How to Enable Administrator Offline using Registry (Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista).

Last updated on February 28th, 2018

As you may know, the Administrator account is disabled by default in Windows 7, 8 or 10 OS, for security reasons. But sometimes there is a need to enable the disabled Administrator account, to troubleshoot Windows or to reset the forgotten password of other local accounts (non Domain or Microsoft accounts).

In this tutorial you will find detailed instructions on how to enable the hidden administrator account on Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista based computer, by modifying the Windows Registry Offline in case you cannot login to Windows by using another account with admin rights (Enable Administrator account from Windows), or by using the Offline NT Password and Registry editor boot CD (Enable Administrator with Offline NT Password & Registry Editor utility).

How to Enable Administrator Account by Modifying Registry from Recovery Environment.

1. Power On your computer and press the F8 key as your computer is booting up, before the appearance of the Windows logo.
2. When the "Windows Advanced Options Menu" appears on your screen, use your keyboard arrows keys to highlight the Repair Your Computer option and press Enter.

* Note: If  you 're using Windows 10 or 8/8.1 OS, or the "Repair Your Computer" option is missing (Windows 7 or Vista), then you have to boot the computer from a Windows Installation Media (USB or DVD). If you don't own a Windows installation media, then from another working computer, navigate to Microsoft's Software Recovery Center, and create a Windows installation media (USB or DVD), according to the installed Windows Version and Edition (32 or 64 bit).

repair your computer


3. At the Windows Setup screen press SHIFT + F10 to access command prompt, or choose Next –> Repair your computer –> Troubleshoot –> Advanced Options –> Command Prompt.

windows setup screen


4. At command window, type "regedit" (without quotes) & press Enter.

regedit command


5. In Registry Editor: Highlight the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key.


6. From File menu, select Load Hive.

modify registry offline

7. Highlight and open the SAM file at the following location on the OS disk: *

  • %windir%\system32\config\

e.g. Navigate to the disk where Windows are installed on (commonly on disk "C:") and open the SAM file found in "Windows\system32\config" directory.

enable disabled administrator


8. Then type a Key Name for the offline registry database (e.g. "Offline") and press OK.

enable disabled administrator registry offline


9. Now under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key, you should have a new key, named Offline.

enable hidden administrator registry offline


10. Now from the left pane, navigate to the following key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Offline\SAM\Domains\Account\Users\000001F4

enable administrator offline registry


11. At the right pane, double click to open the F value.

enable adminiregistry offline



12. By using the Down arrow key, navigate to line 0038.

Enable Disabled Administrator by modifying the Registry Offline


13. Press the Delete key once (to delete the 11) and then type 10. When done, click OK.

enable administrator windows


14. Finally highlight the key you previously created (e.g. the "Offline" key ) and from the File menu, choose Unload Hive to write back the changes you made to the Registry.

registry enable administrator


15. Close all open windows and restart your computer normally.
16. After the restart, login to Windows using the Administrator account. *

* Suggestion: When you finish you job , then proceed and disable the Administrator account to avoid security risks. To do that, open Command Prompt with Administrative privileges {Command Prompt (Admin)} and give this command:

  • net user administrator /active:no

That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

If this article was useful for you, please consider supporting us by making a donation. Even $1 can a make a huge difference for us in our effort to continue to help others while keeping this site free:

We're hiring

We're looking for part-time or full-time technical writers to join our team! It's about a remote position that qualified tech writers from anywhere in the world can apply. Click here for more details.