Locked out of Windows after you disabled all admin accounts in your computer? No user accounts appear on Windows login screen? How to enable a disabled local Administrator account prior to booting Windows? This tutorial will show you 2 ways to enable hidden administrator account when you can no longer log into Windows. The methods work with Windows 10, 8, 7 and Windows Server.
Method 1: Enable Hidden Administrator Account Using Registry Editor
- Boot your computer from Windows installation DVD. Press a key when you get the message "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD..." (You need to change the boot order in the BIOS/UEFI if your computer still boots straight to the login screen).
The first setup screen that loads will ask you to select your language, Time and currency format, and keyboard. Just press Shift + F10 keys to open Command Prompt, and then type regedit and press Enter.
This will open the Registry Editor. Select the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key in the left side.
Then click the File menu and select Load Hive.
Browse to your Windows partition and locate the SAM file under the /Windows/System32/Config directory, then click on Open.
When the Load Hive dialog appears, give the hive you're loading a unique name (such as "Load-SAM"), and then click OK.
Expand the "Load-SAM" key and then navigate to SAM\Domains\Account\Users\000001F4. Double-click the F binary value in the right pane to modify it.
The "Edit Binary Value" window will open with hex values. Change the binary value shown at offset 0038 from 11 to 10.
- Now you've successfully enabled the hidden administrator account without booting into Windows. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.
Method 2: Enable Hidden Administrator Account Using WindowsUnlocker
If you've never done anything to the registry, you may think the above registry hack is a litter scary. Luckily there is a simple yet powerful password tool WindowsUnlocker, which can help you easily enable hidden administrator account, and reset your lost Windows password. Here's how:
Download the WindowsUnlocker program using any PC you have full access. After the download completes, unzip it and burn the extracted ISO file to a CD or USB drive using ISO2Disc.
- After burning, use the CD or USB drive to boot the computer that you want to enable the administrator account offline. To do this, you might have to change the boot sequence in the BIOS/UEFI.
Once booted to the WindowsUnlocker program, it shows a list of all the local users for your Windows installation. Choose the disabled local administrator account and click on Reset Password.
- It will enable the local administrator account, and remove the password if your account has password protected. Restart your computer and remove the CD/USB drive.
- Now, you can log into Windows hidden administrator account without password!
If you've ever forgotten a password or lost admin access to your PC, try the above methods to enable the hidden administrator account, you can get back into your Windows box in minutes.