While Windows usually sets the first user on a PC as the administrator, there are a variety of reasons and ways to change the administrator in Windows. Whether you’re adding new administrator-level users, want to promote a Standard user, or switch to a new administrator completely, this guide provides six ways to change the administrator in Windows. Just pick your favorite method and get started.
Note: to prevent non-administrators from simply promoting themselves to gain unauthorized access, Windows requires you to make changes from an existing administrator account.
Tip: not able to make changes in Windows because you received the “This Setting Is Managed by Your Administrator” error message? Read on to learn how to fix it
1. Using Windows Settings
When trying to learn how to change the administrator in Windows, the most straightforward way is in Windows Settings.
- Open “Settings.”
- Select “Accounts” in the left pane.
- Select “Other users” in the right pane. This is called “Family & other users” in Windows 10.
- Select the desired user from the list.
- Press “Change account type.”
- Select “Administrator” from the account type list and press “OK” to confirm.
You can easily demote an administrator account using the same method.
2. Via Control Panel
If you prefer changing settings from the Control Panel versus Settings, follow these steps:
- Go to Start and search for “control panel,” then click “Open.”
- Select “User Accounts.”
- If you want to change your own account type, select “Change your account type.” For other accounts, select “Manage another account.”
- Select the account you want to change, then “Change the account type.”
- Select “Administrator” (or “Standard” if you’re demoting) and press “Change Account Type.”
3. With Command Prompt
If you don’t mind typing in a few commands, it’s easy to change Windows user accounts between Standard and Administrator. Let’s start by changing a Standard user to Administrator.
- Press Win + R, type
cmd, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt with admin privileges.
- Type the following to change the user account type to administrator:
net localgroup Administrators "User Account" /add
Replace “User Account” with the user account name. For Microsoft accounts, use the first five letters of the account’s email address. For example, for email@example.com, the user account name would be “windo.” Remember, you can use Windows 11 without a Microsoft account.
- Verify the change by typing:
net user "user name"
If you need to demote an administrator, the process is similar:
- Enter the following command, replacing “User Account” with the account name:
net localgroup Administrators "User Account" /delete
- Verify the change with:
net user "user name"
Helpful hint: confused between Command Prompt and PowerShell? We can help!
4. Use PowerShell
Windows 11 put PowerShell front and center over Command Prompt. In fact, later versions of Windows 10 even removed Command Prompt from the power user Start menu in lieu of PowerShell. If you also prefer PowerShell, this is how to change the Administrator in Windows 10 and 11:
- Press Win + X and select “Terminal (Admin).” For Windows 10, select “PowerShell.”
- Type the following at the prompt, replacing “user account” with the account name:
Add-LocalGroupMember -Group "Administrators" -Member "User Account"
Just like Command Prompt, the user name for Microsoft accounts is the first five letters of the account’s email address. You can also use
This promotes a Standard user to an Administrator. If you need to demote an account:
- Open PowerShell and enter the following, replacing “User Account” with the account name:
Remove-LocalGroupMember -Group "Administrators" -Member "User Account"
- This switches the account to a Standard user.
5. Use netplwiz
Another quick and easy method to change the administrator in Windows is with netplwiz. With this method, every user is listed, and you can change the user type back and forth as needed.
- Press Win + R to open the Run box.
- Enter “netplwiz” and click “OK.”
- Select the desired user and click “Properties.”
- Select the “Group Membership” tab and change the account type. Click “Apply.”
FYI: follow this guide to change the account and user name in Windows.
6. Via Computer Management
This method only works on Pro versions of Windows 10 and 11. If you have the Home version, like me, this option won’t be available. Follow these steps for changing the account in Windows 10 and 11.
You can use the third-party tool lusrmgmr to get the same results. For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m including the steps for both the Pro version of Windows and lusrmgmr. The screenshots are from lusrmgmr.
- Open the Start menu and search for “Computer Management.” Select “Run as administrator.”
- Expand “System Tools -> Local Users and Groups.”
- Select “Users” to open the list of users in the center pane.
- Right-click the user and select “Properties.” Click “Edit” for lusrmgmr.
- Select the “Member Of” tab and click “Add.” If using lusrmgmr, click the “Group membership” tab and select “Add membership.”
- Select “Advanced.”
- Select “Find Now.”
- Choose the “Administrators” group from the list. In lusrmgmr, the group list appears immediately. Choose “Administrators.”
- Click “OK” to confirm your choice. In lusrmgmr, choose “Select.”
- Click “OK” again to exit the window. You should then see the user listed as both a user and administrator.
You can also demote a user using the same process. However, you’ll be revoking the permission versus adding it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I disable the built-in administrator account?
Yes. Do this through Computer Management in the Local Users and Groups section. Or, use the lusrmgmr tool instead. Click the account to disable under the “General” tab (or the “Account” tab in lusrmgmr).
This account is highly useful if you forget your password and need to log in. Of course, this only applies if you haven’t reset the password for this account already.
Yet, it’s beneficial to disable this account if you’re not using it. Since it doesn’t have a password enabled by default, it can be a security risk. Standard users can use it to bypass your own administrator access.
Should I let all users be administrators on my personal computer?
Only do this if you don’t mind every user having full permissions to make any changes they want to the PC. Usually, a family PC only has the adults as administrators and the kids as standard users.
Why should I promote another user to administrator?
Standard users are rather limited. They can’t install software or make any major system changes, such as editing the registry, without the administrator’s permission. They’ll see a UAC (user account control) window prompting for the password.
If you don’t want to bother approving every change and software install, it may be worth promoting them. If an administrator is going to edit the registry, first learn how to back up and restore the Windows registry.
Can I change user access temporarily?
Yes. You can temporarily grant administrator access any time you want. Once the user is done with their tasks, you can change them back to a Standard user.
Can I just change the user account name?
Yes. If you misspelled the name or just want something different, use these steps to change it.
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Crystal Crowder.
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox