As people cling to Windows XP like it was the last donut in a room full of policemen, Windows 7 is quickly becoming more noticeable. Like every other version of Windows, Windows 7 is an improvement over it’s previous flavors. It’s not without its quirkiness, however, and one of the most notable is the configuration of the local Administrator account!

Though it was not so important in XP, major installations (Client Access, anti-virus, etc.) should be installed using the Administrator account. Win7 takes the role of Administrator seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the Administrator account is not even enabled by default. When you start to configure a new Win7 PC, a good place to start is by enabling the Administrator account.

To enable it, simply log on to the first user account you create. Click on the start menu, click on All Programs, and then click on the Accessories folder. Right click on the Command Prompt icon and choose “Run as administrator.” At the prompt, type in the command “net user administrator /active:yes” without the quotes. Hit the enter key and you should get a message stating that the operation was successful. Remember to open the command prompt by right clicking and running as the administrator. This is important because simply opening the command prompt and running this command will lead to error messages and possible balding, though the latter is still unconfirmed.

The Administrator account does not have a password when you enable it so log off the current user and you’ll see the Administrator icon on the Welcome screen. Click it and, after the desktop loads (which might take a little longer the first time) click the Start Menu and go to the Control Panel. The default view for the control panel is supposed to be user friendly, but, like swimming with lead flippers, I find it a bit cumbersome.

Near the upper right corner you’ll see a link labeled “View by.” Click on the word “Category” and choose “Large Icons” from the drop down menu. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and you’ll see an entry for user accounts…so….click it. In the middle of the window there will be several links for different tasks. Choose the link that enables you to create a password and follow the on-screen prompts. When you’re done, close everything out and you’re ready to use the Administrator account.

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