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I just installed Win7 64bit on a new hard drive, and I created a user account through the OOBE. I want to make my user account a standard user.

However, if I go into "User Accounts" and select "Change my account type", the standard user option is greyed out--this account apparently has to be an administrator.

I thought maybe it was the only admin account on the machine, so I tried to create a new user account named "Administrator", but was told I couldn't, because one already exists.

What gives? What do I have to do to run as a standard user?

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The reason the built-in administrator account is disabled by default is that it has a well known SID. An attacker can use this knowledge to his advantage. By using a different account as the administrator, its one more piece of information an attacker needs to acquire. –  Mike Christiansen Jan 7 '11 at 12:22

1 Answer 1

Have you tried creating a third account (called for example "test"), and setting that as a standard user?

Windows 7 forces your first user to be an administrator, plus the Administrator account is already created (but disabled), hence the second problem you're having.

Failing the UI, you could always go with net user test /add at an elevated command prompt, which will create a standard user called "test", which you can then modify using the UI.

EDIT: You could create a third, elevated account, and log in as that user, demote your first account, and then using elevated command prompt from the first account, delete the third account. Then again, you could boot into Safe Mode, log in as Administrator, and achieve the same thing. There are many ways to do what you want to do.

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As a minor point, I don't think Windows allows you to demote your active account. I do stand to be corrected though. –  user3463 Oct 1 '10 at 5:25
    
Randolph: Correct, you can demote the current account. –  Clayton Hughes Oct 1 '10 at 5:49
    
Also, yeah, the problem was that the built-in administrator account was disabled. I turned it back on and was able to demote my user account, no creation of a third account necessary. –  Clayton Hughes Oct 1 '10 at 5:50
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As I noted above, Administrator is disabled by default for security reasons, so I recommend disabling it again, or at least giving it a password > 14 characters. Of course you can't disable it if you don't have another elevated account on the box. –  user3463 Oct 1 '10 at 5:52
    
Another option concerning Randolphs comment above, You could combine a strong password with renaming the Administrator account. You can do this in gpedit.msc and goto Computer Configuration, Windows Settings, Security Settings, Local Policies, Security Options and there is an option to change it in there. –  Joe Taylor Jun 21 '11 at 11:32

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