How to Activate Vista Administrator Account

In Windows Vista, the built-in administrator account is disabled by default. This is based on a security model adopted by Microsoft. Power Users group have also been effectively deprecated. Microsoft has made it much easier to perform normal routines as a standard user and even administrators run with limited Windows privileges and user rights by default.

But if you are planning to do a lot of tweaking or installations that require administrator privileges, using the built-in administrator account might be more useful.

To unlock the administrator account:

  1. Login with an account with administrator rights
  2. Open a Command prompt in administrator mode by right-clicking and choosing “Run as administrator”
  3. Run the following command:
    net user administrator /active:yes
  4. Change the password of the administrator account by running the following command:
    net user administrator password-for-administrator
    Change the ‘password-for-administrator’ as necessary.

Logoff from Vista and the administrator account should be available.

To disable the administrator account, run the following command:

net user administrator /active:no

Note that this account is only for experienced users who know exactly what they are doing. Having an administrator account with no password set is a huge security risk. And in some cases this administrator account could be used to circumvent other security mechanisms. For example, parental controls could not be effective if the child could simply login with the built-in administrator account and do whatever they want, including disabling the Parental Controls.

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