This week we’re taking a break from our ongoing Windows Deployment Services and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit series to focus on a small issue that has affected the built-in Administrator account on Windows computers since the release of Windows 8: the dreaded error message that appears when trying to launch Metro apps as a local Administrator.

While often billed as a security measure, the “feature” in question can become more of an annoyance–especially on Windows 10 with the release of Microsoft’s new Edge browser. Although Edge has replaced Internet Explorer (IE) as the default browser, IE can still be launched with Admin privileges, with little to no security oversight. This presents a quandary. as IE is arguably less secure than Edge but ends up being the go-to browser for users since Edge will not launch from the local Admin account.

Until now. Read on to find out how to modify your computer–or entire network–to allow the launching of Metro apps from the built-in Administrator account for all versions of Windows 10 (except Home–we’ll look at the steps for that version in a minute).

SEE: Free Windows 10 upgrade still available to these select users

The workaround

  1. Log on to your Windows 10 computer with an account that has administrative rights and launch the Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc). If working with Active Directory, you can use the Group Policy Management Console (gpmc.msc) instead to modify the same policies on the network.
  2. Drill down to the following node to locate the policies to modify: Computer Configuration | Windows Settings | Security Settings | Local Policies | Security Options.
  3. Identify the policies listed below and modify their security settings to match that of the entries listed here:
  • User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode For Built-in Administrator Account: Enabled
  • User Account Control: Behavior Of The Elevation Prompt For Administrators In The Admin Approval Mode: Elevate Without Prompting
  • User Account Control: Run All Administrators In Admin Approval Mode: Enabled

Once you’ve modified the settings, reboot the computer. When it restarts, you’ll be able to launch Metro apps from the built-in Administrator account.

SEE: Windows 10: The smart person’s guide (Updated)

Windows 10 Home Edition users

The steps below detail the registry entries you need to modify to enable Metro app functionality for the local Admin account, since Windows 10 Home does not support Group Policies:

  1. Log on to your Windows 10 Home Edition computer with an account that has administrative rights and launch the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
  2. Drill down to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.
  3. If the FilterAdministratorToken registry entry exists, set its value to 1. If it does not exist, right-click the key to create a new DWORD value, name it FilterAdministratorToken, then set its value to 1.
  4. Next, navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\UIPI.
  5. Modify the value of the Default string key to 0x00000001.
  6. The last change requires launching the Control Panel | User Accounts | Change User Account Control Settings and moving the slider to the second notch, Notify Me Only When Apps Try To Make Changes To My Computer (Default). This is the default setting for all Windows 10 editions.

When you’re finished, restart the computer for the settings to take effect. When you log back onto the computer with the built-in Administrator account, Metro apps will be accessible.

More Windows tips and tricks

Other barriers?

Have you been frustrated by the inability to launch Metro apps from the Admin account? What other Windows “features” have you found annoying?