Gajus - Fotolia
The administrator account in Windows 7 enables you to set several restrictions that typically prevent other users from performing certain tasks, such as accessing the Control Panel and Windows Registry, installing or uninstalling applications, and modifying settings on Windows 7 laptops.
Organizations often lock down a laptop in this way to maintain control of the system and to prevent malware from spreading when the laptop is connected to a network. An admin might configure the laptop manually, use Group Policy to enforce restrictions, or use a third-party utility.
When laptops are no longer part of such a controlled environment, users often want to remove the admin restrictions to have full use of the system. In this case, the administrator password is required, but is typically not known.
If files and/or settings must be preserved, you can recover or reset the administrator account using a third-party utility such as Windows Password Recovery Tool Ultimate or ElcomSoft System Recovery. Most utilities offer a free trial version, and many are available on the CNET Download site. You might need access to another computer in order to create a bootable disc or flash drive for the recovery utility.
If you don't need to protect files and/or settings on the laptop, and the installation media and product ID are available, the easiest method to remove administrative restrictions is to reinstall the operating system and enter a password for the administrator account when prompted.
When you recover, reset or create the new administrator password, be sure to record it in a safe place. You should also create a backup disc or flash drive for your user identity in Control Panel >> User Accounts and Family Safety >> User Accounts. If you forget or lose your password, you can use the disc or drive to reset the password in the future.
Once you have administrative privileges in Windows 7 laptops, you can set or remove restrictions as you like.
FAQ: What admins need to know about maintaining Windows 7 security
Top 10 command-line tricks for Windows 7 management
Windows 7 passwords can be easily cracked
A guide to Windows passwords in the enterprise
Dig Deeper on Microsoft Windows 7 operating system
Related Q&A from Ed Tittel
Microsoft offers different tools to assign Windows 10 PCs to servicing channels. Learn how to assign desktops to servicing channels using a ... Continue Reading
When Windows Update malfunctions, IT must follow this four-step process to fix the problems. Be sure to have admin privileges before getting started. Continue Reading
Without the latest Windows Defender updates, your users' desktops won't be completely protected. When update problems occur, there are several ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.