Administrative Privileges lost on Windows 10

I recently upgraded from Windows 7 to 10.  My wife and I had user accounts, and I had administrative privileges.  Recently, my wife's account disappeared, even though her files are on the computer.  In trying to deal with that, I discovered that I had lost administrative privileges, so that I can't make any major changes to my computer.  Any time I try to give administrative approval, I get a box:

User Account Control

Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your PC?

To continue, type an administrator password and then check yes.

The problem is that there is no longer a place to type a password, and the Yes button is grayed out.  When I go to the User Accounts screen through the Control panel, my account is identified as: Local Account and Guest Account.  How can I restore my administrative privileges so that I can get things in order?

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Hi Louis,

Thank you for being a part of Windows 10.

I appreciate you for providing details about the issue and we are happy to help you.

Kindly try to start your computer in Safe mode from the Windows Recovery Environment.

Please refer to the below link to start the computer in Safe mode.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-in/windows-8/windows-startup-settings-safe-mode

Note: The steps for Windows 8.1 applies to Windows 10.

Once you have entered into the Safe mode then, open Command Prompt and enable Built in Administrator.

Follow the below steps to enable Built in Administrator:

  1. Open Command Prompt from Windows Recovery Environment.
  2. Copy and paste the below command and press Enter.

                net user administrator /active:yes

     3.  Close the Command Prompt.

     4.  Try to login though Built in Administrator and convert the your user account to Administrator or you can create new user account.

Kindly let us know if you need any further assistance with Windows. We are glad to assist you.

Thank you.

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I activated my administrator account and then from this account, changed by user account to have administrator privileges, but I still cannot launch the Civ IV application from either account.

From the administrator account, Civ IV appears to launch OK with the normal Civ IV logo'ed pop-up window where I can pick on the Play button, but this window disappears immediately and nothing happens (I would like to see if anything is still running, but I cannot find how to access the nice Task Manager that I used to be able to use to see what processes are running and cancel applications that get hung up, but I'm pretty sure Civ IV is not loading/running after I click on the Play button). I was also surprised that I do not have access to the internet and support when I am logged in as administrator, so to look for additional help I had to power down and up to login on my regular account.

From my regular account, even though my account profile now says I have administrator privileges, I still get the Access Denied pop-up telling me to Please login with administrator privileges and try again.

From the threads I am seeing, it appears that I am not overlooking something obvious, which makes me wonder what how Microsoft quality controllers ever thought this Window 10 upgrade was ready to be rolled out.

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Task Manager is on the start button's right-click menu. Or start typing the words into the search box and it will pop up.

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It's somewhat amazing that Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 with such a basic fault.  Even more amazing is that no one from Microsoft has been able to come up with a reasonable solution to such a fundamental question.  The ability to run older programs (even in compatibility mode) is much more important to me than getting the incremental bells and whistles from the latest version of Windows.  I even uninstalled Windows 10 to reinstall Windows 8, primarily to play Civilization 4.  The morons at Microsoft forced an upgrade to Windows 8 overnight several months ago that resulted in my losing Administrative Privileges in that also.  Can't they just leave well enough alone or, at a minimum, provide an answer to at least break even?

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Hi Lance,

I do appreciate your efforts and time, and will assist you with the issue.

We have come around many users who have lost administrator rights on their Windows PCs and thus they were not able to manipulate their system or make changes to it. One common thing we found regarding the issue is that the users who have lost their administrator rights, have only a single account on their system, which was of course the administrator account. As a result of losing the admin rights, you may have issues in using Windows Apps, making new or modifying Windows configuration settings in Control Panel, using Snap-ins and several other problems on your system.

It thus becomes imperative for us to get the administrator privileges back anyhow if we want to run the system without road-blocks. But how do you get back these privileges since for every operation you have to carry out, requires the administrative rights itself, which we have lost unfortunately. While performing a Refresh or Reset will fix the problem, you may want to try out our suggestion first and see if it helps you.

Method 1

•Open an elevated command prompt. (Right click on start button and select command prompt admin)

•Type takeown /U %username% /F %USERPROFILE% /R /SKIPSL (You may also need the /P <password>

•Once that completes type cacls %USERPROFILE% /T /E /G %USERNAME%:F

This should force you to be the owner of everything in your profile and grant you full access.

If the issue still prissiest, try Method 2,

Method 2

  1. Press WinKey+ Q, type user accountsand click on the result.

  2. Then select your User Account > Click Manage another account.

  3. In the following window, click Add a user account option.

  4. Now we have to create a local account user. So after clicking Add an account, click Sign in without a Microsoft account (Not recommended), then clickLocal account. Fill the details on the screen so appeared for adding local account. Click Finish when done.

  5. Press Windows Key + Q and type cmd, for the search results, click Command Prompt. Type following command and hit Enter key: shutdown /r /o

  6. The previous step will result your system to boot into Safe Mode. After getting into Safe Mode, press Windows Key + Q, type user accounts, and pick the same from results so appear. You would have now two accounts on your system; first you’re issued admin account and second the local account which you’ve created in step 2. Select local account.

  7. Now click Change the account type link in following window:

  8. Moving on, change the account status from Standard to Administrator. Click Change Account Type.

In this way, the new local account we’ve created has been changed to Administrator. Now you can restart your machine and log into this account with administrator rights. Since you have administrative privileges now; so you can back up your documents from the old administrator account.

Finally, delete the old admin account and switch to Microsoft account to synchronize your settings with new administrative account. Your system will now act normally with full admin rights in your hand.

Hope this helps in resolving the issue. If the issue persists, do get back to us. We will be happy to assist you.

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These instructions are very confusing.  I tried typing everything as stated and got nothing corresponding to what is described above.  I can't even access my printer or scanner since Windows 10 took over and destroyed my computer.

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Method 1

Error says that the syntax is not right or something like that. Am I supposed to be typing my own username in where you say "username" or just type username? For the command what exactly am I supposed to be typing? Am I supposed to be substituting something in the code?

Until this is clear I don't know how this method can help anyone. Please explain!

This is so frustrating.

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Method 2

I cannot access "Manage another account" because it says "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your pc?" and the button is greyed out for "yes" because I am not an administrator.

Are there any more options?

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Even your link to how to start in Safe Mode is confusing. Why can't there be simple instructions? I even had to research how to do that. For all of us trying to fix this unbelievable issue:

How to start in SAFE MODE

Go to the window in the lower left and click it

Go to POWER button and click it

Hold down Shift and RESTART

That is all I have been able to figure out so far.

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Finally had to figure it out myself.

In safe mode (see how to do it on my other comment) Choose Troubleshoot

Then Advanced Options

Startup Settings

Press the F4 button on the keyboard

log in as Administrator (no password is usually required...just "continue")

NOW ...and ONLY NOW can you do the command prompt of

net user administrator /active:yes

And lastly at the command prompt type:

net localgroup Administrators (type in your username here) /add

It worked.

I hope this helps some others that are ready to cry! Never never never again will I trust Microsoft upgrades until it has been tested for a while in the market. Never!

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Last updated November 30, 2020 Views 47,425 Applies to: