I set up a domain and AD on the server. I was playing around with setting group policies for the computers joining the domain and accidentally set interactive logon on the server instead of the computers joining the domain. So now I can't login to the server because it's asking for username and password. I tried to login as .\Administrator and password but it won't login.

What is the default username for Windows Server 2016 so that I can login in the local admin account?

  • Does it even have a local administrator account if you join it to an AD immediately during installation? I can honestly say I don't know, but I definitely recall reading something somewhere that it won't. – a CVn Apr 28 '17 at 20:51
  • I am trying to log into the server I set up. I did not join an AD during installation because I setup the AD after installing Windows Server 2016. I was logging into the local account to change things to the server and group policy but I accidentally changed GPO Domain Controller instead of Domain Computers. So now it's asking for a username and password when it didn't before. – user412952 Apr 28 '17 at 20:56
  • I want to log into the server computer not the computers on the domain. – user412952 Apr 28 '17 at 20:58
  • I have found two options: Activate the Administrator login (bad idea) or simply create a user and add them to all the relevant groups (Administrators, Users, Domain Administrator, etc., etc.). Have you tried either of these? – SDsolar Jun 3 '17 at 19:07

Domain controllers don't have a local accounts database once they become domain controllers; the .\Administrator user doesn't really work in that case (except when in directory services restore mode, which you don't want).

Instead, you'll need to log in using a domain user with the appropriate authorization; that local Administrator user should have been converted to a domain user if this was the first domain controller in the domain.

  • The DSRM password is initially set to match the local Administrator account. This of course can be changed with ntdsutil, in which case IIRC it no longer matches the local Admin account password. Not that this matters unless the DC is demoted... – Twisty Impersonator Apr 28 '17 at 21:35
  • So the account I use to let computers join the domain should let me login into the server as well? – user412952 Apr 28 '17 at 21:37

*By default Administrator account is disabled in Windows Server 2016.

You might have used some name while promoting "Server" (Stand-Alone) to "Primary" (Domain Controller). You have to use that name and password associated with it.

You can use "Offline Registry" to know the name and change the password, net use command will help you do that. Watch this video to fix this issue.


In addition to above, you can use Active Directory user to access the server, you will still have user rights not Admin rights. However, try to login and open "Active Directory Users and Computer" and select "Users" container you will find "Default Administrator" account disabled, there you have to find the name you chose while promoting "Server" (Stand-Alone) to "Primary" (Domain Controller) use that name to access DC, if you remember the password.

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