- Windows 10
- Windows Server 2019
- Windows Server 2016
This reference topic for IT professionals describes the default local user accounts for servers, including how to manage these built-in accounts on a member or standalone server.
About local user accounts
Local user accounts are stored locally on the server. These accounts can be assigned rights and permissions on a particular server, but on that server only. Local user accounts are security principals that are used to secure and manage access to the resources on a standalone or member server for services or users.
This topic describes the following:
For information about security principals, see Security Principals.
Default local user accounts
The default local user accounts are built-in accounts that are created automatically when you install Windows.
After Windows is installed, the default local user accounts cannot be removed or deleted. In addition, default local user accounts do not provide access to network resources.
Default local user accounts are used to manage access to the local serverвЂ™s resources based on the rights and permissions that are assigned to the account. The default local user accounts, and the local user accounts that you create, are located in the Users folder. The Users folder is located in the Local Users and Groups folder in the local Computer Management Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Computer Management is a collection of administrative tools that you can use to manage a single local or remote computer. For more information, see How to manage local accounts later in this topic.
Default local user accounts are described in the following sections.
The default local Administrator account is a user account for the system administrator. Every computer has an Administrator account (SID S-1-5-domain-500, display name Administrator). The Administrator account is the first account that is created during the Windows installation.
The Administrator account has full control of the files, directories, services, and other resources on the local computer. The Administrator account can create other local users, assign user rights, and assign permissions. The Administrator account can take control of local resources at any time simply by changing the user rights and permissions.
The default Administrator account cannot be deleted or locked out, but it can be renamed or disabled.
In Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, Windows setup disables the built-in Administrator account and creates another local account that is a member of the Administrators group. Members of the Administrators groups can run apps with elevated permissions without using the Run as Administrator option. Fast User Switching is more secure than using Runas or different-user elevation.
Account group membership
By default, the Administrator account is installed as a member of the Administrators group on the server. It is a best practice to limit the number of users in the Administrators group because members of the Administrators group on a local server have Full Control permissions on that computer.
The Administrator account cannot be deleted or removed from the Administrators group, but it can be renamed.
Because the Administrator account is known to exist on many versions of the Windows operating system, it is a best practice to disable the Administrator account when possible to make it more difficult for malicious users to gain access to the server or client computer.
You can rename the Administrator account. However, a renamed Administrator account continues to use the same automatically assigned security identifier (SID), which can be discovered by malicious users. For more information about how to rename or disable a user account, see Disable or activate a local user account and Rename a local user account.
As a security best practice, use your local (non-Administrator) account to sign in and then use Run as administrator to accomplish tasks that require a higher level of rights than a standard user account. Do not use the Administrator account to sign in to your computer unless it is entirely necessary. For more information, see Run a program with administrative credentials.
In comparison, on the Windows client operating system, a user with a local user account that has Administrator rights is considered the system administrator of the client computer. The first local user account that is created during installation is placed in the local Administrators group. However, when multiple users run as local administrators, the IT staff has no control over these users or their client computers.
In this case, Group Policy can be used to enable secure settings that can control the use of the local Administrators group automatically on every server or client computer. For more information about Group Policy, see Group Policy Overview.
NoteВ В Blank passwords are not allowed in the versions designated in the Applies To list at the beginning of this topic.
ImportantВ В Even when the Administrator account has been disabled, it can still be used to gain access to a computer by using safe mode. In the Recovery Console or in safe mode, the Administrator account is automatically enabled. When normal operations are resumed, it is disabled.
The Guest account is disabled by default on installation. The Guest account lets occasional or one-time users, who do not have an account on the computer, temporarily sign in to the local server or client computer with limited user rights. By default, the Guest account has a blank password. Because the Guest account can provide anonymous access, it is a security risk. For this reason, it is a best practice to leave the Guest account disabled, unless its use is entirely necessary.
Account group membership
By default, the Guest account is the only member of the default Guests group (SID S-1-5-32-546), which lets a user sign in to a server. On occasion, an administrator who is a member of the Administrators group can set up a user with a Guest account on one or more computers.
When enabling the Guest account, only grant limited rights and permissions. For security reasons, the Guest account should not be used over the network and made accessible to other computers.
In addition, the guest user in the Guest account should not be able to view the event logs. After the Guest account is enabled, it is a best practice to monitor the Guest account frequently to ensure that other users cannot use services and other resources, such as resources that were unintentionally left available by a previous user.
HelpAssistant account (installed with a Remote Assistance session)
The HelpAssistant account is a default local account that is enabled when a Remote Assistance session is run. This account is automatically disabled when no Remote Assistance requests are pending.
HelpAssistant is the primary account that is used to establish a Remote Assistance session. The Remote Assistance session is used to connect to another computer running the Windows operating system, and it is initiated by invitation. For solicited remote assistance, a user sends an invitation from their computer, through e-mail or as a file, to a person who can provide assistance. After the userвЂ™s invitation for a Remote Assistance session is accepted, the default HelpAssistant account is automatically created to give the person who provides assistance limited access to the computer. The HelpAssistant account is managed by the Remote Desktop Help Session Manager service.
The SIDs that pertain to the default HelpAssistant account include:
SID: S-1-5- -13, display name Terminal Server User. This group includes all users who sign in to a server with Remote Desktop Services enabled. Note that, in Windows Server 2008, Remote Desktop Services are called Terminal Services.
SID: S-1-5- -14, display name Remote Interactive Logon. This group includes all users who connect to the computer by using a remote desktop connection. This group is a subset of the Interactive group. Access tokens that contain the Remote Interactive Logon SID also contain the Interactive SID.
For the Windows Server operating system, Remote Assistance is an optional component that is not installed by default. You must install Remote Assistance before it can be used.
For details about the HelpAssistant account attributes, see the following table.
HelpAssistant account attributes
S-1-5- -13 (Terminal Server User), S-1-5- -14 (Remote Interactive Logon)
Create a local user or administrator account in Windows 10
Create a local user account for a child or someone else who doesn’t have a Microsoft account. If needed, you can give that account administrator permissions. An offline account is just another term for a local account.
As you create an account, remember that choosing a password and keeping it safe are essential steps. Because we don’t know your password, if you forget it or lose it, we cannot recover it for you.
If you’re using Windows 10, version 1803 and later, you can add security questions, as you’ll see in step 4 under Create a local user account. With answers to your security questions, you can reset your Windows 10 local account password.
Create a local user account
1. Select Start > Settings > Accounts and then select Family & other users. (In some editions of Windows you’ll see Other users.)
2. Select Add someone else to this PC.
3. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information, and on the next page, select Add a user without a Microsoft account.
4. Enter a user name, password, password hint or choose security questions, and then select Next.
Change a local user account to an administrator account
1. Select Start > Settings > Accounts , and then, under Family & other users, select the account owner name, then select Change account type.
2. Under Account type, select Administrator, and then select OK.
3. Sign in with the new administrator account.