HOW TO: Rename the Administrator and Guest Account in Windows Server 2003

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Article ID: 816109 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

This step-by-step article describes how to change the administrator account and guest account names by using Group Policy in Windows Server 2003. This may be useful if you want to change the name of the administrator or guest user accounts to minimize the chance of misuse of these accounts.

Create a Group Policy Object

To create a Group Policy object (GPO) to change the administrator and guest account names:
  1. Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. To do so, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. In the console tree, right-click the domain or the organizational unit where you want to create the group policy, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Group Policy tab, and then click New.
  4. Type the name that you want to use for this policy. For example, type Rename Administrator and Guest accounts, and then press ENTER.
  5. Click Close.

Rename the Administrator and Guest Accounts

  1. Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.
  2. In the console tree, right-click your domain or the organizational unit that contains the Group Policy that you want, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Group Policy tab, click the Group Policy object that you want, and then click Edit. For example, click the Rename Administrator and Guest accounts Group Policy object, and then click Edit.
  4. Expand Computer Configuration, expand Windows Settings, expand Security Settings, expand Local Policies, and then click Security Options.
  5. In the right pane, double-click Accounts: Rename administrator account.
  6. Click to select the Define this policy setting check box, and then type the new name that you want to use for the administrator account.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Double-click Accounts: Rename guest account.
  9. Click to select the Define this policy setting check box, and then type the new name that you want to use for the guest account.
  10. Click OK, and then quit the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in.
  11. Quit the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.

Troubleshoot

If you try to reverse the changes to the administrator or guest account names by clearing the Define this policy setting check box in the Rename guest account or Rename administrator account dialog boxes, you may not be able to log on to the domain by using the default account names. To resolve this issue, use Group Policy to restore the default account names, and then clear the Define this policy setting check box:
  1. Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.
  2. In the console tree, right-click your domain or the organizational unit that contains the Group Policy that you want, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Group Policy tab, click the Group Policy object that you want, and then click Edit.
  4. Expand Computer Configuration, expand Windows Settings, expand Security Settings, expand Local Policies, and then click Security Options.
  5. In the right pane, double-click Accounts: Rename administrator account.
  6. Click to select the Define this policy setting check box, and then type Administrator. Click OK.
  7. Double-click Accounts: Rename guest account.
  8. Click to select the Define this policy setting check box, and then type Guest.
  9. Click OK, and then quit the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in.
  10. Quit the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.
  11. Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.
  12. At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:
    gpupdate
    exit
  13. Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.
  14. In the console tree, right-click your domain or the organizational unit that contains the Group Policy that you want, and then click Properties.
  15. Click the Group Policy tab, click the Group Policy object that you want, and then click Edit.
  16. Expand Computer Configuration, expand Windows Settings, expand Security Settings, expand Local Policies, and then click Security Options.
  17. In the right pane, double-click Accounts: Rename administrator account.
  18. Click to clear the Define this policy setting check box, and then click OK.
  19. Double-click Accounts: Rename guest account.
  20. Click to clear the Define this policy setting check box, and then click OK.
  21. Click OK, and then quit the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in.
  22. Quit the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.

REFERENCES

For more information about Group Policy in Windows Server 2003, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/gpmc/default.mspx

Properties

Article ID: 816109 - Last Review: October 30, 2006 - Revision: 4.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, 64-Bit Datacenter Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
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