One major benefit of using PolicyPak Cloud (PPC) to rename your Windows Administrator and Guest accounts is that you can also update the passwords at the same time if so desired.
The option to update passwords is no longer available in the Windows Group Policy Management Editor in current OS versions.
As you can see in the screenshot below the option to add the password is greyed out.
However, this option is still valid in PPC IF you can get your hands on an older OS version (like Windows 7) with Remote Server Administration Tools installed that still supports setting a password in the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC).
IMPORTANT: Do NOT use the drop down to select the built-in account, instead type in the name of the account you wish to update manually, (i.e. type “Administrator” if updating the Administrator account).
After you create your policy to rename the Administrator and Guest accounts and set their passwords, you can select both items and drag them to the Desktop which will create a file called “Groups.xml” this file will contain the policy settings that can then be uploaded for use in your company PPC portal.
Login into the PPC portal, select the Computer group you wish to receive the Groups.xml settings, then click “Upload and link a new XML here…”
Next click “Choose XML Policy File to add…”, select the “groups.xml” file then click “Open”.
Once the policy is successfully uploaded you can rename the policy if desired, then click “Add”, then “Close”.
The policy will then show as linked to the Computer Group you selected.
If you were to edit the policy in the PPC portal you will see that any password values you assigned using the Windows 7 version of GPMC have carried over to PPC, and there is no danger of “Authenticated Users” having access to these encrypted values since everything is now stored in PPC.
TIP: During testing it may be helpful to add a description to the policies to show that the policies applied successfully via PPC.
Lastly, login into a computer that is a member of the Computer Group where this policy is applied and verify the settings are present. In my example above I applied the policy to the “Built-In Groups > All” Computer Group of which every computer in PPC is a member so all of my computers will receive this setting.
If needed run “ppcloud /sync” from CMD on the endpoint to verify the policy is applied under PP Preferences:
Then wait for the policy to apply or run “ppupdate” manually from CMD to speed things up. Afterward look under “Computer Management > “Local Users and Groups” to verify the changes have applied successfully.