How to change a Windows 10 user account type and why you might want to

Change account type on Windows 10
Change account type on Windows 10 (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 10, you have two main account types for users, including Administrator and Standard User, each one offering a different set of privileges to use a device and apps. The Administrator type provides complete system control, which means that users can change settings globally, install apps, execute elevated tasks, and perform pretty much anything.

In comparison, the Standard User account type is more restrictive. Users with the standard account can work with apps, but they can't install new applications. They can change settings, but only those that won't affect other accounts, which means that global system configurations aren't allowed. If an app or a command requires elevation, they'll need administrative credentials to complete the task.

Usually, it's recommended to use an account with standard privileges as it offers a more secure environment. However, depending on the situation, it may be necessary to change the account type from Standard User to Administrator (or in reverse), and Windows 10 includes multiple ways to complete the process using Settings, Control Panel, User Accounts, PowerShell, and Command Prompt.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through virtually every method that you can use to change the account type on your device.

Quick tip: If you're looking to make your primary account standard, it's best to create a new administrator account first, and then use the new account to change your old account to standard and make administrative changes.

How to change user account type using Settings

To change the account type with Settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Family & other users.
  4. Under the "Your family" or "Other users" section, select the user account.
  5. Click the Change account type button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the Administrator or Standard User account type.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, restart your computer to start using the account with the new privilege level.

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

27 Comments
  • "One of the great things about Windows is being able to accomplish the same task in a number of different ways." That's a very kind way of looking at the current UI. :) Thanks for the article, that reminds me I should demote my parent's account to Standard User. 
  • Would you rather only one specific way to accomplish a task? Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    Using the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL for Windows 10 (Redstone)
  • I think it's enormously embarrassing for M.soft that they didn't manage to merge the old control panel into the new one.
  • Not I
  • I agree User-774. The fact it hasn't died, and moved across to Settings is a microcosm of exactly how slow MS are moving. Sure they've done great with the core, but they need to consider the whole system in their planning. Until they eat their own UWP dog food, how can they be taken seriously?
  • I don't. This stuff takes time.
  • Agreed
  • Change a user account type using command prompt! Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    Using the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL for Windows 10 (Redstone)
  • If somebody told me, how to disable the need to enter my password each time I want to log in, I would be very grateful. Also, while I am at it, can someone tell me, how do I disable the auto login with user accounts that have no password? I am looking for Windows 7 login experience, Windows 10 made logging into my computer extremely annoying: I share my computer with another person and whenever they log in and turn off the computer, they are automatically logged in after I turn it on.
  • The user probably has to actually log out before shutting down to get the user select screen at login.
  • Login with a PIN instead.  Easier than using your MSA password.
  • Fingerprint reader. -Mach 8 Solutions, LLC a software company.
    Http://mach8solutions.com
  • Start > netplwiz > right click and run as administrator. Select your username. Clear check box top left (user must enter password). Apply. Enter password. OK. Done
  • "The Standard User...can't be trusted not to muck things up..." If only there was a way to really lock down the OS to prevent malware from infecting it. I have a Family Safety monitored child who still managed to get infected by clicking on a suspicious link. Aside from paying additional $ for third party apps, why can't there be a "Read Only" mode for the OS?
  • I thought setting an account as a Standard user would prevent installing software?
  • Still can install from the Store...and can definitely install malware.
  • The Store is protected from malware (even if something did get in, Microsoft can remove it and disable it on people's computers). As a Standard Account you cannot install software, so I would suspect that your password was entered as a response to an installation prompt.
  • Are they disabling Smart Screen and Defender? Your child is a hacker, that's all there is to it...lol =p Ugh, I'm at work...so boring lol =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • Lock down your Childs account under Microsoft Family https://account.microsoft.com/family, setup OpenDNS and under User Account Control Settings set to always notify. I would also change your pin/password because it sounds like they already know it.
  • Exactly...a 10 year old hacker, nonetheless. I told him he should become a White Hat so I can retire. :)
  • You should never run as an Administrator!
  • Totally agree, really bad advice this article. NEVER run as an admin. Setup a separate admin account for when you need it, windows will prompt for admin credential's when required. There is no reason to run as an admin
  • Friends often ask me to setup their new computer. I never ever ever set their account as administrator! The average user does not understand UAC, does not give a sh*t and will blindly hit YES without thinking a microsecond. But asking the admin password makes everybody think twice. UAC should go away, and login as admin at boot should come with a non skippable 30 sec warning screen Imho. One of the main reasons for so many virus on Windows is that almost everybody runs as admin so the gates are wide open !
  • This. Always work as a standard user and only raise to admin when necessary. I've been working like this since NT 4.0 and that was a challenge, but since Windows 2000 this is absolutely painless and the recommended way of working.
  • "Hey... I just infected my computer!  I should go Mac instead" "Were you running as full admin?" "Yes but Macs are better" "So you were running as full admin!"   Gives up and diverts the person to the Apple store.
  • Netplwiz one of the better ways to do this
  • I tried all methods but none are working for me
    i messed up a prior correction using netplwiz - removing an old account and admin status there
    now i cannot seem to update my cuurent account to administrator
    all change attenpts ask me to login as administrator or access denied on command prompt