Log on as Administrator in Windows 8

By default, the local Administrator account in Windows 8 is disabled. There are certain programs that require the user to be logged in using the local administrator account in order to install software or perform some action on the computer. Even though you normal user account is considered an “administrator” account, you will still be prompted by UAC when performing certain actions on the computer.

The built-in Administrator account will not receive the UAC prompts. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to enable the administrator account so you can log into it in Windows 8.

Method 1 – Local Users and Groups

The first way to enable the built-in administrator account is to open Local Users and Groups. You can do this by right-clicking on Computer and choosing Manage.

manage users

On the Computer Management screen, go ahead and expand Local Users and Groups and then click on Users. You’ll see the Administrator account in the right-hand pane.

built in administrator

Right-click on the Administrator account and click on Properties.

account disabled

Go ahead and uncheck the Account is disabled box. It is also a good idea to set a password for the Administrator account since it has total unrestricted access to the system. Now you can log off your current account and you’ll see the Administrator account show up in the list of users.

local admin account

Method 2 – Command Prompt

You can also enable and disable the local Administrator account via the command prompt. In order to do that, you have to open an elevated command prompt in Windows 8. To do that, you have to go to the start screen and then right-click and choose All apps.

windows 8 all apps

Then you’ll see Command Prompt under Windows System. Instead of clicking on it, you need to right-click on it. This will bring up options in a separate pane at the bottom of the screen.

run as administrator

You’ll see an option to Run as Administrator. You need to click on this and then it will open the command prompt with elevated permissions. You may also get a UAC dialog where you just have to click Yes. At the command prompt type in the following to enable the built-in Administrator account:

net user administrator /active:yes

net user administrator

To disable the built-in Administrator account, use this command instead:

net user administrator /active:no

administrator uac

Method 3 – Local Security Policy

The last way to enable or disable the administrator account in Windows 8 is to use the local security policy. This option will probably only be available in the Professional version of Windows 8. To open the Local Security Policy in Windows 8, go to Control Panel and then click on Administrative Tools. You can read my previous post on how to access the Control Panel in Windows 8. You may also need to change the view to small or large icons instead of Category.

local security policy

In the left-hand pane, click on Local Policies and then Security Options. The first item is Accounts: Administrator account status.

local policies

Double-click on the item and you can click on the Enabled radio button.

enabled account

That’s it! Those are the 3 different ways to enable and log into the built-in Administrator account in Windows 8. If you have any questions, post a comment and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!

Comments [6]

  1. Hi, trying to fix this, but none of the three options work for me.

    1: Under ‘Computer mangagement’ I have no folder ‘Local users and groups’ (not even after translating to the Dutch terms)
    2: Command prompt: username not found
    3: I have no ‘Local security policy’ entry under administrative tools.

    Any idea? Windows 8 64-bit oem, by the way.


  2. Hi, I think I might be having similar problems as Robert. I can’t use any of these.
    1. I too have no ‘local users and groups’ folder.
    2. I can use said prompts, but System Error 5 occurs and access is denied.
    2. Again, I have no ‘Local Security Policy’ entry under administrative tools (although I don’t believe I’m using Professional, either.)

  3. ctrl+alt+del. click on switch user. Click on Administrator. Wait for the computer to set up then you are the admin.

  4. I have the same problem as robert. None of the options work! On option 2 it does not show all apps but a button that says customize.

  5. Appreciate your input. But none of these options are working….All I want to do is update from 8.0 to 8.1 – can’t believe that this is such a hassle…

  6. Hi, I can’t access my standard user accnt and keeps telling me that the group policy client service failed to sign in. I haven’t enabled yet the local admin acct and I dont know another way to log in… I hope you can help me with this..

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