MakeMeAdmin — temporary admin for your Limited User account

[added March 11, 2005:  Important follow-up here:  http://blogs.msdn.com/aaron_margosis/archive/2005/03/11/394244.aspx] [edited Aug 6, 2012:  That follow-up post now includes the MakeMeAdmin.zip download, as the original hosting server is being decommissioned.]   Common scenario:  you log on with your Windows domain account, which you have removed from the Administrators group (as well as from Power Users, Backup Operators,…

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RunAs with Explorer

This is the latest post in my series about how to run with limited user privileges on Windows XP and to use administrator privileges only as needed.  In my first post, I wrote “Unfortunately, Windows does not yet make running as non-admin as straightforward as it needs to be.”  This is probably nowhere more glaring…

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“RunAs” basic (and intermediate) topics

In this posting:  What is RunAs?  How to use RunAs from the GUI (even if you can’t see it) Using RunAs from the command line When RunAs won’t work Useful RunAs shortcuts and related tips for the non-admin   Did you know that millions of people run as non-administrator every day?  It’s true!  What do…

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MakeMeAdmin follow-up

[Update Aug 6 2012:  Attached the MakeMeAdmin.zip file to this blog post because the external hosting server is being decommissioned.]   Shortly after I first posted MakeMeAdmin, it was pointed out to me that it didn’t work correctly if the current user account had embedded spaces in the name.  I posted a correction in the comments…

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PrivBar — An IE/Explorer toolbar to show current privilege level

[Aug 15 2008:  Click here for updated links and instructions.] [Updated again:  Click here.] I’ve long wanted a way to know at a glance whether I am logged in as a member of the all-powerful Administrators group, the slightly less-powerful Power Users group, or as an ordinary User. The more I use RunAs (including with…

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Managing Power Options as a non-administrator

As I mentioned in previous posts, the “Power Options” Control Panel applet is a particular sore spot for non-administrators.  Because clicking “OK” causes per-machine and per-user settings to be written, the only way to change the per-user settings is if the user is an administrator and can change the per-machine settings at the same time. …

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Changing the system date, time and/or time zone

By default, only Administrators and Power Users can use the “Date and Time” applet to change the computer’s date, time, or time zone.  A regular User double-clicking on the clock in the notification area of the taskbar gets only an error message that says, “You do not have the proper privilege level to change the…

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Anti-virus vs. Non-Admin

This may be controversial, but I truly believe it and I’ll say it: With today’s threat landscape and the way malware works today, you are better off running as non-admin WITHOUT anti-virus than you are running as admin WITH anti-virus. If your anti-virus/anti-spyware/anti-malware software requires that you run as administrator in order to protect you,…

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Why you shouldn’t run as admin…

First, let’s define terms.  This may be oversimplifying, but for the purpose of this discussion there are only two types of users:  Administrators, and Users.  They are essentially distinguished by membership in the “Administrators” and “Users” local groups.  “Administrators” have complete and unrestricted access to the computer/domain.  “Users” are prevented from making accidental or intentional…

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The easiest way to run as non-admin

Upcoming posts in my LUA/non-admin track: Using secondary logon (RunAs) Running control panel applets as admin Using RunAs with Explorer Temporarily elevating your current account to admin without logging out Running with a restricted token (what does “protect my computer and data from unauthorized program activity” actually mean) “etc.” But first, the low-hanging fruit:  how…

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