Enable Vista's Administrator Account

For the average Windows Vista session, the "Needs your permission to continue" prompts are just momentary, occasional annoyances which can be disabled or by-passed. But if you're planning to do a lot of tweaking or installations, having a dedicated Administrator account—like the kind available in XP—can be mighty helpful. The How-To Geek blog shows how to enable (and disable) the account from the log-in screen:

  • First you'll need to open a command prompt in administrator mode by right-clicking and choosing "Run as administrator"
  • Now type the following command:
    net user administrator /active:yes

Log out and you should see an "Administrator" account available. Un-doing the tweak requires running nearly the same command, but with /active:no at the end. Like the Geek, we'll note here that only experienced users who know exactly what they're doing should use this type of account, and that Microsoft obviously doesn't want you to do this as a normal thing. All the same, it could be a boon for easier troubleshooting.


    Addressing ahoier and steve's comments about temporarily running with Admin privileges - I don't know if it can be dun in Command Prompt, but in the shell you can run any program in Admin mode by shift-right-clicking on it and clickin on "Run as Administrator" in the menu that comes up.

    This isn't even a particularly new feature - in Win 2000 and XP you could do the same thing although the command was "Run As..."

    Also, if you find your programs using the Vista instant search, there's an even easier way. Just type in the name of the program, make sure the correct search result is highlighted and hit Ctrl-Shift-Enter.

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