How to Activate Windows 7 Administrator – /Active:Yes

How to Activate the Windows 7 Administrator – /Active:Yes

It’s a well kept secret that Windows 7 has a hidden super-user administrator account.  I will show you how to activate this Windows 7 Administrator account from the command line by typing a ‘Net User’ command.  One benefit of logging on with this super account is that you will never be prompted for the nagging UAC dialog box.

Topics for Activating the Windows 7 Administrator


How to Activate Your Hidden Windows 7 Administrator

Your first key decision is what password to give this administrator’s account before you activate it.  My point is that the local group policy may insist on a complex password, thus you will not be able to activate the administrator account if it has a blank password.  This technique also also works on Vista and Windows Server 2008, however, on the latter operating system it is more likely you want to set /active:no.


  1. Logon to Windows 7 using your usual account.
  2. Launch the cmd prompt – Make sure you select, ‘Run as administrator’
  3. Net user administrator p$ssw0rD
  4. Net user administrator /active:yes
  5. Switch User, or logoff
  6. Logon as Administrator  Password p$ssw0rD 
    (Your password may be different!)

Detailed Instructions to activate the Administrator

  1. Logon to Windows 7 using another administrator’s 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 check the options for Net User.  In particular, examine the syntax to set its 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 p$ssw0rD
  10. Net user administrator /active:yes
  11. Check the message hopefully you get : The command completed successfully.
    If not log on as a different administrator.
  12. Switch User, or logoff
  13. Logon as Administrator  Password p$ssw0rD  (Your password should be different!)

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Troubleshooting Adminstrator /Active:Yes

Trap1 – Spaces:  There should be no space between the word ‘active’ and the colon.

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

Trap2 – Slash:  You need a forward slash before the word thus: /active

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

I thank Rob Hilton for pointing out the above trap.

Trap3 – Be Active:  Pay close attention to the command, it should be active, and not activate.

Thanks to Ben O’Sullivan for correcting this activate –> active error.

Local Group Policy Method to Enable the Administrator Account
Kindly sent in by Dave Waddell

If you prefer a simpler method, visit the Local Security policy, incidentally, this MMC is worth exploring in its own right.

This is how you navigate to the Local Security Policy. 
Firstly click on Windows 7’s Start orb, then in the Start Search dialog box type: secpol.msc.  Note: you must include the .msc extension.

Secondly drill down to Local Policy, Security Options

Thirdly double click Accounts: Administrator account status, and select enable.

Activate Window 7 hidden Administrator Account active:yes

You can also see the resulting Administrator in the Control Panel, User Accounts folder see below.

Check Windows 7’s User Accounts

Activating this super account provides a good opportunity to examine where you can configure Windows 7’s accounts.  Click on the Start button, Control Panel and select –> User Accounts:  My point is that you can check in the GUI which accounts have activated successfully.  /Active:yes the account is visible.  /active:no the User Name disappears from the list below.

Check Windows 7 User Accounts

Benefits of Windows 7’s Hidden Administrator Account

One benefit of activating the hidden Windows 7 Administrator is that you have access to an account, which does not suffer from the annoying UAC dialog box.  Although it is possible to suppress the UAC with a local group policy, there is a lingering fear that security is being weakened.  Another worry is that rumours persist that some commands don’t work properly if you turn off the UAC. 

Linked to the benefit of suppressing the UAC dialog box is the fact that this Administrator account has elevated privileges.  What this means is that if your run CMD you don’t have to ‘Run as administrator’ before you get unrestricted access to the command line.


Another benefit of knowing this method is to keep the hidden Windows 7 administrator account as a ‘back door’, for example, if you have inadvertently locked out your main account.  Sitting there at your computer, you can never believe that you will be so foolish as to lock yourself out, yet logic dictates that somewhere in the world, someone has just done that: locked themselves out of Windows 7.  Wouldn’t they love to know how to activate their administrator account?

Naturally, it is a case of administrator by name and administrator by function, this super-user is a member of the Local Administrator’s group.  In many ways this super Administrator account reminds me of the Unix root account.  As I am not a ‘professor’ of Unix I do not know if you can hide root, but you can hide Windows 7’s administrator account with this command:

Net user administrator /active:no.

Hidden Administrator’s SID

Every Windows account has a unique Security Identifier, or SID for short.  It has been a traditional for THE administrator’s account to have a SID ending in 500.  I was surprised therefore, not to see any such SID number in Windows 7 – until I activated the hidden administrator.  When I launched regedit and checked the HKEY_USERS, there was the famous SID ending in 500 (S-1-5-20-2344314121-13413-500), and it corresponded to the recently activated administrator’s account.

One puzzle remained, if, when you initially logon to Windows 7, can you create (as opposed to activate) an account called Administrator.

John Wolfe came up with the answer. ‘When I tried to name the original account as Administrator. I was told that the "Account already exists" ‘.

My point is that you cannot have two accounts with the same name, and unlike XP, before you can logon to Windows 7 you must first create an account.

Summary of Windows 7 Administrator – Hidden Account

One reason to activate the hidden Windows 7 Administrator account is so that you are no longer nagged by the UAC (User Account Control) prompt.  The procedure is straightforward, just head for the cmd prompt and type:
Net user administrator /active:yes.  

The only trap is that many systems require a complex password so that you need to add a password to the command string thus
Net user administrator p$ssw0rD
Net user administrator /active:yes

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Microsoft Windows Version 7 Topics