Changing the System Administrator Logonid

When Windows NT/2000/XP is first installed, an administrator account with a logonid of administrator is set up with full access to the system. Once your system is set up you then use this account to create user accounts on the system which have less access and which are therefore more secure.

These accounts also have whatever names that you set up meaning that if someone wanted to use one of these accounts to break into your system they need to work out both a valid logonid and the corresponding password. They are unlikely to bother with trying to break into user accounts when they already know that your system has an administrator account (which will give them greater access) with a logonid of "administrator" for which they only need to find the password.

To increase the security of our system we need to get rid of the "administrator" logonid. We still need a logonid with administrator access so the simplest solution is to rename the logonid to something else.

You can rename any of the logonids on your system provided that you logon with an id that has administrator access. To do this click the Start button then Programs, then Administrative Tools (Common and finally User Manager. This opens the user manager where we maintain the users who have access to our system.

To rename a logonid you first select it from the list of users. Then go into the User menu and select Rename. You can now type in the new name that you want to give to that user and then click OK. You will find that the list of users is immediately updated to reflect the change that you have just made.

If you are renaming the administrator logonid to something else and you are logged on as that id then the next thing that you should do is to log off and log back on so that the system does not get confused as to the logonid that you are logged on with. You will find that you can no longer logon as administrator but that you can now logon using the new name that you changed it to and that you still have administrator access.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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