If the Admin prompt has a greyed out or missing Yes button ... Solved

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  1. Posts : 971
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       16 Apr 2018 #1

    If the Admin prompt has a greyed out or missing Yes button ...


    This has now been published as a TenForums tutorial - If the Admin prompt has a greyed out or missing Yes button Both versions are currently the same [25th Oct 2018] but future changes will only be made to the Tutorial version.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    If the Admin prompt has a greyed out or missing Yes button but no password entry box, use the Built-In Admin account in Safe mode to create replacement admin user accounts


    1 Introduction


    If you get an Admin prompt in which the Yes button is greyed out or missing & which does not show a password entry box, Windows cannot find an admin user account that could grant permission to proceed so your only admin user account has either

    • suffered from user profile corruption making it no longer fully functional, or
    • been demoted to being a standard user account.





    Some potentially quick recovery procedures, such as Restore from a system restore point, might work in your circumstances so this article starts by identifying the most common of them.

    If you cannot recover using one of these quick solutions, however, you should be able boot into Safe mode where the login screen will show a user account that does not normally appear; it has the username Administrator and it exists for precisely this situation - when no functioning user-created admin user accounts exist on the computer.

    You can use this Built-In account to create new admin user accounts for your own use. Once you have made those new admin user accounts you will once again have control over your computer including the ability to give permission for such things as installations. Administrator will then be disabled once again by the system and you will not see it in the list of user accounts at login.

    This article guides you through booting into Safe mode then creating two new admin user accounts. You can then either make use of one of them as your day-to-day account or can use them to create an additional account for day-to-day use.

    Whilst the procedure seems complex I have endeavoured to describe it in terms that any user can follow. Please don't be put off by trying to understand the entire article; after perhaps skimming through the whole thing once, just read each paragraph, do the step concerned then move on to the next paragraph.


    2 Do at least consider some potentially quicker recovery procedures instead


    2.1 I don't think this can ever be the case but if you already have another admin user account & if that admin user account is somehow still fully functional despite the fault symptom you are experiencing then you could use it to create a new admin user account to replace the defective one. You could also use the guidance in para 5.6 below to rescue the defective account's contents and potentially even repair the defective user account.

    2.2 Do not dismiss the notion of simply rebooting. The problem might only be intermittent. If it is intermittent then catch the system while it's working to create two new password-protected admin user accounts before the problem returns - see section 5 below.

    2.3 Take a look at Recovery options in Windows 10 - Windows Help but bear in mind that your current fault condition might stop some options working.


    • Your fault condition would, for example, stop you using Reset your PC but you would be able to Use installation media to restore or reset your PC.
    • I cannot advise on any of these recovery options because I rely on making frequent system images instead so I never use any of them.



    2.4 If you have a recent system image made before the fault appeared then restoring it would be an appropriate recovery method as long as you have an up-to-date backup of any of your own files that are on the same drive as your Windows installation. The procedure you need to use depends on the application you used to create the image & the procedures you use for backing up your own files.

    2.5 This TenForums tutorial article Fix 'You've been signed in with a temporary profile' Error is derived from an MS KB article [KB947215 article, see para 5.6 below] but specifically addresses the possibility that you are currently using a temporary profile. This would have been reported in a notification at logon so I would expect that to be the main symptom you would have been searching for in this forum rather than the symptom Admin prompt has a greyed out Yes button. I have included the link just in case you have landed on this article anyway.

    2.6 If none of these quicker recovery methods work for you then you will need to use the Safe mode method explained below.

    2.7 You might notice that I have not mentioned the procedure known as a Repair install [also known as an InPlace upgrade]. This is deliberate. Repair installs have no effect on user accounts so they cannot help you with this particular problem.


    3 Boot into Safe mode


    Note that there is a more generally-applicable procedure in Safe mode - TenForums but it does not have all the steps and explanations that have been provided below [because this procedure is based solely on this one specific fault condition].


    3.1 Prepare -
    Do you normally boot up to a logon screen [see 3.1.1]
    or
    have you bypassed the login screen using netplwiz so that you boot up straight to your desktop without having to sign in every time [see 3.1.2]
    or
    you boot up straight to your desktop without having to sign in every time because you have never set a password for your day-to-day local user account? [see 3.1.3]

    3.1.1 If you boot up to a logon screen, it eases getting into Safe mode and you are ready to go to para 3.2 below to start the procedure.
    3.1.2 If you have bypassed the logon screen then attempt to reset it by


    • entering netplwiz in a command prompt, then,
    • in the netplwiz window, selecting your admin user account, and
    • setting the checkbox for Users must enter a username and password to use this computer.
    • If you get an Admin prompt when running netplwiz [which would happen if you had set your UAC protection to its highest level] you will not be able to get around it so you will need to take the modified step described in para 3.5 below.
    • Now go to para 3.2 below to start the procedure.



    3.1.3 If you have bypassed the logon screen because {for local accounts only} you have never set a password for that account you will need to take the modified step described in para 3.5 below. Now go to para 3.2 below to start the procedure.

    3.2 I always remove my internet connection before booting into Safe mode. This is not essential but doing so eases creating new local user accounts by letting you start off with simple passwords [covered by para 4.2 below].

    3.3 Go to Settings, Update & security, Recovery then click on Advanced start-up - Restart now.

    3.4 You'll be taken to a blue menu. Select Troubleshoot, Advanced options, Startup settings, Restart.

    3.5 You'll be rebooted to another blue menu. Press the 4 key* or the F4 key* to select Enable Safe mode. You will be taken to the Safe mode login screen.

    * Modified step [if applicable] If you were unable [paras 3.1.2, 3.1.3 above] to turn off the attempt to boot straight into your day-to-day user account with no login screen appearing then, immediately after pressing the 4 key or F4 key, press and hold down the Shift key until the login screen appears.


    • If you are too slow then you will have to reboot normally [i.e. not into Safe mode] then repeat steps 3.3 - 3.5.
    • I have tried this Shift key procedure repeatedly on a one year old Windows 10 computer & on an eight year old Windows 10 computer upgraded from Windows 7 and it works every time but I have also tried it on a thirteen year old Windows 10 computer that is almost-but-not-quite-fully Windows 10 compatible and cannot get it to work. If I lost all my admin user accounts on this particular computer I would therefore have to either restore it from a recent system image made before the fault developed or reinstall Windows 10.



    3.6 Starting Safe mode in Windows 10 does not look like the Safe mode startup you might have seen in previous Windows versions. There is, for example, no long list of drivers & other Windows components whizzing up the screen.

    3.7 The Safe mode login screen ought to have entries for your existing user accounts and an entry for an account with the username Administrator.

    3.8 Administrator is the username of the Built-In Administrator account. Administrator only appears in the list because Windows has detected that there are no user-created admin user accounts in the system. In the hope of avoiding too much confusion, I will use the term Administrator in full whenever I refer to the Built-In Administrator account and I will use the term admin user account when referring to any admin user accounts that you create.

    3.9 If the username Administrator is not shown on the Safe mode login screen then I think you have additional faults on your system because it would mean that, although your fault symptom demonstrates that you have no functioning admin user accounts, Windows thinks that you do.


    • I think that you will probably end up with no choice but to reinstall Windows 10.
    • You could deliberately enable the Built-In Administrator account then complete this procedure starting with section 4 and making sure that you later complete para 5.8.



    3.10 Click on Administrator and it will log in without waiting for anything else - Administrator has no password [by default] so there is nothing to type in. I sometimes have to try this twice because the first attempt just ends up returning me to the login screen.


    4 Use the Built-In Administrator account to fix the problem


    4.1 When you log in to Administrator in Safe mode you'll be taken to a fairly normal-looking, albeit black, desktop.
    - There is Windows version info at the top and the words Safe mode are shown in each corner.
    - There are some odd things that you can ignore [these are Ver 1709 ones, the oddities seem to vary with each version]
    - even though you are logged in to the Administrator, clicking on the Start menu, User icon might show you logged in to your original account.
    - but hovering over the Start menu, User icon brings up an indicator that you are logged in as the Administrator.
    - you can confirm that you are logged in to the Administrator account when you reach para 4.2.2 below. It only takes a moment.

    Note about the behaviour of earlier Windows 10 versions In earlier Windows 10 versions but not in Ver 1709, you'd get a false warning that the Get started app could not be opened or that you'd need to get a new app to open ms-get-started. Similarly, if you ever logged in to Safe mode using any other user account, you'd have had a false warning that the Tips app or another app could not be opened "using the Built-In Administrator" even though you were not using it. You could always simply dismiss these warnings out of hand or just ignore them.

    4.2 Create a new admin user account with a password

    4.2.1 Notes about creating a new admin user account with a password


    • You can change the password later so you can just keep it simple for now as long as you do not go online until you have finished.
    • You can call the new user account almost whatever you like as long as no existing account uses the same name so do not call it Administrator, DefaultAccount or Guest and do not use the name of any of your own user accounts.
    • Avoid spaces in the name & password just to keep things simple, only use characters you can type on the keyboard and don't use any symbols in either of them that File explorer would reject if you tried using them in a filename - so, for example, do not use these * : < > / \ | " ?.
    • I chose the username NewAdminPrimary with a [temporary] password 12345 below to act as my first example.



    4.2.2 The procedure for creating a new admin user account with a password


    1. Open a Command prompt*** - click on the Start button, scroll down & click on Windows system then select Command prompt.
    2. By "Enter" below, I mean type what I have shown in italics then press the Enter/Return button.
    3. If you want to confirm that you are indeed logged in as the Administrator, enter whoami and it will report in the form ComputerName\Administrator.
    4. Enter net user if you need to check the names used for your existing user accounts. In addition to Administrator & your existing user accounts, you will also see entries for some special-purpose 'accounts' created by Windows [DefaultAccount, Guest, possibly WDAGUtilityAccount, possibly defaultuser0] but these are nothing to be concerned about. Don't worry that the list of accounts is followed by The command completed with one or more errors - this always seems to appear when running the command from Administrator but the list of accounts is always correct.
    5. Enter net user /add NewAdminPrimary 12345
    6. Enter net localgroup Administrators NewAdminPrimary /add [use of the plural Administrators is essential]
    7. Enter net user NewAdminPrimary to see the new account's properties and check that its Local group memberships line has the entry Administrators in it [this is also in the plural; it does not matter that it also has the entry Users].
    8. After you have completed step 4.3 below [i.e. your second pass through this account creation procedure], close the Command prompt window by clicking on its x in the top right-hand corner or by entering the command Exit.



    [*** Some people report problems using the Start menu in Safe mode - you can create your own Command prompt shortcut on the desktop instead by right-clicking, selecting New, Shortcut then typing cmd in the 'location' input box, Next, then typing Command prompt or similar in the 'name' input box.]

    4.3 Repeat steps 4.2.2 to create another account NewAdminReserve with a [temporary] password 12345 so you have both a new admin user account to use to manage your computer and a spare one to use to rescue the situation if NewAdminPrimary is ever corrupted.

    4.4 The user accounts created this way are "local" user accounts. They exist only on this computer. They are not linked to any online accounts such as MSAccounts. Having them as local user accounts will help you during any future fault-finding procedures so it is well worth keeping them local forever.

    4.5 Log into at least one of the new accounts without rebooting [Start button then click on the user icon] just to give you confidence that all is now well. This takes a while as Windows has to go through its We're just setting things up for you & It's taking a bit longer than usual, but it should be ready soon pantomime. Then reboot and log in to one of the new accounts [not Administrator, you have now finished with that and it should have been quietly disabled by the system during the reboot].

    4.6 Do something that you know generates an Admin prompt so you can see that the account is working correctly. You could, for example, click on the Start button, scroll down & click on Windows system then right-click on Command prompt and select More, Run as Admin.


    5 Tidy up then start using the computer normally once again


    5.1 You should now have a fully accessible & controllable computer.

    5.2 You should change both of the new admin user accounts' passwords to something sensible now if you just used 12345 when you created them. Make sure you write their passwords down somewhere secure yet readily available to you [writing down their passwords is as effective as making 'Password reset disks' & is a lot cheaper]. Just sign into each one in turn then go to


    • Settings,
    • Accounts,
    • Sign-in options,
    • Password - Change.



    5.3 You could use one of the new admin user accounts as your day-to-day account or you could create another account for day-to-day use [see paras 5.4, 5.5.] - creating a standard user account for day-to-day use is the more cautious approach.


    • I have an account for day-to-day use in addition to my two admin user accounts.
    • My day-to-day account is also an admin user account but I could downgrade that to a standard user account if I wanted.
    • Making your day-to-day account a standard one has the advantage of limiting the extent to which malware can penetrate your computer because, unless it tricks you into approving an Admin prompt to let it go any further, it will be limited to invading those parts of the computer to which your standard user account has access.
    • Making your day-to-day account a standard one will also protect you against the alleged malware that can penetrate into admin-level actions without generating an Admin prompt if the user is merely logged in with an admin user account - I have heard about such malware but have not been able to reproduce its actions {perhaps a Windows update has plugged that particular vulnerability, I just don't know}.
    • Even if, like me, you keep your day-to-day user account as an admin user account it is still worth using one of your new admin user accounts whenever you are investigating problems so that you avoid granting additional access permissions to your day-to-day account.
    • I use NewAdminPrimary for all technical investigations and I keep NewAdminReserve as a backup that's ready for use in the event that NewAdminPrimary ever becomes corrupt.



    5.4 If this problem started because you had inadvertently demoted your old admin user account to being a standard user account then you can simply use one of your new admin user accounts to promote it back to being an admin user account and you can then start using it again.

    5.5 If, however, your old admin user account was corrupted [rather than inadvertently demoted], then you can create a new user account for your day-to-day computing tasks though the normal user interface [Settings, Accounts, Family & other people, Other people - Add someone else to this PC]. There is a tutorial on the subject at Add Local Account or Microsoft Account - TenForums but do also make sure you write the password down somewhere secure yet readily available to you.

    5.6 If your old admin user account had been corrupted it is probably a write-off but there are still some useful actions that you can take -



    • While logged in to, say, NewAdminPrimary, you can get into the old account's user folders at C:\Users\<UserName> to rescue all your own files as well as the account's Windows & application settings - see Fix a corrupted user profile [Windows 7 Help].
    • You might be able to fix the account's fault using Method 1 of the Windows 7 KB article You receive a "The User Profile Service failed the logonĒ error message KB947215 I have only ever done this as a training exercise because I would never be fully confident in the reliability of a fixed account.
    • Somebody once claimed to have fixed a faulty account using Control panel, User accounts, Manage another account, Change the account type to change the faulty admin user account back to being a standard user account then back to being an admin user account again then back to being a standard user account then back to being an admin user account again and then cycled through this half a dozen times ending with it being an admin user account. After all this, the admin user account's fault had disappeared - it was fully functional again.
      • Whilst this sounds quite strange it apparently worked for that Windows 7 user.
      • It is likely that trying this longshot will disrupt the systemís Restore points.
      • Everything that changes in a systemís settings increases the amount of work that System restore would have to do and therefore increases the chances of System restore failing.
      • Additionally, every change in a system is assessed by Windows and then restore points that it deems to be obsolete are deleted so this longshot might trigger such a deletion.

    • If the faulty account is protected by a decent password you need not be in any particular hurry to delete it.
      • You might want to leave it alone so you can go back into its folders to find a file you forgot to copy earlier.
      • You might want to leave it on one side so you can experiment with the potential fixes I have listed above.



    5.7 You should now check that Administrator was disabled automatically when Windows detected that the fault condition that enabled it no longer applied.


    • Start;
    • scroll down to Windows system & click on it to expand it,
    • Control panel,
    • Click on View by in the upper right and select Small icons just so you can see everything,
    • User accounts,
    • Manage another account [you will get an Admin prompt that you should now be able to deal with in the normal manner],
    • Your new accounts and your old account[s] should be shown. Administrator should not.



    5.8 If Administrator is still shown then open an elevated Command prompt and disable it.


    • Click on the Start button,
    • Scroll down & click on Windows system then right-click on Command prompt,
    • Hover over More then click on Run as Admin,
    • Enter net user Administrator /active:no



    5.9 It is important to check that Administrator has been disabled because it would otherwise represent a backdoor into your computer that an online hacker can take advantage of


    • Administrator has no password [by default] and Administrator generates no Admin prompts so a hacker who infiltrated Administrator could be doing anything behind your back.
    • Once Administrator is disabled, a hacker would not be able to enable it without generating an Admin prompt that you would see and could reject.



    5.10 Reduce the chances of your accounts being afflicted with user profile corruption by never forcefully powering off the computer unless the thing freezes up completely leaving you with no choice.


    • Never turn it off forcefully by holding down the power button for several seconds [as opposed to just pressing it for a moment then letting go], and
    • Never turn it off by removing its power supply, and
    • Never turn it off while Windows update is trying to install updates.




    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    That's it. I appreciate that this procedure will have been daunting for many users. If you think I could improve the explanations given at each step please tell me so I can improve things for others [let me know which para needs changing and what change you suggest].

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 3 Weeks Ago at 20:12.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    17 Apr 2018 #2

    You might want to ask @Brink if he agrees with me that this would make a good tutorial. Then you could turn it into one and post it to the tutorials thread. If you need help with that process, I just learned how to do it myself and would be happy to provide some input and suggestions on that process. @Kari is pretty good at this kind of thing, too.
    Good work!
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 33,748
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18282
       17 Apr 2018 #3

    If you like, here's a tutorial to fix being signed in with a temporary profile.

    Fix You've been signed in with a temporary profile in Windows 10 Windows 10 Tutorials
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 971
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
    Thread Starter
       17 Apr 2018 #4

    EdTittel - @Bree has passed me the link to Windows 10 Tutorial Submissions so I'll be submitting it after I have given it the once-over.

    Brink - Thanks. I'll rejig my para 2.5 to refer to that instead of Kapilarya's version.

    My article was written almost a year ago and I want to work through the whole procedure to make sure, for example, that the details of the Safe mode boot remain correct.

    Denis
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 33,748
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18282
       17 Apr 2018 #5

    No problem Denis. Just let me know when it's ready, and I'll help get it moved over to Tutorials. :)
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    17 Apr 2018 #6

    Good work, Denis. Please keep it up, and thanks!
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 971
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
    Thread Starter
       17 Apr 2018 #7

    I have now submitted this article as a TenForums tutorial - If the Admin prompt has a greyed out or missing Yes button ... I will replace the current thread with a simple link to the tutorial when it has been accepted.

    Denis
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 140
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1809 (OS Build: 17763.134)
       17 Apr 2018 #8

    Very nice work, Denis. . . .
    Last edited by KCR; 17 Apr 2018 at 18:36.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 971
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
    Thread Starter
       17 Apr 2018 #9

    KCR - My pleasure entirely. Denis
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 971
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
    Thread Starter
       3 Weeks Ago #10

    Brink said: View Post
    No problem Denis. Just let me know when it's ready, and I'll help get it moved over to Tutorials. :)
    @Brink - I seem to have forgotten to tell you when this was finished - I posted it to the Tutorials submissions section [both this thread and the submitted version are the same]. Denis
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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