Locked out of Server 2016 - administrator gone

Brent Landry 1 Reputation point

I have inherited a standalone Windows Server 2016, which could be a domain controller, without any access to the server with an account having the administrator role. Basically a single-server site.

Is there a published method to reset the default admin account on Windows Server 2016? E.g. through physical access to the console, startup sequence, etc...

Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2016
A Microsoft server operating system that supports enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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  1. Dave Patrick 353.3K Reputation points MVP

    A domain controller has no local accounts, you'll need to logon as a domain administrator. Give this one a try

    --please don't forget to upvote and Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

    1 person found this answer helpful.

  2. Limitless Technology 37,771 Reputation points

    Hello @Brent Landry ,

    If there are not much services running on the server, I would personally rebuild it since you never known what was done before and how many "patches" or "workarounds" the previous admin have applied. Historically I always had bad experiences on the long run with inherited servers (specially in small environments).

    Otherwise, there are different options for Administrator account recovery:

    Check this ones:

    Hope it helps in your case,


    --If the the reply is helpful, please Upvote and Accept as answer--

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