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I have a Windows 7 Professional machine with the administrator account disabled, and the local user account is locked out. Is there any way to unlock this machine?

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migrated from Mar 17 '11 at 4:07

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

up vote 10 down vote accepted

You can wait for the account lockout to expire. This depends on your GPO but these should be the defaults. The default settings are:

  • Account Lockout Duration = 30 minutes
  • Account lockout threshold = 5 invalid log on attempts
  • Reset account lockout countdown after = 30 minutes

Alternatively, you could reset the password if you have to, if you have the legal right to do so.

You can also enable the admin account from the offline NT password and registry editor, which is mentioned in the post linked above about resetting passwords.

To re-enable a disabled account, right click on "My Computer" on the desktop or start menu and choose manage. Under "Local Users and groups" click "Users". Inside "Users" you will see the Administrator account. Double click to bring up properties and un-check the "account is disabled" and close the properties panel. Then right click the administrator user to set the password of your choice.

You may also want to look into creating a password recovery disk. See here

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@Camop - Thank you for the quick reply - do you know what the default "account lockout" expiration time is? – Doug Mar 16 '11 at 21:31
added to my answer :) – Campo Mar 16 '11 at 21:34
@Campo - You Rock!! – Doug Mar 16 '11 at 21:38
My pleasure! All about giving back :) – Campo Mar 16 '11 at 21:41

Open Command Prompt. Type in:

net user administrator /active:yes
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Please add a bit of explanation. A black-box answer might solve the problem at hand, but doesn't help OP further on. – vonbrand May 13 '13 at 20:26

kon-boot (in bios have the burned image cd/dvd to boot first) will log you in as administrator then you can do what is needed.

version 1.0 or 1.1 ,I've used both working on passworded Vista machines requested by the owner.

I'm sure this would also work on win7

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