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How to login as Administrator in Windows XP?

The built-in Administrator account is hidden from Welcome Screen when a user account with Administrator privileges exists and enabled. In Windows XP Home Edition, you can login as built-in Administrator in Safe Mode only. For XP Professional, press CTRL + ALT + DEL twice at the Welcome Screen and input your Administrator password in the classic logon window that appears.

To have the Administrator account displayed in the Welcome Screen, try one of these methods:

Method 1: Using TweakUI Power Toy for Windows XP

Download TweakUI from here:

v2.00 for Windows XP  |  v2.10 for XP SP1 and above

Open TweakUI and click "Logon" option in the left pane. Put a checkmark against the option "Show Administrator on Welcome Screen". Click OK to close TweakUI. Logoff and see if Welcome Screen lists Administrator login. Changes are immediate and you can use the Winkey + L to switch back to Welcome Screen to see Administrator account is listed.

Use this procedure to hide/unhide any user account from the Welcome Screen. Please remember, you can still login to a hidden account using CTRL+ALT+DEL classic logon method, but cannot Fast User Switch to a hidden user account.

Method 2 - Manual registry edit

  • Click Start, Run and type Regedit.exe
  • Navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon \ SpecialAccounts \ UserList

  • Use the File, Export option to backup the key
  • Create a new DWORD Value named Administrator
  • Double-click Administrator, and set 1 as its data
  • Exit the Registry Editor.

For Windows XP Home Edition

While you can configure Windows XP Home Edition to show Administrator account in the Welcome Screen, you cannot login as Administrator in Normal mode. Visit the following link for more information:

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