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Cannot Change the Password for the Administrator Account in User Accounts in Control Panel

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q298252
After you log on as an administrator to a computer that is not a member of a domain, when you double-click User Accounts in Control Panel to change the password for the built-in Administrator account, the Administrator account may not appear in the list of user accounts. Consequently, you cannot change its password.
This behavior can occur because the Administrator account logon option appears only in Safe mode if more than one account is created on the system. The Administrator account is available in Normal mode only if there are no other accounts on the system.
To work around this behavior, reset the password in the Local Users and Groups snap-in in Microsoft Management Console (MMC) as follows:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type mmc, and then click OK to start MMC.
  3. Start the Local Users and Groups snap-in.
  4. Under Console Root, expand Local Users and Groups, and then click Users.
  5. In the right pane, right-click Administrator, and then click Set Password.
  6. Click Proceed in the message box that appears.
  7. Type and confirm the new password in the appropriate boxes, and then click OK.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
For additional information about Administrator accounts in Windows XP, see the following Knowledge Base articles:
300433 Administrator Account Not Used for Logon
281244 The Administrator Logon Dialog Box May Be Hidden Under the Welcome Screen or The System Could Not Log You on Message May Be Displayed

Article ID: 298252 - Last Review: 08/28/2002 22:15:00 - Revision: 1.2

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • kbnofix kbprb kbui KB298252