgrade a user account and in the future create several accounts and make them all administrators because windows is getting tight now their security is increasing and searching this in win 10 yields fewer options than ever before. I found solutions for XP, windows 7, windows 8 but nothing for win 10 but luckily using a couple of these I figured it out.

    First of all Rufus will not work without elevated privileges so this guide and its addendum do not really work as stated yes I am on windows 10 but please leave this here cause I searched all of google and really this is the only thread that nails this and it seems allot of people have and will look for this in the future so this thread should never be closed.

    Ok really the whole bootable usb disk in windows 10 is unnecessary this is the hard part I had to figure out myself and when you are in winpe or a cmd prompt on boot it will load x:\windows\system32\> you cannot change groups as this is not really your windows its some other windows so you cannot change the group your account belongs to from this prompt you can however run the trick in this thread changing utilman.exe to cmd.exe after you change the name of utilman.exe to something else that way when you click on utilman.exe icon on logon it will then give you a full administrator cmdprompt and you can change your account group to administrators.

    So for Win 10 the solution is the same with one change no boot usb required also if you try with a bootusb that winpe on your bootusb wont have file permissions for your windows install but the cmd prompt on boot option will.....

    1. Starting from your Standard User account fully logged in and on the Desktop press windows key and then click the power button as if you were to restart. When the drop menu pops to show restart then press and hold Shift and click Restart. This will bring up the Advanced Boot Options Blue menu click Troubleshoot then Advanced Options then Cmd Prompt on Boot. The computer will then reboot.

    2.Then the Computer will come to another Blue maintenance screen and ask you to choose an account to log into it should be the built in administrator account you may have to change the usb port for your usb mouse or get a usb to ps2 port adapter or use another mouse if you get no mouse pointer. The password should be blank unless youve already otherwise set it. Then follow along with the rest of TopGunDpc's guide. Type DiskPart then when it loads and gives blinking cursor type list volume which is continued blow on 3:

    3. Follow what on the screen shot to find out exactly what your Windows drive letter is assigned to. In this case, it's still C:.
    Type: exit <enter> to exit diskpart
    Type: C: <enter>then type: cd windows\system32 <enter> <=== use appropriate drive letter if it's not C:
    Type: ren Utilman.exe xxx.exe <enter>
    Type: copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe <enter>
    Reboot your PC. Do not login then follow what on the next 2 screens:




    Now login with your user name. You should be in the Administrators group.
    Boot up with CMD PROMPT ON BOOT again, Type C: then type cd windows\system32
    Type: del Utilman.exe then type: ren xxx.exe Utilman.exe
    The Utilman.exe icon will be the second icon on the right instead of on the left side like in windows 8
    Last edited by iCEOL8TR; 16 Aug 2016 at 16:04.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Deleted admin account in Win 8.1 update. How to restore?
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