I just ran into a really frustrating issue with the Windows 10 UAC prompt. I just bought a new MSI laptop since it was time to upgrade. In my quest to get it set up, I added it to the domain that I use at home. After thinking for a bit, I decided that I didn’t want this machine on the domain, so I removed it. I received the usual prompt of “Are you sure? You will need to know the administrator password for the local account.” I was confident that I knew it because I had set it already but what I failed to remember was that since I had set it, I had completely reinstalled Windows to start fresh with Windows 10 Professional with my own license.
My fancy new laptop
The computer was removed from the domain and I rebooted the machine. It came back up seconds later and prompted me with the original local account I had set up. When I logged in for the first time, I received a weird UAC prompt asking to update a driver. The UAC prompt was weird because there was neither a username/password box or a “Yes” button. “What is this!?” I thought to myself, panicking a little inside. There was really only one way to attempt to restore this complete screw up and that was to go through Safe Mode. If you are having these issues, I will annotate them here for you to use. If they helped, leave a comment and tell me how happy you are! If they didn’t help, and you know why leave a comment and tell me what to update. If they didn’t help and you are stuck, leave a comment and tell me how disappointed you are.
This will not work if you have previously set a password on your Administrator account and YOU DO NOT remember it. I know of no method to fix that other than a fresh start with the hope that your drive wasn’t encrypted so you can at least take it out and copy data before you image it.
Reboot Into Safe Mode Steps
There are two ways to accomplish this:
To Get to Advanced Boot Options
- First, save any open work.
- Open the run dialog (Windows + R) and type
shutdown /r /o /t 0
/r for Reboot
/o for Advanced Boot Options
/t 0 for do it now (Time till reboot in seconds)
- Open the Start Menu
- Click the Power button that brings up the Sleep, Shutdown, or Restart menu
- While holding Shift, click the Restart menu item
- Click Troubleshooting
- Click Advanced Options
- Click Startup Settings (bottom right)
- Click the Restart button
After the Computer Reboots
- You will be prompted with several options, here, choose 4 (Enable Safe Mode)
In Safe Mode
- You should see the ability to login as Administrator. Click the login menu option. In my case, I had to click it twice before it decided to login.
- Once logged in, open the run dialog (Windows + R) and type
cmd.exe to open a command prompt
- In the command prompt, type
net user Administrator /ACTIVE:Yes
- This sets the Administrator to an active status
- Now that the account is active, you have to set an initial password. Type Ctrl + Alt + Del and click “Change a Password”.
- Set a memorable password. If you mess this up, welcome to fresh install land
- In my case, my Administrator account was also disabled so I had to open up Computer Management to fix that.
- Again, open a run dialog (Windows + R) and type
- In the Computer Management window, under System Tools, expand Local Users and Groups. Open Users by double-clicking on it.
- Double click the Administrator account and if the checkbox for “Account is Disabled” is checked, uncheck it and click OK.
- Also, I added my existing local user to the Local Administrators group. Double-click your existing local user account.
- On the Member Of tab, click Add.
- Type in “Administrators” and click Check Name. Click OK once the name resolves. Click OK once more to close the User dialog.
- You are now free to reboot back to your normal OS run level.
Once you reboot, you should be able to log in as Administrator or at least be able to use Administrator credentials while using your normal account through UAC. Don’t do your normal day-to-day work as Administrator. It could lead to serious security issues and opens your computer up to severe vulnerabilities.
I hope this helped someone. Again please comment below if you have any more information or just to shout out.