All Windows 10 computers have a built-in administrator account. This is not the same administrator account that you created during the Windows setup process. This is different. This is the default one that is usually targeted by hackers to gain access and control your computer. It would make you wonder whether you should remove the default built-in administrator account or not.
Most users don’t even know about this account, as people rarely search for it unless something breaks. Even when you create new user accounts or switch from one account to another. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Let’s understand everything in more detail and figure out how to delete this administrator account and why you should consider doing it.
Administrator account built into Windows 10
The built-in administrator account is called the administrator. Name not very imaginative, but okay. This account was available for Windows XP and previous versions, but Microsoft disabled it, citing post-Vista security reasons. If someone can activate and access this account remotely, he / she gets complete control of your computer. What is interesting is that this account is not password protected but only disabled. Administrator accounts have full privileges, which poses security risks if breached. If you choose to activate this account, remember to create a strong but random password to protect it.
If you delete the built-in administrator account
The only situation in which this administrator account will come in handy is when you are stuck in your current administrator account. This has happened, and the reasons could include accidental deletion or whatever. Some users have forgotten their password. That’s why we recommend that you create two administrator accounts and use one guest user account for your regular work.
Even then, the built-in administrator account will be useless unless you have it enabled. I would prefer to delete the default account and create a new one, giving me more control over the account name and password. Leave it off if you don’t mind a lot, but don’t turn it on and then leave it insecure.
Why does it exist in the first place? It is created for system designers and service technicians who use it to make system-level changes before the finished product is sent to you digitally or by mail.
How to enable / disable the built-in administrator account
There are several ways to do this, such as using Registry Editor, Command Prompt, Computer Management, and Group Policy Editor. The last option is not available for Windows Home users. We’ll only discuss two here to keep this guide short and simple.
Step 1: Find and open Command Prompt from the Start menu by clicking Run as administrator.
2nd step: Give the command below to activate the built-in administrator account.
net user administrator /active:yes
Delete word Yes with no at the end of the command to disable it.
It is an advanced program that brings together many system management and administration tools under one toolbox.
Step 1: Find and open Computer Management from the Start menu.
2nd step: Go to System Tools> Local Users and Groups> Users. You will find a list of all user accounts, including the built-in default administrator account. Right click on it to select Properties.
Note: Have you noticed that there is also an option to set a password in the menu? Another way is to enable the administrator account, set a really strong password, and then disable the account again. This will reduce the associated risk.
Step 3: Check the Account is deactivated to deactivate the account. This is the default position, as you will notice in the screenshot below.
How to delete a built-in administrator account
We will do this using the registry editor which is available for Windows Home and Pro users.
Step 1: Find Registry Editor in the Start menu and launch it.
2nd step: Navigate to the folder structure below. Right click on the SAM folder and select Permissions.
Step 3: Right click on the Sam folder and give full control to admins and click Apply.
Step 4: Explore the SAM subfolder in more detail here:
Right click on the Administrator folder and delete it.
The default or built-in administrator account in Windows 10 can be a security risk, especially if the person has physical access to your computer. I would suggest deleting the account or at least setting a strong password and then disabling it again. It is one less thing to fear. Create an additional administrator account with a different password to ensure that you are never locked out of your computer. Use a guest user account for daily use to avoid granting administrator rights to programs or applications on that account by default. Even if the guest account is compromised, you don’t have much to lose.
Did you accidentally delete your administrator account in Windows 10? Don’t worry, there is a way to get it back from the guide in the following link.
Last updated 23 Oct 2020
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