If you have to give users more control over on what they can do on your computer, then use this guide to change their account types on Windows 10.
Every time you go through the out-of-the-box experience on a new installation of Windows 10, you're required to create a user account. The first account you create will always be an Administrator account, which allows you to manage every aspect of your computer. However, when you need to share your computer with family members or friends by default the accounts are created as Standard User, which are more restricted, and sometimes it may not be the best option.
Windows 10 offers two account types: Administrator and Standard User. (In previous versions there was also the Guest account, but that was removed with Windows 10.)
Administrator accounts have complete control over a computer. Users with this type of account can change settings globally, install programs, get through the User Account Control (UAC) when elevation to perform a task is required, and everything else.
Standard User accounts have more limited control. Users with this type of account can run applications, but they can't install new programs. Users can change system settings, but only settings that won't affect other accounts. If a task requires elevations an username and password for an administrator will be needed to pass through the UAC prompt.
The Standard User account works best for a child's account or may be for someone who only needs to do the very minimum (or can't be trusted to not muck things up). However, there will be times when you may want to give users more freedom on what they can do. In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through four ways in which you can change a user account type on your computer.
1. Change a user account type on Settings
- Use the Windows key + I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app.
- Click Accounts.
- Click Family & other people.
Under Other people, select the user account, and click Change account type.
Under Account type, select Administrator from the drop down menu.
- Click OK to complete the task.
If the user was using an Administrator account, you could use the same instructions to change the type to a Standard User account.
2. Change a user account type on Control Panel
One of the great things about Windows is being able to accomplish the same task in a number of different ways.
If you're looking to change an account type using Control Panel, then you can use the following steps:
- Use the Windows key + X keyboard shortcut to open the Power User menu and select Control Panel.
Click Change account type.
- Click the user account you want to change.
Click Change the account type.
- Select Standard or Administrator.
Click the Change Account Type button to complete the task.
3. Change a user account type on User Accounts
Another more direct way to change a user account type is using User Accounts (netplwiz).
- Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the run command, type netplwiz, and press Enter.
Select the user account and click the Properties button.
- Click the Group Membership tab.
- Choose the account type: Standard User or Administrator. Also, note that you can even select Other, to choose from a number of different access levels, including Backup Operators, Power Users, and Remote Desktop Users.
- Click OK.
- Click Apply to complete the task.
4. Change a user account type using Command Prompt
Finally, for tech-savvy users, there is always the choice to change a user account type using the Command Prompt.
- Use the Windows key + X keyboard shortcut to open the Power User menu and select Command Prompt (Admin).
Type the following command to change account type to Administrator and press Enter:
net localgroup Administrators "account-name" /add
Type the following command to change account type to Standard User and press Enter:
net localgroup Administrators "account-name" /delete
An administrator account by default is part of the "Administrators" and "Users" groups, which means that to make an account "Standard User," we only need to remove the account from the "Administrators" group.
Double-check the user account is now a Standard User account by using the following command to view all members of the Users group.
net localgroup Users
If you see the account listed, then no more actions need to be taken. However, if the account is not part of the Users group, then use the following command and press Enter.
net localgroup Users "account-name" /add
Keep in mind that while we're focusing this guide for Windows 10 users, you can use these instructions on Windows 8.1, and even Windows 7 and previous versions of the operating system using the steps to change an account type with Command Prompt, Control Panel, and User Accounts (netplwiz).
For additional help, check out our previous guide to learn more about how manage user accounts on Windows 10.
What's your preferred method to change an account type on Windows 10? Let us know in the comments below.
More Windows 10 resources
For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources: