Honestly, we’ve lost count of how many weird and obscure errors Windows 10 can throw at a user, but here’s another one; The app cannot be opened with the built-in administrator account in Windows 10 error. This error essentially prevents a user from running an app with administrative rights and can also lock out the administrator account. The solution is quite simple; Windows 10 Home users have to modify something in the Windows registry, while Windows 10 Pro users have to make a change in local policy.
Windows 10 Pro – Local Policy Change
Open the run dialog with the keyboard shortcut Win + R and paste the following;
This will open the local security policy editor. Go to Local Policies > Security Options. Here, in the alphabetically sorted list, find the “User Account Control Admin Approval Mode for Built-in Administrator Account” policy and enable it. Reboot your system and the error should be resolved.
Windows 10 Home – Windows Registry Change
If you get the “The application cannot be opened with the built-in administrator account in Windows 10” error in Windows 10 Home, you need to make an edit to the Windows registry. To do this, you need administrative rights. Open the run dialog with the keyboard shortcut Win + R. Enter the following and hit enter.
Accept the message on the screen. Navigate to the following location;
Right-click inside the system key and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. name it;
Set its value to 1. If the key already exists, double-click to edit it and change its value to 1.
Then navigate to the following location;
Here, you will find a key called Default. Double click to edit it and set its value to the following;
Reboot your system and you should be good to go.
About this bug
This error isn’t so much a bug as a feature that has been enabled when it shouldn’t. If your system is on a domain and you are connected to a domain account, you can expect the error. Some system administrators may have enabled it so that you cannot run certain applications with administrator rights or with the current account privileges you have. It might be annoying or unnecessary from your perspective, but you’ll probably need your system administrator to make the change to the local policy for you.
For home users, this feature is a proper error unless it is enabled. Not many end users know about it, let alone how to enable it, so it’s probably something Windows 10 did during an update or when you installed something or changed a system setting.