Hidden Admin Account in Windows Vista/7

Ok, so with the release of Windows Vista there has been some issues with the account you set up for yourself as Computer Administrator, not being a true administrator account. Certain things will not run, one of which being Outlook BCM. In order to bypass all these issues you are having you will have to login as the Administrator (the actual Administrator account, not the psuedo-admin account yours should be). Below is the text to activate the hidden administrator account so that you can login and do whatever you need.

Key decision - decide if you need a password for the administrator's account that you are going to activate.  My point is that the local policy may insist on a complex password, thus you will not be able to activate the administrator with a blank password.  This technique also works on Windows Server 2008, however on that operating system it is more likely you will set /active:no.

  1. Logon to Vista using your normal username and password.
  2. Click on the Start button
  3. Click on Start Search. 
  4. Type, cmd. 
  5. Right-click cmd, select 'Run as administrator' from the shortcut menu.
  6. In the black 'DOS box', type the following at the command line:
    Net help user
  7. The idea of the last command is just to observe the options for Net User.  In particular, examine the syntax to set the password.
  8. The next instruction is the crucial command.  I have chosen password = p£ssworD, you may want to choose different characters.
  9. Net user administrator <insert password> (This sets the password for the account) ie: net user administrator P@ssw0rd!2
  10. Net user administrator /active:yes (This turns on the hidden admin account)
  11. Check the message : The command completed successfully
  12. Switch User, or logoff
  13. Logon as Administrator  Password p£ssw0rD  (Your password may be different!)

Trap1:  There should be no space between the word 'active' and the colon.

    /active  :yes   is wrong.   
    /active:yes     is correct.

Trap2:  You need a forward slash before /active

     Net user administrator active:yes    is wrong
     Net user administrator /active:yes    is correct

I will warn you however, that loging in as the true administrator will open security risks for you and is not advised by Microsoft ie: if you click a link in an email with a virus attached, it runs under your credentials, which as (let's call it Super Administrator) Super Admin allows full control on the system to the program. What can you do tomake sure you are secure? Without getting paranoid about everything, all you should need to do is make sure your Anti-Virus is a good program and up to date, and that your firewall is active. You should also make sure you keep your patches up to date, they put those out for a reason, though some times they break what was working fine (few and rare occasions, but we are talking about Microsoft here).

About the Author:

Sean Wheeler
Small Biz Techno Geek 

Sean works at home designing IP Video Surveillance and Home Intrusion systems, writing articles, and managing 3 young children. Enjoys tinkering with technology and generally delving into every little detail imaginable whenever he gets into a project. 

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