I have a regular user account on my Windows 7 (Enterprise) machine, and an Administrator account for tasks requiring elevated privileges. I never actually log on as the admin user, I just use "Run as administrator" as this is on a Novell network and logging in as a local user is tricky with the current set-up we have (I'm not sure why, but it is).

I'd like to change the password for the administrator account, without resorting to the reset facility in Computer Management. When I use "Manage User Accounts" in control panel (with Run as administrator), it tells me that I need to press Ctrl-Alt-Del to change my own password, but obviously I can't do Ctrl-Alt-Del "as administrator."

Is there another way to change another user's password (given that you do know the current one) that doesn't involve logging in as that user or simply resetting it?


First log into Administrator on command line:

runas /user: localmachinename \administrator cmd

Then change password with this command (edit it a little bit for your specific instance):

net user user_name  new_password
  • The Microsoft man pages don't give any detail on how to handle user names with a space. I've tried net user "A B" *, net user A B *, net user "domain\A B" *, net user "ab@domain" *, and a half-dozen other combos. – user49214 Jan 27 '12 at 16:51
  • I get: System error 5 has occurred. Access is denied :( – Ian Grainger Sep 14 '17 at 8:35
  • @IanGrainger Are you allowed to have administrator access? – Joseph Hansen Sep 14 '17 at 20:37
  • @JosephHansen yes, I'm admin. I ran a CMD window as admin, but still got that error. Worried it's because I renamed the user? I've left the password for now, as the only problem is it's TOO long and copy/paste wasn't playing... So I guess I give in :) – Ian Grainger Sep 15 '17 at 8:48

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