The Windows Vista Administrator account is hidden and disabled on clean installs of the default operating system. It cannot be found in the User Accounts Control (UAC) panel.
The Computer Management portion of the Administrative Tools Control (ATC) panel gives the user access to the Administrator account. While you activate the Administrator account, you also have to disable other accounts using computer administrator privileges. The instructions on how to activate the Administrator account are given below.
Boot the computer to Vista in the Computer Administrator account. Go to the ATC panel. Double-click on “Computer Management.” Click on “Continue” to authorize UAC. Double-click on “Local Users and Groups” then click on “Users”.
In the Computer Management portion are the icons for all user accounts in the computer. Note that the disabled accounts have red circles with “X” marks.
Click on the Administrator icon. Right-click on this icon to access the menu. Choose “Properties.” Click on the check mark in “Account is Disabled” to remove the mark. Click on “OK” and restart the computer.
Now there are two ways to gain access to the Administrator. Which one you should choose depends on the mode you’re going to use.
- Method 1
- Press F8 as Windows starts up. In a dual-boot system, select “Microsoft Windows” in the boot menu using the arrow or tab keys. Press F8 to enter Safe Mode. Press Enter.
- Vista will display the log-in screen. Two options (“Administrator” and “Other User”) will be shown. Click on the Administrator icon.
- Administrator access in Safe Mode is best for quick access to this account.
This method allows full Administrator privileges in normal boot mode (not Safe Mode).
- Enable the Administrator in Computer Management as instructed above.
- Disable other enabled accounts having computer administrator privileges (icons without the red disable mark). Follow the aforementioned steps to open “Properties” while adding a check mark in the “Account is Disabled” box.
- Double-check to ensure that the Administrator account is enabled. Close Computer Management and restart the OS. Once Windows reboots, the Administrator account will load automatically, as there is no password.
- After looking through the Administrator account, re-enable the user accounts and disable the Administrator. This method should be not be used on a regular basis for security reasons.
- If access to the Administrator account is for the purpose of bypassing UAC, a safer process would be to use any account with computer administrator privileges. Go to and open the UAC panel. Click on “Change Security Settings” and “Turn User Account Control On or Off.” Finally, turn off UAC on the next screen.