How to Set an Administrator Account Password in Windows XP

By Contributing Writer

Both the Home and Professional versions of Windows XP come with a "hidden" administrator account. This account, by default, does not have a password. However, for the purposes of avoiding any serious security breaches, it is advisable to set a password for the administrator account on your PC. It will prevent anyone you do not want to from accessing the system with Full System Administrative Rights. Here's how to set an administrator account password in Windows XP.

Step 1

Shut down your computer completely. Wait for 20 seconds and then reboot your computer in Safe Mode. Here's how: As your PC starts up, repeatedly tap on your F8 key as soon as your computer's logo appears (Compaq, HP, Dell or other logo). This will bring up a "Windows Advanced Options" text menu. Use your keyboard arrow keys to select the "Safe Mode" option. Press the "Enter" key. This brings up another text menu with a selection of operating systems, typically "Microsoft Windows XP." Highlight this option and then press the "Enter" key again. This loads Safe Mode on your PC, and will present you with the Windows Welcome screen.

Step 2

Log in to the Administrator account in the Welcome Screen. Click "OK" if a warning message pops up. Next click on the "Start" button in the bottom left-hand corner of your PC. Click on "Control Panel," and then double-click on the "User Accounts" icon to open it. This will display a list of the different user accounts that are on your PC.

Step 3

Select the Administrator account, which takes you to the Account Settings screen. Click on the link "Create a Password."

Step 4

Fill out the blank text boxes provided in the password creation window. Click on the "Create Password" button at the bottom of the window. You may be prompted to choose whether or not to make the Admin account files private. Indicate your preference and then click "Finish." This takes you back to the "User Accounts" window.

Step 5

Close the "User Accounts" window and then reboot your computer normally. Your Administrative account is no longer a security liability.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure that all other administrator accounts on the PC are also password protected.
  • Create a Password Re-set Disk so that in the event that you forget your Admin password, you will still be able to access your system.