Access the XP Administrator Account from the Welcome Screen

If you’re running Windows XP on a shared multi-user system at home, there’s a good chance that you’re also using XP’s Welcome screen as your primary logon enironment.  While the Welcome screen provides the “friendliest” logon environment for shared systems, it comes with a drawback – namely the fact that XP’s built-in Administrator account is missing as a logon option from this screen.

Thankfully all is not lost. If you need to log on with the built-in Administrator account (perhaps to change system settings or reset a password) you can access the Administrator account even though it’s not visible by default. To get to it (or any other account for that matter), try the following with no other users logged on:

At the Welcome screen, press Ctrl+Alt+Del. Without releasing the Ctrl+Alt keys, release the Del key and tap it again. This will display the traditional XP logon dialog box, from which you can then enter the Administrator username and password and log on with that account.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.