Error Message: Unable to Log You on Because of an Account Restriction


When you install Windows XP Home Edition, you are prompted to enter a password for the Administrator account. After the installation has completed, you can only use the Administrator account in Safe mode. When you use the Administrator account to log on to the computer in Normal mode, you may receive the following error message:

Unable to Log You on because of an Account Restriction


This issue occurs because the Administrator account has been set aside so that it can be used in Safe mode when the Owner account is not available.


This behavior is by design.

More Information

The Administrator account is not displayed in User Accounts unless the computer is in Safe mode. To change the password for the Administrator account:

  1. Click Start, click Turn Off Computer, and then click
  2. After the computer completes the Power On Self Test (POST), press F8, and then click Safe mode.

    NOTE: If you have difficulty getting to the Safe mode menu command, press F8 repeatedly after you turn on the computer.
  3. Log on as an Administrator, or with another account that has Administrator permissions.
  4. Click Start, click Settings, click Control Panel, and then click User Accounts.
  5. Click the Administrator icon.
  6. Click Create a Password or Change my password.
  7. Type a password for the account, and then retype the password to confirm it.
  8. Type a hint to help you remember the password in the event that you forget it.
  9. Click Create Password or Change Password.
For additional information about how to create and configure user accounts in Windows XP, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

279783 HOW TO: Create and Configure User Accounts in Windows XP

Article ID: 290109 - Last Review: Oct 23, 2008 - Revision: 1