Windows 10: My admin account switched to a user account! Solved

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  1. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,609
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       05 Jul 2017 #11

    Try3 said: View Post
    It might be the case that all you have to do is unlink the Built-In Admin from its MSAccount and all will be well.
    Unfortunately that is not possible. Microsoft provide no mechanism to do so because it shouldn't be possible to link the built in Administrator account in the first place - except that it can happen under a specific limited set of circumstances....

    ...Using built-in admin account as normal user account was fully possible in Windows 7 and although it's an extremely bad idea, many users did that. The problem is the upgrade to Windows 10; upgrade process accepts the user account used to start the upgrade as is, not questioning or notifying it being the built-in admin account....

    When this account is then accidentally or on purpose switched to Microsoft Account it is impossible to switch back to local account. Notice that this issue as described above is only possible when upgraded from Windows 7 to 10 using built-in admin account, a clean installed Windows 10 does not allow built-in admin to be switched to Microsoft account.
    Unable to unlink MS account back to local

    If that is indeed the case here, then a clean install is the only remedy.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2. Posts : 887
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       05 Jul 2017 #12

    The first of the many diagrams in this thread show that the link Sign in with a local account instead is displayed for the account that is currently logged on and so the reversion procedure might work for this account. For normal circumstances, that would initiate the conversion back to a local account for the user account currently logged in - see my 23rd & 26th September 2016 posts in revert to local account from one converted to MSAccount. I have no way of knowing how Windows will react to an attempt to use this procedure for the Built-In Admin account and I do not know if that link Sign in with a local account instead will be displayed or not.

    I think I side-stepped this issue by suggesting that that
    • An extra password-protected Admin level account is created, and
    • The Built-In Admin is disabled, and
    • The recovery attempt focuses on whichever existing user account remains active afterwards.

    Personally, I would reinstall Windows 10 without even attempting this recovery. Installation takes very little effort once everything is backed up and the only necessary user interactions are right at the start & right at the end so it can be initiated before making a pot of tea. It took about 30, 60 & 90 minutes for each of my computers [the 30 minuter is 6 months old, the 60 minuter is 7 years old, 90 minuter is 12 years old].

    Raner - I am trying to avoid sounding like I am nagging you into doing a clean install.
    • Once you have recovered the existing user account you can attempt to re-enable & remove the MSAccount link from your Built-In Admin if that link appears in Settings, Accounts.
    • Bree says it cannot be done and I think the same but I have never tried - I have never been able to get to Settings using the Built-In Admin because it cannot run any Windows 10 Apps so I do not know how it can be done [but the diagrams in Bree's link shows that those users got there].
    • Even though I have the safety of having created two spare password-protected Admin accounts I would not want to know that my Built-In Admin was sitting in the background but unable to help me if my other accounts were corrupted.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    05 Jul 2017 #13

    Thanks Try3 for spending a lot of your time helping out.
    But I think your right, Its looking more and more like a clean install...
    The reason I say this, Is because I made a local windows login last night. I had never made one didn't think I'd ever need it.
    Anyway I'm still getting the all the download shot-cut icons on the public user desktop and my admin rights only have special permissions check mark same as the Microsoft login, I'm getting the same damn popup because I have no admin rights...
    I checked on the users main folder and the administrator is ticked on...
    Oh and more more thing, I have never turned on the hidden administrator and I just checked it's still off.
    I'm going play with this a bit more...
    Just two things I really need to fix if possible... well it's really one thing, if I can get windows to load the real admin account, that will
    fix the short-cut icons from going to the wrong user folder. When I make folders, text files, you name it, other then the icon shortcuts ,all the stuff is going to the Garcia-1 admin account... Is that weird or what...
    If worst comes to worse , Is it possible to do a reinstall but keeping all my personal files...
    If I do a clean install but save all my personal file in external drive and put them back will they work properly.
    I got 5 drives on this pc, I can unhook all of them and just leave c drive connected.
    I've done this before on windows 7 everything on the drives I disconnect worked fine when I hooked them back up.
    But a lot of the stuff that I put back into c drive did not work...
    Most likely because all the files that the software uses were stored in c dive and there were gone after the reinstall...
    And last but not least is there a cmd command to give my account full control if there is that may fix it good enough
    for now anyway...
    When I edit the permissions on my account to full control on a folder that is giving me the popup it's gone
    when my account has full control... It would be nice to change the permissions to full control on my admin account
    on the whole damn computer by typing one command and hitting enter...LOL...
    Thanks again for helping me out, I really appreciated...RRG...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 887
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       05 Jul 2017 #14


    You can reinstall onto the required drive without affecting the contents of any of the other drives even without disconnecting anything. Having said that, whilst I do not know what you have on each drive, I should point out that complications can arise if you install without them being connected throughout [I am thinking here about other drives containing the OSs of a multi-boot system but there are probably other examples]. I would still not contemplate a reinstallation without backing up everything whichever drive it was on - it is just that, in practice, I have had no problems.

    You can back up your own files from the C:\ drive. I think you should relocate your "user folders" [C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents etc] when you have reinstalled. I have written a procedure for this in Relocating user folders in Windows 7 and Windows 10. {As for the problems you are having with access rejections in the Public folders, Public folders are owned by the System [which outranks the permissions of Admin accounts] so they can be a problem}.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Posts : 887
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       05 Jul 2017 #15


    I do not know why you are using the Public folders but they can also be relocated afterwards using the same procedure. The relevant Registry key for the Public folders is
    but you should only be interested in that information if you have some need to use Public folders. Using the other drives you have can achieve anything that Public folders could do.

    Given the existence of your other drives, you might wish to keep everything you can on the other drives so that your system images are small [so that you can make images more frequently & keep several recent ones to restore from if serious problems emerge].

    Since you have never enabled the Built-In Admin I do not know why its properties [net user administrator] showed a fullname entry. But this will no longer matter if you do a clean installation.

    You do realise that Admin accounts do get Admin prompts? Admin accounts are logged in with only standard user account "tokens" and the Admin challenge you get is your chance to say that you wish to invoke your Admin status for the given task.

    It is possible that you have severe user profile corruption and it is responsible for shortcuts being saved to an inappropriate location [the Public folder]. When applications install shortcuts on my computers, they put them in my user accounts Desktop folder in general and only a few put them in the Public folders. Again, reinstallation should put an end to these problems.

    Reinstallation will overwrite the whole of the Windows drive so your personal files on that drive will get destroyed. There is nothing to cause any backed up then put back data files to have problems. Having said that you will probably be putting them back into the drives-folders you have chosen to relocate to rather than the Windows drive.

    All applications will need to be reinstalled after Windows is reinstalled.

    The permissions your user account has are sufficient for everything you need to do. Approving the Admin challenge is intended to be enough for all special tasks. There is no easy definition of "full control" for me to respond about but there is absolutely no reason to think that anything abnormal is useful.

    I think I have responded to each of your points but just say if I have missed anything.

    You can make your installation disk using [you will need an 8GB USB but DVD-R can be used instead if you really want to use something breakable].

    Best of luck,
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Posts : 887
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       05 Jul 2017 #16


    I did miss one thing.

    As you reinstall, you will be asked to create a user account. Make sure you choose the option that you do not have its login data so that it allows you to create a local account rather than an MSAccount-linked one.

    As soon as installation is complete create one or two additional password-protected local Admin accounts & write their passwords down somewhere secure - I use one of these accounts for troubleshooting and the second remains in reserve on the basis that if it is never actually used it can never be corrupted.

    Only when that has been done should you consider converting your day-to-day account into an MSAccount-linked one. My day-to-day user account is a local one and I created an additional account to convert into an MSAccount-linked one [I doubt that I have even logged into it for two months but I try to do so every 60 days so I can update Windows 10 Apps or they start to throw wobblies].

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    05 Jul 2017 #17

    Denis, Thanks again for your time...That was a along comeback.
    Reading your (how too) on moving user folders to another location got me to thinking,
    That can be a very dangerous thing.
    I want to try something, See if you can help me out maybe it will save me a reinstall, anyway it's worth a shot.
    Ok, here I go...
    I have no need for a user public folder. Because I'm the only person that uses this computer.
    Can you tell me how to stop windows 10 from pointing anything to the users/Public/folder, And point everything to users/Garica-1/folder.
    (In other words, make it so windows 10 does not know that folder ever existed)
    The reasoning for my thinking is that I'm having not one single issue with the files in users/Garcia-1,
    The problem is coming from the files in the users/Public/folder.
    I think this will solve my problem, Well it's kinda a patch repair but if it works who cars...LOL...Thanks RRG...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Posts : 887
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       05 Jul 2017 #18


    You can use the relocation procedure I gave you a link to but based on the Public folders Registry key
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
    to relocate the Public folders to folders of your own choosing. If I was to try this I would make sure I had made a system image first and had backed up my data files because I have never seen anybody report that they had done this [even though there is nothing at all, on the face of it, to make this difficult].

    I am still puzzled about why you are not using one of your many other hard drives for the user folders for your user account. Unless, of course, you have so many different OSs installed in a multi-boot arrangement that you need all those drives.

    I ran clean reinstalls of Windows 10 on my computers last Summer and it was no great burden. It eradicated all traces of their earlier OSs and any unforeseen difficulties arising from their upgrades to Windows 10. It also ensured that there was no remaining possibility that old installations of anti-malware applications could come back to bite me in the future because their traces have been completely destroyed.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    05 Jul 2017 #19

    Thanks Denis... I just did a windows 10 install but kept all my settings and apps. I did it just make sure all the windows 10 files
    were Ok...
    While I was doing the install, I sat down on my wife's computer it is same os as mine windows 10 x 64.
    It does the same mine does so I checked the share on her public user folder and it's got read and write for her account,
    Everything on my public folder is identical... So I guess there is nothing wrong with mine either... So When ever that dang popup show it's face I'm just edit my settings to full for the folder and I'm done with it forever...Thanks for all the help man, and have a great one...Later... I kept the link for this post for future reference...
    Oh, almost forgot, look at your public folder. I'll bet is sharing on you admin path but it's only read and write permission...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Posts : 887
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       05 Jul 2017 #20

    "I just did a windows 10 install but kept all my settings and apps" - a Windows 10 installation overwrites the whole of the drive. If you kept your settings & apps then you did a different sort of recovery procedure and I do not know what their effect on existing user accounts would be. Certainly, a "Repair install" would have no effect on user accounts and hence on user account problems.

    I do not have any sharing set up on my Public folders. Like you, I have more than one drive and I use the same relocated user folders on my D:\ drive for all user accounts and, as a result, do not need to use the Public folders at all.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

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