FIX: Windows 10/11 admin account is missing after update

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administrator account is missing

How to bring back administrator account in Windows 10

  1. Create another Administrator account
  2. Change Local Account to Administrator
  3. Use iCacls command
  4. Refresh/Reset your PC
  5. Enable Built-in Administrator account
  6. Enable the Windows install media
  7. Perform system restore rollback from Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE)
  8. Enable Built-In administrator, and fix your account’s group membership
  9. Perform a fresh install of Windows 10

Just like losing a password, losing your administrator account privileges is one of the lock out situations where you, the user, cannot run anything.

This can happen due to system conflicts, or malware, or just inadvertent modification of your user account settings in the User Accounts Control Panel or the Local Security Policy snap-in.

What follows is you won’t be able to go back to the User Account settings page and set yourself as an admin. Even worse is you may not have a second admin account in your system, so you wouldn’t have activated the built-in admin account.

Consequently, you may have issues using apps in Windows, making new or modifying any configuration settings, among several other problems in the system.

Therefore, it is imperative to get back your admin privileges if you want to run the system without any impediments.

How do you get back the admin privileges since most of the operations require admin rights? Below are a few solutions to help you get back.

FIX: Windows 10 missing administrator account

1. Create another Administrator account

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings

  • Go to Accounts

  • Select Family & other people

  • Select Add someone else to this PC

  • Type a user name, password, and password hint
  • Click Next
  • Select Change account type
  • Click the drop down arrow and select Administrator to set the account to administrator level
  • Disable the previous administrator account
  • Restart your computer
  • Login to the new account you just created

— RELATED: VPN blocked by administrator? Here’s how to fix it

2. Change Local Account to Administrator

If you’ve lost admin rights to your account, change the local account to an admin account by doing the following:

  • In the search bar, type user accounts and click on the result
  • Select your User Account
  • Click Manage another account
  • Click Add user account
  • Create a local account user
  • Click Add an account
  • Click Sign In without a Microsoft account
  • Click Local account
  • Fill in the details on the add local account screen
  • Click Finish
  • In the search button, type CMD and click Command Prompt
  • Type this command: shutdown /r /o and press enter. This will boot the system in Safe Mode
  • In the search bar, type user accounts and click on the result. You’ll now have two accounts in the system: the issued admin account and local account created
  • Select Local account
  • Click Change the account typelink in following window
  • Change account status from Standardto Administrator
  • Click Change Account Type. The new local account created is now changed to admin account.
  • Restart your computer
  • Log into the new account with admin rights
  • Back up your documents from the old admin account
  • Switch to the Microsoft account and synchronize your settings with the new admin account
  • Your system will now have full admin rights and act normally

— RELATED: How to Install Windows 10 Without a Microsoft account

Other things to try at this point:

  • Run antivirus scan as malware can block admin privileges
  • Try using clean boot to see if you can identify the culprit of the conflict
  • Boot into recovery using Windows DVD then run System restore to restore your computer to a previous point
  • If you are in domain computers, consult your system admin whether any new restrictions have been applied
  • Check if you can activate the hidden super admin account. If you can, it will help you transition forward. It is helpful if you find yourself locked out of your main account by accident and want back door entry.

3. Use iCacls command

This command line can be used to modify security descriptors as well as NTFS file system permissions. To do this:

  • Press Shift and Power button together to restart your PC
  • Boot Advanced Menu options
  • Click Troubleshoot
  • Select Command Prompt
  • In the command window, type: cd /d c: icacls * /T /Q /C /RESET to rest permissions

If these don’t work, consider a system restore or refresh/reset option as described below.

4. Refresh/Reset your PC

Here’s how to refresh your PC:

  • Open Control Panel
  • Select General
  • Click Setting
  • Click Refresh

Note: When you refresh, your files and personalization settings don’t change. Software and programs may be removed and your PC settings may be restored to default values.

Here’s how to reset your PC:

  • Open Settings
  • Click Update & Security
  • In the left pane, select Recovery
  • Under Reset this PC, click Get Started

Note: a reset removes all personal files and restores all settings to default values.

— RELATED: How to Enable, Disable Administrator Account in Windows 10

5. Enable Built-in Administrator account

If you face Windows 10 missing administrator account, it may be due to the admin user account having been disabled on your computer. A disabled account can be enabled, but it is different from deleting the account, which cannot be restored. To enable the admin account, do this:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Run

  • Type net user administrator /active:yes
  • Close the command prompt
  • The built-in administrator will be available to sign into
  • Restart your computer

Go to the admin account and change the standard account to an admin account. To do this:

  • Click Start, go to the search field box
  • Type User account
  • Click Change User Account Control Settings
  • Click on the User account
  • Click Change account type
  • Select the account you want to make into an administrator account

To disable the previous administrator account, do the following:

  • Right click Start
  • Type CMD in the search bar, right click Command prompt and select Run as administrator

  • Type user administrator /active:yes
  • Close the command prompt
  • The built-in Administrator will be available to select and sign into
  • Restart your computer

Your standard account is now your admin account, and the previous admin account is disabled.

6. Enable the Windows install media

  • Start your computer off the (DiskUSBHDD) that has the installation media
  • Press SHIFT+F10 to open a command prompt
  • Run this command: diskpart list vol
  • Find the right volume and run exit
  • Run D: (D is your drive letter)
  • Run cd WindowsSystem32
  • Run ren Utilman.exe Utilman_old.exe
  • Run copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe
  • Restart your computer
  • On the logon screen, click Accessibility options
  • On the command prompt, run the command: net user user_to_change *
  • Enter a new password, enter again and log in
  • Go back to C:WindowsSystem32 and delete exe
  • Rename exe to Utilman.exe

7. Perform system restore rollback

  • Boot the system via Windows installation media or Recovery drive if you have one. If you don’t, download the Windows 10 ISO and create bootable media from another computer
  • In the set up page, click Next
  • Click Repair your computer
  • In WinRE options menu, click Troubleshoot

  • Click Advanced options

To perform system restore rollback from WinRE, do this:

  • Click System restore
  • Choose a target operating system
  • Click Next in the system restore window
  • Click Show more restore points check box (if available)
  • Select the appropriate restore point
  • Click Next and then click Finish

— RELATED: Fix: ‘Your Administrator Has Blocked This Program’ in Windows 10, 8.1 and 7

8. Enable Built-In administrator, and fix your account’s group membership

To do this:

  • Access the WinRE as described above
  • In Recovery Options menu, click Troubleshoot

  • Click Advanced Options

  • Click Command Prompt and type: net user administrator /active:yes and press enter
  • Type exit to return to Recovery Options menu
  • Exit and continue to Windows 10
  • In the sign-in screen, hold down Shift key and press power icon
  • Click Restart
  • On the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot
  • Click Advanced options
  • Click Startup Settings

  • Click Restart
  • Select 4 or F4 to start in Safe Mode or 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking
  • Log in as admin from safe mode
  • Create a new user account with admin rights or fix group membership of the existing account

9. Perform a fresh install of Windows 10

Before you do the fresh install, you need to note a few things about the tool:

  • Using it removes all apps that don’t come standard with Windows, including Microsoft apps like Office or those installed by the PC’s manufacturer like support apps, drivers and other apps
  • You cannot recover removed apps and will have to manually reinstall later to keep them
  • You can lose digital licenses, digital content related to apps, or other digital entitlements for apps. Don’t use the tool on any PC that you want to ensure all apps and related content remain installed and licensed

What you need for a fresh install:

  • An internet connection to download the tool and the Windows 10 image.
  • Sufficient data storage available on the computer you are clean installing. The download and image is over 3GB.
  • Make sure you meet the system requirements.
  • Download the tool here

How to fresh install Windows 10 using the tool:

  • Back up anything before you start.
  • Launch the tool
  • Review and accept license terms
  • Choose what to keep, if its personal files, select Keep personal files only option or to remove everything, select Nothing. However, whatever you choose here, the tool will still perform a clean/fresh installation.
  • Select OK to start installation.
  • The tool will install Windows 10 automatically
  • All steps are automated with buttons grayed out
  • After the fresh installation, if there are missing drivers, go to Settings>Update & Security>Windows Update and download latest device drivers. You can also check from your device manufacturer’s website
  • Reinstall Windows apps available using your Microsoft account

Did any of these solutions help you restore the Windows 10 missing administrator account? Let us know in the comments section below.


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