Enable the Local Administrator & Set the Local Administrators Password via Group Policy

KB ID 0000641 


Microsoft disabled the local administrators account for a good reason, (its GUID it always the same, and its a well known attack vector into Windows). That said, if you have a problem on the domain, and you want to get into a client machine directly, not having the local admin enabled can be a pain.

Note: If you deploy your machines via WDS you can add a local admin account (with a different name) to your deployed machines see,

Windows Deployment Services (On Server 2008 R2)


1. On a domain controller Start > Administrative Tools > Group Policy Management Console.

2. Navigate to where you want to create your policy, or edit an existing one.

Note: You CAN apply this policy to domain controllers and the domain admin account will be unaffected. So you CAN set in the default domain policy if you wish. I prefer to create separate policies for things though, as it makes settings easier to find.

Enabling the Local Administrator via Group Policy

3. Navigate to;

Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Polices > Security Options

Locate the “Account: Administrator account status Properties”, define and enable the policy.

GPO Enable Local Administrator

Set the local Administrators Password via Group Policy

4. You need to do this with a group policy preference, but you can do this in the same policy, navigate to;

Computer Configuration > Preferences > Control Panel Settings > Local Users and Groups

Right click > New > Local User > In the ‘User name’ section change the drop down to Administrator (built-in) > Set the password > Un-tick ‘User must change password at next logon’ > Tick ‘Password never expires’ > Apply > OK > Exit the policy editor.

Group Policy Change local administrators password

5. Then either reboot the clients, wait a couple of hours, or manually run “gpupdate /force” on them.

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Author: Migrated

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