Understanding the Administrator Account

Each Windows computer has a local account called 'Administrator' that has full authority to install and remove software, access all files on the system, update drivers and perform other system configuration tasks. It is critical that you safeguard this account and its password.

If your computer should ever develop a problem that prevents you from logging in with your regular Iowa State Net-ID the Administrator account may be the only way to access the system. If the Adminstrator password is lost your data may be unrecoverable.

Resetting the Administrator Password

In certain cases it may be possible for Extension IT to remotely reset your Administrator password. This depends on the proper functioning of your computer and it being recently up to date. Remote password resets will likely not work on computers experiencing network-related issues or that have been off the network for an extended period of time.

To have your Administrator password reset:
  1. Ensure the network is functioning properly by accessing a web site or file share.
  2. Obtain the computer name from the System Control Panel applet:
    Click Start, right-click Computer, select Properties.
    Windows 7 or Windows Vista - under the 'Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings' heading
    Windows XP - on the 'Computer Name' tab
  3. Call Extension IT Support (515.294.1725).