Having an administrator account is the best way to use your Windows PC. It gives you complete control of your system so you have full access to all your files and apps, makes changes to settings, carries out elevated tasks, and so much more.
If you’re not the administrator or have had your admin privileges revoked, it can be quite the pain in the rear to set up a new account and give it administrator privileges. But fret not, we’ve got you covered here. Here are all the ways that you can change your account type to get admin rights and truly own your Windows PC.
Standard vs. Administrator account
Before we begin, let us first take a look at the core differences between a standard and an administrator account.
A standard or a local account is highly restrictive and is only meant to provide basic computer privileges. There are a bunch of things that a local account does not have access to, like installing or removing applications, making changes in the settings, and a whole lot more.
An administrator account, as mentioned above, has all the rights and privileges to view and alter files, settings, add/remove other accounts, and what have you. It goes without saying, then, that if the PC is yours, that is the type of account that you would want to have.
5 ways to change a local (standard) account to an Administrator account
In order to change a user’s account type, you need to have administrator access. So, if you only have a standard account, then you need to ask the administrator to change the account type for you. This is how the administrator can do it for you:
Method #1: From Control Panel
First up, let’s see how your local account can be given admin privileges through the Control Panel.
For this, press Win+R to bring up the RUN box, type in “control panel” and hit Enter.
Click on Change account type under “User Accounts”.
Now, click on the account that you want to give admin rights to.
Click on Change the account type.
Select Administrator and then on Change Account Type.
And that’s it. The selected account will now have administrator privileges.
Method #2: From Settings
You can also change the account type from Windows Settings. This is how to go about it:
Press Win+I to open Settings, then click on Accounts.
In the left pane, click on Family & other users; on the right, select the account that you wish to give admin rights to.
Then click on Change account type.
In the “Change account type” window, click on the Account type drop-down menu.
Then click on OK.
Now, this account will have admin privileges when it is logged in the next time.
Method #3: Using User Accounts (netplwiz)
Another way to change a user to administrator is through User Accounts (or the netplwiz command).
To do this, open Start, type “netplwiz”, and click on the Run as administrator (yes, you will have to have admin rights to give the same to another account).
Select the account that you want to elevate to admin, then click Properties.
In the new window, go to the “Group Membership” tab, then select Administrator, and click on OK.
Then click OK in the “User Accounts” window as well.
Method #4: Using PowerShell
Power users who like using PowerShell can follow the steps given below to give an account complete control of the system:
Press Start, type “PowerShell”, then click on Run as administrator.
In PowerShell, type in the following command and press Enter:
Add-LocalGroupMember -Group "Administrators" -Member "Account name"
Just make sure that you change Account name to the exact name of the account that you want to give admin rights to.
In our example, we’re giving admin privileges to account “Nerdschalk”. This is what it looks like:
Add-LocalGroupMember -Group "Administrators" -Member "Nerdschalk"
In case you’re giving admin rights to an account that uses a Microsoft account, type in only the first five letters of the email address. This is because Windows registers only the five letters of email address as the user’s name.
Method #5: Using Command Prompt
Lastly, those who prefer using Command Prompt can change a user’s account type by the following method:
Press Start, type “command prompt”, and click on Run as administrator.
Now, type in the following command in Command Prompt and hit Enter:
net localgroup Administrators "Account name" /add
As before, make sure to replace the Account name with the name of the account that you want to make an admin. Here is our example:
Change Admin account with Standard account
All the methods mentioned above elevate a standard account to the administrator only if you are an administrator yourself or if you have the admin’s password. But what if you are the local user? There are a lot of restrictions and hurdles that Windows places to ensure that the standard account cannot change its own account type. However, if you have the right tools and follow the guide below closely, this can be done. Here’s what you need and how to give yourself (standard account user) administrative privileges without the admin’s password.
Requirements (creating bootable USB)
- An empty USB flash drive (with more than 8 GB of storage space).
- Windows installation media
Plug in your USB flash drive and run Windows Installation media.
On the Windows 10 Setup window, click Accept.
Select Create installation media for another PC.
With USB flash drive selected, click Next.
Click on Next.
Once the process finishes, you can use your USB to boot Windows.
First up, let’s ensure that you can boot from your USB. For this, restart your computer. When your system is loading back up, before the Windows logo appears, press F8 to get to BIOS.
NOTE: The BIOS key may differ based on your computer manufacturer. It could be F10, F11, F1, or F2, or F8.
In BIOS, find the Boot options Menu and select the appropriate Boot Media Device (USB/Flash drive). Save the changes and Exit.
With the bootable USB plugged in, restart your computer. When your system is loading back up, before the Windows logo appears, wait for the message about pressing a key to select Boot Device.
When you get the following message, press any key to start your system from the Windows Installation Setup.
On the following screen, press Shift + F10 to launch Command Prompt. Alternatively, click Next.
Then Repair your Computer.
Then click on Troubleshoot.
Select Command Prompt.
With the command prompt opened up, type regedit and press Enter.
This will bring up the “Registry Editor”. Now click and highlight HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then click on File.
Click Load Hive.
Now, click on the field next to “Look in”…
… and navigate to the following folder:
Then select SAM file and click Open.
In the “Key Name” field, type Offline and click OK.
This will create a new key by the name ‘Offline’.
Now, navigate to the following key:
Then, in the right panel, double-click the F key.
Use the down arrow key to navigate to the 0038 line. With your cursor before 11, press the Delete key once.
In its place, Type 10 and then click OK.
Once the key is modified, click to select the Offline key and then File.
Click Unload Hive.
When prompted, click Yes.
Now, close all windows and restart your computer. Once it boots up, select the Administrator account (this is the new admin account and doesn’t have any password).
You can go ahead and use any of the methods mentioned before (through cmd, PowerShell, control panel, settings, or netplwiz) to give your standard account (Nerdschalk, in our example) full admin rights and privileges.
Once you have given yourself administrator privileges, it is recommended to disable this administrator account. To do so, log in to your newly upgraded account, open the command prompt as administrator (Start>search ‘cmd’> select Run as administrator) and type the following command:
net user administrator /active:no
And that is how you can upgrade your standard account to an admin account without access to the administrator’s password.
Change Administrator Windows 10 name
Once you have admin rights, you can do many things. For starters, let us look at how the administrator account name can be changed.
Press Win+R to open the RUN box, type in ‘control panel’, and press Enter.
Click on User Accounts.
Then click on User Accounts again.
Here, click on Change your account name.
Enter the new name and click on Change Name.
You will have to sign out and sign back in to see the changes reflected.
Another way to change your account name is to do it through Command Prompt. Press Win+R to open the RUN Box, type cmd, and press enter.
In Command Prompt, enter the following command and press Enter:
wmic useraccount where name='Administrator' call rename name='NewName'
Make sure you replace NewName with your desired account name. In our example, we have changed the account name to Nerdschalk.
Your account name is now changed.
Change Administrator Windows 10 password
Now, let’s see how you can change your Admin password on Windows 10.
Press Win+I to open Settings, then click on Accounts.
Select Sign-in options in the left panel; on the right, click on Password.
Click on Change.
Enter your current password and click Next.
Type in your new password (twice), password hint, and click Next.
Change Administrator Windows 10 email
Changing your Administrator account’s email is a breeze. To do this, firstly, go to the Microsoft account website and log in.
Then, under “Account alias”, you can add, remove, and use a different email as your primary alias.
Another way is to switch to a local account and then back to Microsoft account (with your new email address). To do this, press Win+I to open Settings and click on Accounts.
Select Your Info in the left panel, and click on Sign in with a local account instead on the right.
When prompted, click on Next.
Then Sign out and finish.
Log back in and go to the same Settings Accounts page. Now, you will see a new option – Sign in with a Microsoft account instead. Click on it.
Enter your new email address and click Next.
Enter your Windows password and click Next.
When prompted, authorize this link-up, and your administrator account email address is now changed.
And that is it! These are the ways that you can make get Administrator rights and full control over the system, including changing name, email, and password.
Being able to do so can come in quite handy, especially if have forgotten your admin password or you want to simply upgrade your standard account. This will allow you to give trusted parties (as well as your other accounts) the ability to tweak settings and access the whole system without being restricted by the dreaded “access denied” message.