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Windows 7: User account changed into a guest account, how can I change it back

23 Jun 2014   #1

Windows 8.1 64bit
User account changed into a guest account, how can I change it back

So this is probably the strangest problem I have ever encountered with Windows 7. About two or three months ago, I noticed that my user account had suddenly changed into a guest account. I get prompted for an administrator password when trying to do any tasks that require administrator privilege. It is not a huge hassle, as I know the administrator account password.

Here is where it becomes very strange. When I turn my computer on, it automatically logs me into my user account (the guest account). When I got into the user accounts section of the control panel and try to manage user accounts, it shows exactly zero user accounts on my computer. Also, when I try to change my user account (the guest account) to an administrator account, precisely nothing happens.

It gets evens stranger. When I log out of Windows, the only user account I can pick from, to log back into Windows, is the generic "Administrator" account. My user account is nowhere to be found. When I go to the control panel and try to manage accounts, only the administrator account is listed. There is an option turn on a generic guest account, but nothing related to my original user account is shown. Again, this is in contrast to when I am logged into my user account (the guest account), and see exactly zero user accounts listed on the manage accounts screen.

I feel that I am pretty good at avoiding bad websites, and I do have an antivirus program installed (not that that will prevent my computer from being infected, but I have used it to do full system scans and I have found nothing on my computer every time). Additionally, I have Windows updates set to be automatically installed, so all of the updates have been installed on my version of Windows 7. I tried asking Microsoft support directly; all I got was that no user accounts showing up under the manage user accounts tab is a pretty bad sign, and that in order to fully diagnose the problem, I would need to sign up for the "Assure Plan" (or whatever it was called), which cost $149.00 for one year. Forget that option (for now).

Does anyone know how to resolve this issue? How can I switch my original user account from a guest account, and then how could I make it an administrator account once I have retrieved it (so-to-speak) from being a phantom guest account? I mean, I know the administrator password and all, and so I have been able to essentially use my computer as if nothing is wrong. But this whole issue seems very very strange and so I want to see what you guys have to say about it. I hope these are not the signs of a more serious (and potentially major) issue. Thanks in advance for anyone's help with this.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2014   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Hi and welcome to the Forum
When you refer to the generic Administrator Account do you mean the Account that is hidden in Windows 7? If so did you activate it using this:
Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable If you did the above then this is strange as forgetting the "Hidden admin account you must have at least one ordinary Admin account in Windows 7. You can't operate the system without one!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2014   #3

Windows 8.1 64bit

Thank you for your reply mitchell65. Fortunately, I stumbled onto the solution this morning and I forgot to post it on this thread. So when I tried running netplwiz, it listed the user accounts and what user groups they were in. The generic admin account was in homeusers, administrators, and guestusers groups. The standard guest account was in guestusers. Somehow my user account was only listed in the homeusers groups. So that explains why once I logged out of my account, it was nowhere to be found. From the netplwiz application, I was able to add my user account to the administrators user group and so now my user account is once again an admin account.

I still have no idea how this could have happened; to be honest, I am not very familiar with how the user groups even work, or what they are there for. If anyone has any insight into this, I'd greatly appreciate it.

In any event, I really greatly appreciate your response, mitchell65, but in the end I think I have fixed the issue that I had. Thanks for taking the time to read my long post and actually reply though!
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 User account changed into a guest account, how can I change it back

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