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How to make your Vista's admin account acts like in XP


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First let me start by saying that one of the selling points of Vista is the new user accounts security enhancements, but sometimes, defaults don't meet everyone's taste when it comes to how we deal with our PCs. I for one, always used full administrator accounts since I first knew what a Windows user account is, and never been hit by a virus/spyware/crap, using common sense and updated AV software, so I don't want to give permissions to myself or face strange error messages every time I do a simple task on my computer.

You know UAC feature in Windows Vista, and you all know how to disable it, this is not the purpose of this thread, because even after you disable UAC, you'll have other prompts about folder/file permissions errors sometimes (I faced it in strange, unexpected occasions, like deleting an empty folder for a program left by the uninstaller), or you'll need to right click and select "Run as Administrator" for most applications to work/install correctly.

That's because Microsoft made the administrators accounts (in local administrators group) run as standard users, unless we give permissions for every and each administrative tasks, with a little difference when UAC is turned on/off

Enough introductions, lets get our hands dirty:

Remember that cute "Administrator" account you see when you login to safe mode? That's the built-in administrator account that's installed by default, and disabled by default too, after a little digging-in I made this tutorial that'll let you enable and use this account in normal mode, and with a little other tweak, enjoying an XP-like administrator experience, while UAC is left ON (or off, it doesn't matter), but with no prompts or right clicks.

1- Click Start, and type "secpol.msc" in the search area and click Enter.

2- You may receive a prompt from UAC, approve/login and proceed.

3- In the left list, choose "Local Policies", then "Security Options"

4- Set "Accounts: Administrator account status" to Enabled.

5- Set "User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administrator account" to Disabled.

6- Now log-off, and you'll see a new account named "Administrator" will be available, click on it to login.

Now you are the master of your domain! I recommend if you're going to use this method is to apply it as soon as you do a fresh install of Windows, so you can simply delete whatever administrator you created in the setup process, and make this one the "real" administrator for your PC, also you can rename this new admin account or change its password like any other account from "User Accounts" in the Control Panel.

A last note: Please apply this procedures only if you know what you're doing. Disabling security features in the operating system is not something recommended to the average Joe, and for sure I won't be held accountable for any damaging happens to your system or files resulting from running a full administrator account all the time.


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