How to log in as administrator in Windows 8

If you’re developing some test applications on the Windows 8 Developer Preview version, you might need to know how to log in as administrator in Windows 8. Here’s how you log into the hidden admin account.
How to log into the hidden Windows 8 admin account

This tutorial is only intended for Windows 8 developer preview and will be updated for Windows 8 beta, RTM, etc.

Windows 8 still has a hidden admin account that you have to enable via command prompt:

1. Step Restore the classic start menu

2. Step Open a command prompt as administrator

Open CMD as admin in Windows 8

3. Step Enter the command net user administrator /active:yes

Activate administrator account in Windows 8

4. Step Click on Start and then on the Shutdown arrow, click on Switch User

5. Step Now, drag the Windows 8 Start screen (click on screen and drag) to the top of the screen and you will see the activated Windows 8 accounts. The administrator account will appear there.

Log in as administrator in Windows 8

The real administrator account is hidden intentionally and should not be used for developing – it should be used for maintenance purposes that require full elevated rights in Windows 8.

Basically activating the hidden admin accounts works exactly like it did in Windows 7.

If you’re still having problems performing an administrative task, you should run sfc.exe or check that something else is not blocking the access (firewalls, other processes, etc.)


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Oliver is the founder and lead editor of this site. He is interested in finding new ways to break Windows, find common errors and help others to fix them. Aside from that, he loves to fully customize systems with Rainmeter and Dreamscene, find out more about ancient civilizations like the Chachapoya, sharpen his digital photography skills and create software with a small group of selected developers. If you would like to connect with him to discuss anything, send him a mail!

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5 Responses to How to log in as administrator in Windows 8

  1. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Mohsin said:

    it Says: System Error 5 has occurred.
    Access is Denied.

  2. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    oliversk said:

    Mohsin please read this

    You did not open an elevated cmd or dont have an admin account?

  3. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Senu A K said:

    net user administrator /active:yes

    After successfully completing this, give

    C:\Windows\system32>shutdown -r -t 0

    0 is the time delay,if required only give some delay.

  4. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Prashant Mangala said:

    It worked for me…..your 5 steps guide is good, but I did it without switching to classic start menu, coz its not possible to switch in customer preview version.

  5. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    lucca said:

    access denied help man please, im having a hard time downloading some stuff

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