Administrator account does not have administrator privileges

Hello all, my default user account is set up as an administrator account yet still does not have all write privileges needed when installing to certain drives (C, in this case), and I believe it is causing problems with certain software working the way I need it to. Please help!
Hi Jamie. I'm Greg, an installation specialist, 10 year Windows MVP, and Volunteer Guardian Moderator here to help you.

The issue could be either Read Only or Lost Administrator Privileges, both of which are chronic issues with Windows 10 mostly caused by Account Corruption. I'll give you fixes for both to check it over most thoroughly.

To understand better and try to fix Read Only:

If you have lost Admin rights then try these steps leading up to if necessary creating a new Local Account which sometimes is the only way to escape Account Corruption in Windows 10:

Right click Start button to open Run box, copy and paste in netplwiz, press Enter.

Highlight your account, then click Properties, then Group Membership tab. click on Administrator, then Apply, OK, restart PC.

If that doesn't help then try this:

You can also try taking ownership of the affected files or folders to see if this suffices. Use this handy tool that adds Take Ownership shortcut to your right click context menu:

If nothing helps try creating a new Local Admin Account to sign into to see if it works:

If you can't get the rights to do this then use whichever method works here to enable the hidden Built-in Administrator to be used only in emergencies:

It may be necessary to create Windows 10 Installation Media on another PC to access the Command Prompt without needing a password:

Insert media, boot it by powering up PC while pressing the BIOS Boot Menu Key:

Choose the boot device as a UEFI device if offered. If the media won't boot you may need to enter BIOS/UEFI Setup (pressing key given in chart in link above) to turn off Fast Boot or Fast Startup first.

After it loads, on second screen, choose Repair Your Computer, then Advanced Startup Options, first try System Restore to a point before this. If that fails then choose Command Prompt to follow the step above to access Built-in Admin Account.

Sign into Hidden Admin account, see if you can use netplwiz now to elevate the account. If not try another of these methods:

If not then set up a new Local Admin Account, sign into it, move your files over, set it up, hide the Hidden Admin Account, when ready delete the old account in Settings > Accounts > Family and Other Users.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask back any questions and let us know how it goes. I will keep working with you until it's resolved.

Standard Disclaimer: There are links to non-Microsoft websites. The pages appear to be providing accurate, safe information. Watch out for ads on the sites that may advertise products frequently classified as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Products). Thoroughly research any product advertised on the sites before you decide to download and install it. See here for how to try to recover Admin rights:

Windows MVP 2010-20

Millions helped via my tutorials and personally in forums for 12 years. Now an Independent Advisor.

I do not quit for those who are polite and cooperative.

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Question Info

Last updated September 1, 2021 Views 7,164 Applies to: