How to enable the Windows 7 Administrator account

A number of Windows 7 users have contacted me about why they cannot access certain files and folders – asking me why they don’t appear to have the permission to delete files and folders is an example. The reason for this is very simple. You don’t have administrator access (which isn’t default on Windows 7 or Vista) as Windows 7 runs most apps with least privilege access (non-admin).

You can enable the true or hidden administrator account access by doing the following elevated command prompt: WARNING – THIS DISABLES THE UAC– read more about Managing your Windows 7 User Account Control (UAC).

  • Type ‘cmd’ without the quotes into the Start search programs and files box – you should now see ‘cmd’
  • Right click ‘cmd’ with your mouse and select ‘Run as Administrator’ – you should now see the command console window
  • Type the following command ‘net user administrator /active:yes’ (with spaces but without the quotes) and then press Enter*
  • Type ‘net user administrator’ (with spaces but without the quotes) and then press Enter (see next bullet)
  • You can check whether the Administrator account is active ‘Account active’ should say ‘Yes’
  • Close the ‘cmd’ window by typing ‘exit’ then hit Enter
  • You will now need to log off your PC for the change to be applied.

*This allows you to run Windows 7 with Administrator privileges as default.

Once you’ve finished editing files and folders I’d suggest:

  • You open the command prompt by typing ‘cmd’ into the Start search program and files box (as above)
  • Disable the Administrator account using the following command: ‘net user administrator /active:no’ (with spaces but without the quotes)
  • Type ‘net user administrator’ (with spaces but without the quotes) and then press Enter (see next bullet)
  • You can check whether the Administrator account is active ‘Account active’ should say ‘No’
  • Close the ‘cmd’ console window by typing ‘exit’ then hit Enter
  • You will now need to log off your PC for the change to be applied.

Note: Don’t forget you can also set Windows 7 privileges for individual applications.

Safe surfing folks!
Julian

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