Administrative rights on Windows computers

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  • Updated: 04 Feb 2011

To install software on a Windows computer, you must have administrative rights over that computer.

Administrator status can be granted as

  • local administrator - on a single computer, or a computer in a workgroup
  • domain administrator - over all of the computers in a domain.

If you do not have administrator status, you will not have access to all files on that computer. This can be vital in case of infection. Only the local or domain administrator will have access to all users' files on a Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 computer. Only the network administrator will be able to log in as a domain administrator.

Note: All users are local administrator on Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows Me computers.

What to do

Logging in as local administrator

On all Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 2003 computers, a local administrator account 'Administrator' is present, unless it has been removed. You will need to know the password.

To login as local administrator:

  • log off, or reboot the computer
  • at the login screen in 'Username' type "Administrator"
  • type the Administrator password in 'Password'.

In Windows XP Professional, where you are using the Welcome screen, press Control, Alt, Delete twice to access the login screen.

Local administrator on Windows XP Home

  • In Windows XP Home, the Administrator (original user) account cannot login in 'normal' mode. It can only login in Safe Mode.
  • That original account is used to create a first administrator account that can login both in 'normal' mode and in Safe Mode.
  • All subsequent administrator accounts can only login in 'normal' mode.

 
If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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