[Guide] How to Get Administrator Privileges on Windows 11

[Guide] How to Get Administrator Privileges on Windows 11

/ Cris Mamon

Windows has two types of user accounts: Standard and Administrator. The latter has more privileges, such as installing software and making system-wide changes. However, it’s essential to consider the implications of granting someone full control over their PC. Instead, it may be better to keep them on a standard account and enter the administrator password when necessary to vet any changes.

How to Get Administrator Privileges on Windows 11

Like previous iterations, Windows 11 has a concealed Administrator account that proficient users can utilize without requiring clearance for UAC (User Account Control). This is an exceedingly practical approach to avoid having to obtain elevation approval.

Activating / Deactivating the Built-in Administrator Account on Windows 11 The built-in Administrator account is distinct from local or Microsoft accounts since it doesn’t possess a password or PIN by default. Nevertheless, you may secure the performance by assigning a password, prohibiting unauthorized individuals from accessing it.

What Can I Do With a Built-in Administrator Account?

Utilizing the built-in administrator account lets you attain complete authority over the locally stored resources, including files, directories, and services. Moreover, you can use this account to assign permissions, allocate diverse privileges to various users, and even generate new local users.

Furthermore, the built-in administrator account provides complete control over any local resource or facilitates modification of user permissions and rights. However, unlike other administrator accounts, it’s not feasible to erase, rename, or restrict the built-in Admin account.

Enable or Disable the Built-in Admin on Windows 11 via Powershell

To enable or disable the built-in administrator account on Windows 11 using PowerShell, follow these steps:

1. Open PowerShell as an administrator. You can do this by typing PowerShell in the Start menu, right-clicking on Windows PowerShell, and selecting Run as administrator.

Alternatively, press Win + X and select Windows Terminal (admin)

windows terminal admin

2. To enable Windows 11 administrator account, type the following command and press Enter:

Enable-LocalUser -Name “Administrator”

This will enable the built-in administrator account.

enable local user via terminal

3. To disable the built-in administrator account, type the following command and press Enter:

Disable-LocalUser -Name “Administrator”

This will disable the built-in administrator account.

disable local user via terminal

5. After executing the command, you can close PowerShell.

Note: Using the built-in administrator account is recommended only when required. It has more privileges than a regular user account and can pose a security risk if not used carefully.

Enable Administrator Account in Windows 11 Using Command Prompt

1. Press the Windows key + R to open a Run dialog box.

2. Type cmd inside the text box and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to ensure you open Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

run cmd

3. Click Yes to grant administrative privileges at the User Account Control prompt.

4. Inside the elevated Command Prompt window, type one of the following commands depending on if you want to Disable or Enable the built-in administrator account:

5. To Enable the Admin Account, run the command net user Administrator /active: yes

net user administrator active yes

6. To Disable the Admin Account, type net user Administrator /active: no

Note: Replace Administrator with the actual name of the built-in account if you previously changed it. Also, if your default language is not English, you’ll need to change Administrator with the equivalent word in your language.

7. Once the status of the built-in Admin account is changed, you can close the elevated Command Prompt and restart your computer to allow the changes to take effect.

Enable Built-in Administrator Account in Local User and Groups

This method requires using the Local Users and Groups utility, exclusively available on Windows 11 Pro, Windows 11 Enterprise, and Windows 11 Education editions. Additionally, an administrator account is necessary to execute this method.

1. Press the Windows key + R to open a Run dialog box.

2. Inside the text box, type lusrmgr.msc and press Enter to open the Local Users and Groups utility.

lusrmgr command

3. At the UAC prompt, click Yes to grant administrative access.

4. Inside the Local Users and Groups utility, click the Users tab on the window’s left side, then double-click Administrator in the central pane.

users option in groups

5. In the Administrator Properties screen, go to the General tab and check or uncheck the Account is a disabled checkbox, depending on whether you want to enable or disable the account.

account is disabled

6. Once the modification has been made, enforce it by clicking on Apply.

7. You can safely close the Local Users and Groups utility, as the status of the built-in admin account should have already been changed on Windows 11.

Enable or Disable the Built-in Admin on Windows 11 Using a Local Security Policy

1. Press the Windows key + R to open a Run dialog box.

2. Inside the text box, type secpol.msc and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up the Local Security Policy tool with admin access.

secpol command

3. When prompted by the User Account Control, click Yes to grant administrative access.

4. Once inside the Local Security Policy utility, expand the Local Policies menu on the left-hand side, then click on Security Options from the left-hand pane.

secpol security options

5. From the central pane, double-click on Accounts: Administrator account status.

account admin status

6. Inside the Accounts: Administrator account status Properties window, access the Local Security Setting tab from the top menu, then change the status of the setting to Enabled or Disabled, depending on your preference.

disable local security setting

7. Click on Apply to save the changes, then you can safely close the Local Security Policy utility.

Enable or Disable the Built-in Admin on Windows 11 Using CMD at Boot

1. Boot from a compatible Windows installation media (USB or DVD).

2. Press Shift + F10 once you reach the initial Windows Setup screen to access an elevated Command Prompt window.

language architecture edition selection

3. Inside the elevated CMD prompt, type Regedit and press Enter to open a Registry Editor prompt.

regedit in cmd

4. Inside the Registry Editor, use the menu on the left to access the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key.

5. With the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key selected, use the ribbon bar at the top to click on File > Load Hive.

load hive

6. Inside the Load Hive dialog box, open the letter that Windows 11 is installed on and navigate to the following location: C:\Windows\System32\config.

7. Inside the config folder, click on Sam from the list of items inside, then click Open to load it inside Registry Editor.

sam file in config folder

8. When prompted to name the recently imported hive, name it REM_SAV and click Ok to save the changes.

9. After the registry hive is successfully imported, use the navigation panel on the left side to reach the following location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\REM_SAM\SAM\Domains\Account\Users\000001F4.

10. With the 000001F4 key selected, move to the right-hand pane and double-click on the F binary value.

11. To enable the Bult-In Admin account, change the 10 value to 11 from the 00000038 column and press Ok to save the changes.

Note: To disable the Built-in Admin account, select the 11 value from the 00000038 column and press the Delete key to remove it.

12. Close the Registry Editor and hit Continue to boot Windows 11 normally.

Enable Administrator Privileges on Windows 11 via Windows Settings

1. Ensure you are logged in to your Windows 11 PC as an administrator.

2. Right-click on the Windows 11 start menu and click Settings.

open settings in windows 11

3. On the left pane of the Windows 11 settings page, click Accounts.

4. On the right pane of Your info screen, click on Family & Other users.

family and other users in windows 11

5. Click on the account you want to grant administrator permission.

6. Click on the Change account type option.

change account type windows 11

7. On the Change account type menu, click the Account type drop-down and select Administrators.

select administrator in account type windows 11

8. Click the OK button at the bottom right corner of the Change account type pop-up menu.

9. You will be returned to the Family & other users menu. The user is now a member of the Administrator group and can enjoy admin privileges.

How to Give Administrator Permission in Windows 11 or Windows 10 With Computer Management

The Computer Management tool provides a more advanced method for granting administrator privileges to a user account in Windows 11 or 10. This method is accessible on both Pro and Home editions of Windows.

1. Press Start and type Computer Management, then click the top result to open the Computer Management tool.

2. In the sidebar, open Local Users and Groups and double-click Users in the main pane.

users folder in local users

3. Double-click the user you want to make an admin.

4. Open the Member Of tab inside the user’s Properties window and press Add…

member of tab

5. Type Administrators in the object names field and press OK.

change object name to administrator

6. Check that the user is now a member of Administrators and press OK again.

7. You can repeat this process for any other users you’d like to give administrator permissions.

Using Control Panel (Windows Home)

1. Click the Search icon in the Taskbar.

windows search in windows 11

2. Type the control panel and select Control Panel from the results list.

search control panel in windows 11

3. Click on Change account type from the User Accounts category.

change account type in control panel windows 11

4. Choose the account you want to change from the list of user accounts.

select account to change type

5. Click Change the account type again.

change the account type windows 11

6. Choose Administrator from the account type options and click on Change account type to confirm the changes.

select administrator and click change account type

Use the Netplwiz Command

1. Press the Windows key + R, enter netplwiz, then press Enter.

run netplwiz

2. Double-click the account that you want to change.

3. Navigate to the Group Membership tab.

4. Select Administrator.

5. Click on Apply and OK.

Login as Admin Using the Command Prompt (Can’t Get Past the Lock Screen Issue)

If you find yourself locked out of your Windows account and need to access the administrator account to reset your password, the first step is to launch CMD from your lock screen. However, you’ll need a recovery environment to proceed with this guide. The next step is to access CMD using Windows installation media (a Windows bootable USB) and then follow the steps provided.

If you use an installation media during the setup, press Shift + F10 to launch CMD anywhere. Once you’ve launched CMD, follow the guide provided to get started. Lastly, enter the specified command into the command prompt and hit Enter on your keyboard to proceed.

cd windows

cd windows

You will now be directed to the default boot drive in CMD. Type the following command and hit Enter on your keyboard to execute it.

cd system32

cd system32

You are now in the System32 directory. To create a backup of utilman.exe, execute the command provided below.

copy utilman.exe utilman.exe.back

copy utilman exe utilman exe back

copy cmd.exe cmd1.exe

copy cmd exe cmd1

Now let’s delete the default utilman.exe. 

del utilman.exe

del utilman

Next, we will change the name of CMD to allow access to it as utilman.exe.

rename cmd.exe utilman.exe

rename cmd exe utilman

After executing all the commands successfully, close the command prompt by entering the exit command.

Reboot your computer and go to the Windows lock screen as you typically do. Then, click on the accessibility icon in the lower right corner, and CMD should now be accessible from your lock screen.

Reset Password for a Local Account

You can reset your local account’s password using the newly enabled default administrator account. To begin the process, follow the steps outlined below.

First, log in to the Windows administrator account and press the Windows key + S on your keyboard. Look for Control Panel and launch the application once it appears in your search results.

open control panel

2. Click on User Accounts.

control panel user accounts

3. Click on User Accounts again.

4. Click on Manage another account.

manage another account

5. Click and select the account you wish to change the password.

6. Click on Change the password.

change the password option

7. Type in your new password and confirm the same in the text boxes.

8. Set a password hint if needed.

9. Click on Change password once you are done.

Create a New Local Administrator Account

You will require administrator privileges to create a new administrator account in Windows 11. If you have those, you can use the following steps.

1. Press Windows + I on your keyboard and select Accounts from the left sidebar.

accounts option

2. Click on Family & other users > Click on Add account.

family and other users in windows 11

3. If you want to create a local account, click on I don’t have this person’s sign-in information and then click Add a user without a Microsoft account.

i dont have this persons sign in information

4. Enter the name of the new user and set a password.

5. Click on Next once you’re done.

create a user for this pc

6. Open the Control Panel by pressing Windows + S and searching for it.

7. Click on User Accounts twice.

8. Click on Manage another account.

manage another account

9. Click and select the new account you just created.

10. Click on Change the account type.

11. Select Administrator.

select administrator option

Click on Change account type.

How to Add a Password for the Administrator Account

To increase the security of your PC, it is advisable to add a password to the default administrator account. This prevents unauthorized access to your Windows account using this method. There are several ways to add a password to your default admin account, but we recommend using either the advanced menu or the CMD method. You can follow either of the guides below to get started.

Using CTRL + Alt + Del

1. Log in to the default administrator account and press Ctrl + Alt + Del on your keyboard.

2. Now click and select Change password.

3. Enter a new password and confirm it in their respective fields.

4. Depending on your preferences, Add a password hint or security question.

5. Click on Ok once you are done.

6. Your default administrator account’s password should now be changed on your PC.

Using CMD

Log in to the default administrator account and open the start menu by pressing the Windows key. Type CMD in the search bar and right-click on it. From the options that appear, select Run as administrator.

search command prompt windows 11

Enter the following command, replacing the word PASS with a password of your choice.

net user Administrator PASS

net user admin pass

How to Log in as Admin in Windows 11

To log in as an admin in Windows 11, follow these steps:

1. Start your computer and wait for the login screen to appear.

2. Click on the Power button in the lower-right corner of the screen.

power button on login page

3. Hold down the Shift key and click on Restart. This will bring up the Advanced Startup menu.

4. From the Advanced Startup menu, select Troubleshoot.

troubleshoot option

5. Select Advanced Options and then Startup Settings.

startup settings

6. Click on Restart and press the number key corresponding to Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

7. Your computer will restart in Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Log in as the administrator by entering the username and password for the admin account.

Once logged in as an admin, you will have full control over your computer and can perform administrative tasks such as installing software, changing system settings, and creating user accounts.

Take Control of Your Windows 11: Easy Steps to Gain Administrator Privileges

Take full control of your Windows 11 experience by gaining administrator privileges. Follow these simple methods to enable, disable, or manage the built-in administrator account, giving you greater access and control over your system settings and permissions. With these techniques, you can unleash the true potential of your Windows 11 device.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do You Need an Administrator Account?

An administrator account is necessary for tasks requiring higher-level computer or network permissions. These tasks include installing or updating software, changing system settings, managing user accounts, and accessing protected files and folders.

Generally, a regular local user account has limited privileges and cannot make changes affecting the entire system or other users. On the other hand, an administrator account has full control over the system and can make any changes necessary. However, having such broad access can also be a security risk, so it’s important to use administrator privileges judiciously and only when necessary.

What Are the Differences Between the Default Admin Account and Giving Admin Access to a User Account?

The default administrator account in Windows is a built-in account with full administrative privileges. This account was created during the installation of the operating system, and it’s recommended to be disabled or at least renamed to improve security.

On the other hand, giving admin access to a user account involves granting administrative privileges to an existing user account. This can be done by changing the account type from Standard to Administrator in the security settings.

The main difference between the two is that the default administrator account has unrestricted access to the system. In contrast, a user account with admin access has limited privileges and can still be restricted by Group Policy settings or other security measures. Additionally, giving admin access to a user account allows for more granular control over who has administrative privileges, which can help improve security by reducing the number of accounts with full access.

How Do I Create a Strong Password?

To protect online accounts from being hacked, create a strong password using at least 12 characters with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid common words and patterns, use a unique password for each account, consider using a passphrase, and use a password manager. Keep software up-to-date, use two-factor authentication, and be cautious about sharing personal information online.

Cris Mamon
Meet the author

Chris has been writing professionally since the early 2000s. He has written articles for newspapers and magazines, books on Windows software development, and technical documentation on Microsoft products. He also has a passion for helping people get started with technology.