How to enable and disable the Administrator account in Windows 10

Sometimes you need to use the built-in Windows 10 Administrator account: here's how.

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Image: Nate Ralph/CNET

Windows 10 includes a built-in Administrator account that, by default, is hidden and disabled for security reasons. Sometimes, you need to perform a bit of Windows management or troubleshooting or make changes to your account that requires administrator access. For these reasons, you can enable the Administrator account and then disable it when you're finished.

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How to enable the Windows 10 Administrator account using the command prompt

Enabling the Administrator account using the command prompt is the quickest and easiest method. 

  1. Open a command prompt as an administrator by typing cmd in the search field. 
  2. From the results, right-click the entry for Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator. 
  3. At the command prompt, type net user administrator. The value for Account Active should say No (Figure A).
  4. Figure A

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  5. Type net user administrator /active:yes. You should receive a response that the command completed successfully.
  6. Type net user administrator. The value for Account Active should now say Yes (Figure B).

Figure B

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How to enable the Windows 10 Administrator account through the user management tool

  1. Open Administrative Tools, either through the Start menu or through Control Panel.
  2. Select the entry for Computer Management, and open the folder for Local Users And Groups. (A quicker way to get here is to type lusrmgr.msc in the Search field.)
  3. Open the folder for Users, and double-click the Administrator account.
  4. Uncheck the option for Account Is Disabled, and click OK or Apply (Figure C).
  5. Figure C

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  6. Close the User Management window.
  7. With the account enabled, log out.
  8. Go past the Lock screen, and sign in using the Administrator account. No password is required. You can then perform whatever management or troubleshooting you need to accomplish.

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How to disable the Windows 10 Administrator account using the command prompt

When you've completed your management or troubleshooting tasks, you'll want to disable the Administrator account. To do so, follow these steps.

  1. Log out, and then log back in using your own account.
  2. Open a command prompt as an administrator, and type net user administrator to confirm that the account is active.
  3. Type net user administrator /active: no, then type net user administrator again to confirm that the account is now inactive (Figure D).

Figure D

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How to disable the Windows 10 Administrator account through the user management tool

  1. Return to the Local Users And Groups window, and double-click the Administrator account.
  2. Check the box for Account Is Disabled.
  3. Click OK or Apply, and close the User Management window (Figure E).

Figure E

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