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    Activate Windows' hidden, master admin account




    TOP STORY

    Activate Windows' hidden, master admin account


    By Fred Langa

    Windows' user rights can be confusing and frustrating. Whether signed in with an administrator-level user account or evoking the Run as administrator setting, you can still run into insufficient-rights warnings. But Windows' built-in, separate Administrator account gives you unfettered access to virtually all parts of your system setup once you know how to access it.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/activate-windows-hidden-master-admin-account (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    I fear they might have disabled the point and click solution in Windows 8.1.

    PrtScr capture.jpg
    Last edited by nuttiplutt; 2015-05-14 at 04:57.

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    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuttiplutt View Post
    I fear they might have disabled the point and click solution in Windows 8.1.

    PrtScr capture.jpg
    Fred does say it is available on all but the most limited versions of Windows, presumably you are using Home or Basic?

    As you can see below it is working fine in my Pro version of 8.1

    Screenshot (1).png

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    Millions of us are still using XP in spite of Gates trying to bankrupt everyone by forcing us to continually upgrade everything. Does this article apply to XP as well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Browni View Post
    Fred does say it is available on all but the most limited versions of Windows, presumably you are using Home or Basic?

    As you can see below it is working fine in my Pro version of 8.1

    Screenshot (1).png

    Welcome to the lounge as a new poster!
    Ah, yes! I am using the Home version. The wording from Microsoft made me believe it was an 8.1 issue...

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    It is also possible to access the administration account settings by right clicking on "Computer" on the desktop, selecting "Manage", then select "Local Users and Groups", double click "User" in the right pane and you will see the location accounts including the Administrator account.

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    Turning on Administrator can create a security risk

    A few things to point out when using the built-in Administrator account (RID 500).

    - Turning on the Administrator account enables access to hidden file shares (C$, Admin$). This can create a significant security risk.

    - Turning on the Administrator account allows remote connection with full admin privileges to all remotable services (remote registry, task scheduler, Windows Firewall configuration, WMI, etc). Again this can create a security risk.

    - WinRT apps will not run under Administrator account. If you try to launch a WinRT app, you get the following error message: "xxx can't be opened using the built-in Administrator account. Sign in with a different account and try again."

    - The Windows Store is not available under the Administrator account. If you try to visit the Windows Store, you get the following error message: "Store can't be opened using the Built-in Administrator account. Sign in with a different account and try again."

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon7 View Post
    - Turning on the Administrator account enables access to hidden file shares (C$, Admin$). This can create a significant security risk.

    - Turning on the Administrator account allows remote connection with full admin privileges to all remotable services (remote registry, task scheduler, Windows Firewall configuration, WMI, etc). Again this can create a security risk.
    I've been doing both of those for all my system-administrative life in XP and Windows 7 without needing to use the actual Administrator account! My account merely has to have administrator privileges.
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    I've been doing both of those for all my system-administrative life in XP and Windows 7 without needing to use the actual Administrator account! My account merely has to have administrator privileges.
    That is because on your Win 7 box, you had changed the registry setting LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy. You can go to Action Center -> Change User Account Control settings, and change the slider from Notify me when apps try to make changes to my computer to Never notify me. I think that sets the value to 0. (Or it makes the value moot; I don't remember offhand.)

    However, turning UAC completely off is definitely not recommended.

    It is not applicable to XP (it does not have UAC).

    Granted, turning off the token filter (while leaving UAC on) can be useful for remote management in an enterprise. IT techs often set it to 0 in Group Policy for remote management. It's not recommended for home or mobile users, however. Of course security is always a tradeoff of convenience versus protection.
    Last edited by Gideon7; 2015-05-14 at 09:47.

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    When I open lusrmgr.msc the window that opens only shows "Local Users and Groups (Local)" in the left pane and a warning in the middle pane that says "This computer is running Windows 7 Home Premium. This snapin may not be used with this version of Windows. To manage user accounts for this computer, use the User Accounts tool in the Control Panel."

    When going there I see no option to enable the Admin account (only to add Admin to other user accounts). You mentioned that this should work for all versions of Win 7. What is the problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nuttiplutt View Post
    I fear they might have disabled the point and click solution in Windows 8.1.

    PrtScr capture.jpg
    I'm getting the same, any work around?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bb_aes View Post
    You mentioned that this should work for all versions of Win 7. What is the problem?
    It didn't say all versions. It said except Basic/Home editions. You can use the command line alternative which the article did say applies to all versions/editions.

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    On se7en x64, if you're going to run in the big dog admin accnt. it is recommended that you rename it after enabling. You can rename the guest account at the same time if your making the changes in Local Security Policy. Be aware anytime your in The Admin Account you make it easier for malware hidden in a Root Kit to gain access to areas that otherwise they would not be able to due to lack of admin privileges, not counting the aforementioned caveats.
    REMEMBER--- "if you don't play well with others, you could end up playing with yourself."


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    Thank you for your reply. I saw "all" and then missed the word "but" in versions it worked with - my mistake. And when I tried the command line prompt, I missed the part about running as Admin, so that failed for me then. I'm sorry I missed both of these - which were correct in the article. By running command line prompt as admin, it worked! Thank you for your help and sorry I didn't read both those incorrectly.

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    I have a Win7PRO 64bit and when I try to uncheck the "disable Administrator" box and apply or "OK," I get an error message that the password "does not meet policy password requirements." My password for my account is "symbol####XXXxxxxxx" which is pretty good. Why am I getting this and how can I make the admin account work?
    Thanks
    steve rose

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