Administrator Login

Windows Tries to Hide This From You

How To Login As The Administrator

Maestro

This page provides a tip on logging in using the Administrator account in Windows, with some tips for specific Windows editions. Manifold is proud to support all Windows operating systems. Modern Windows systems are superb operating systems, but they do have a few quirks. This page discusses one of them, Microsoft's hiding of the true Administrator login in some cases.

Important: Many recent Windows systems are similar in how they hide the true Administrator login and how you can get access to genuine administrative privileges so the tips here will usually help even if you don't have one of the specific Windows systems used as an example. As always, your particular Windows system may be different so if the tips here don't work you should consult the support resources you utilize to learn how to operate your specific Windows system.

When working with recent Windows systems such as Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Server (various), Windows Vista, Windows XP or Windows 2000 you must have true Administrator privileges to either install or activate Manifold. Some Windows editions, in particular those intended for experts or enterprises, make that relatively easy but some Windows versions, such as "Home" editions, are dumbed-down to conceal the true Administrator account. We suppose Microsoft is trying to prevent inexperienced users from hurting themselves: we suppose they think if you know enough about Windows to find and turn on the real Administrator account you probably know enough not to hurt yourself.

Users working with dumbed-down Windows editions are sometimes surprised to encounter a Manifold error message during installation or other operations that advises them the login they are using does not have Administrator rights. Some users become indignant when they see this message, because they mistakenly think that if a login is a member of the administrators group it has the same administrative rights as the actual Administrator. That is not the case, as some Windows editions will not automatically grant the same rights to members of the administrators group that the actual Administrator login has.

Important: If any Manifold installation or activation dialog tells you that you do not have Administrator rights, DO NOT IGNORE that message. Manifold is telling you the truth. Carefully re-read this entire page. If the tips in this page do not help you learn how to use the actual Administrator login in Windows, consult whatever resources you use to learn about Windows to learn how to do that.

A Quick Shortcut

You must have true Administrator rights to install or activate Manifold. Some versions of Windows make it difficult for users to login with true Administrator rights. However, that can be bypassed sometimes by running programs using a "Run as Administrator" option. This is simple in Windows versions before Windows 8 but has become more difficult if you have to get around the "Metro" user interface Microsoft introduced in Windows 8 and later. Here is a shortcut that works in most cases.

To install Manifold in pre-Windows 8 versions of Windows: From the Windows Start button choose All Programs - Accessories and then right click on Windows Explorer and choose "Run as Administrator." That will launch a Windows Explorer window with true Administrator privileges. In Windows Explorer navigate to where you placed the Manifold .msi installation file and double-click on the Manifold .msi installation file to start installation.

  • In some versions of Windows such as Vista you may be able to right click on the .msi file and choose "Run as Administrator" when you install Manifold. For example, suppose after downloading Manifold from the Product Downloads page and unzipping the zip file you have an installation file called manifold-8.0.12.msi. [Note that depending upon your Windows Explorer settings Vista may or may not show you the three letter ".msi" extension.] With your mouse, right click onto the manifold-8.0.12.msi file and choose Run as Administrator from the context menu that pops up. This will cause the Manifold installation to be run with true Administrator privileges.

Installing Manifold in Windows 8 and Later

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You'll have to enable the built-in Administrator account, log out of whatever account you are using and then log into the real Administrator account.

  • Press the Windows key to open the "Metro" interface and then type command prompt in the search box.
  • Right click on command prompt and choose "Run as Administrator."
  • Enter the following italicized text into the command prompt window: net user administrator /active:yes
  • Press Enter. This will enable the built-in Administrator account.
  • Log out from your Windows session.
  • Log in using the new Administrative account that will appear as a choice.
  • You can now double-click on the Manifold installation file as with the above instructions but with no need to "run as administrator" since you are now working as the real Administrator.
  • In the installation dialogs remember to install Manifold for all users so you can use Manifold under your regular login as well.
  • After you've installed Manifold, launch Manifold and provide your serial number.

To launch Manifold when specifying the serial number or activating: In Windows systems after Windows 8, login using the built-in Administrator account that you created as specified above, launch Manifold and then you can specify the serial number or activate. For Windows systems before Windows 8, launch Manifold by right clicking on the Manifold System icon and choosing "Run as Administrator."

  • Suppose you have installed Manifold by using the shortcut above. Now it's time to launch Manifold with true Administrator privileges so you can provide your serial number and, optionally, activate the installation. The default Manifold installation places a Manifold program icon on your desktop. With your mouse, right click onto the Manifold program icon and choose Run as Administrator from the context menu that pops up. This will launch Manifold with true Administrator privileges. The Activation dialog will pop open and you can now add a serial number and optionally get an Activation key and activate Manifold with true Administrator privileges.

Important: If your Windows system has been altered from defaults, the above shortcuts might not work.

Full Procedure for Windows 7

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The most certain way to assure you have full Administrator rights in Windows 7 is to login using the actual Administrator account to either install or activate Manifold. This account is different from the accounts displayed as having the "Administrator" role in the User Accounts applet in Control Panel. You must login as the actual Administrator account to have true Administrator privileges in Windows 7. No other method will be supported by Manifold tech support.

Some Windows 7 installations will probably have the Administrator account turned off ("disabled"). If so, it is easy to turn the true Administrator account on with the following procedure. There is one procedure that uses dialogs and is good for most Windows 7 editions (but not Home Premium, which does not have the required snap in installed) and there is a second procedure that uses the command prompt and works with almost all Windows 7 editions.

Using dialogs:

  • Open the Control Panel.
  • Open the Administrative Tools folder.
  • Open the Computer Management applet.
  • In the applet, double click on System Tools to expand that heading.
  • In the applet, double click on Local Users and Groups to expand that heading.
  • In the applet, click on Users to see all users.
  • Right click on the Administrator user and choose Properties.
  • In the Administrator Properties dialog that pops open, uncheck the Account is disabled checkbox and then press OK.
  • Close the Computer Management applet.
  • Log off whatever account you were using.
  • There will now be an Administrator account enabled that you can log into.
  • Log in as the Administrator to install and to activate Manifold.
  • Important: If you leave the Administrator account enabled, give it a password.

Using the Command Prompt window:

  • Click Start, All Programs, Accessories and then right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  • In the opened command prompt window, type net user administrator /active:yes and click Enter, then log off.
  • There will now be an Administrator account enabled.
  • Log in as the Administrator to install and to activate Manifold.
  • Important: If you leave the Administrator account enabled, give it a password.

Full Procedure for Vista

The most certain way to assure you have full Administrator rights in Windows Vista is to login using the actual Administrator account to either install or activate Manifold. This account is different from the accounts displayed as having the "Administrator" role in the User Accounts applet in Control Panel. You must login as the actual Administrator account to have true Administrator privileges in Windows Vista. No other method will be supported by Manifold tech support.

Some Windows Vista installations may have the Administrator account turned off. If so, it is easy to turn the true Administrator account on. To do so, open the Control Panel and open the User Accounts applet. If you do not see any accounts named Administrator, this account is disabled. To enable the Administrator account, do the following:

  • Click Start, type cmd into the search pane, wait until the system displays the cmd.exe item at the top.
  • Right click the item and choose Run as administrator.
  • In the opened command prompt window, type net user administrator /active:yes and click Enter, then log off.
  • There will now be an Administrator account enabled.
  • Log in as the Administrator to install and to activate Manifold.
  • Important: If you leave the Administrator account enabled, give it a password.

Use Microsoft Resources

Important: Your authoritative technical resources for Microsoft products are Microsoft documentation and technical support services. The tips in this page are not a comprehensive or authoritative replacement for learning about Windows using Microsoft resources. This page provides advice that has helped many Manifold users with typical Windows installations, but the tips on this page do not cover all possible situations. Your situation, such as your particular Windows installation, may be different or your workflow may be such that the tips on this page do not apply. If so, please read Microsoft documentation, take advantage of some of the millions of resources on the web to learn enough about Windows to be able to login with true Administrator privileges or consult your Microsoft tech support resources for assistance.

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