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  • Creating and using a Standard User Account on Windows 7

    Posted on Moonbear Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 Creating and using a Standard User Account on Windows 7

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      • #2037823 Reply
      • #2037835 Reply
        Larry B
        AskWoody Plus

        I did this a month or so back.  I created the user account.  So now that I have a user account and an admin account, I just changed the accounts.  So now my user account is the old admin account and vice versa.  It has been awhile so sorry I cannot give more detailed instructions.

      • #2037915 Reply
        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        Not sure but I think you need to create a password for one or both accounts.  When I was working, the company I worked for required us all to have user accounts but I also had an administrator account in Win XP at that time.  Both had their own password.

        I could see all the programs from both accounts on the setup I had then and I was connected to the company’s network.  I do know that the User account was added after the Admin. account.  I didn’t set it up, the company administrator did.

        I’m thinking about making a user account too so I’m interested in knowing all the particulars too.

        Win 7 Still Alive, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2037943 Reply
          Moonbear
          AskWoody Lounger

          Yes, I believe you are correct about the account passwords.

          Even if its not a requirement I’ll be adding a password to both.

      • #2037922 Reply
        samak
        AskWoody Plus

        Just create the new user account and go into it. All your programs should be there waiting for you 🙂

        W7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit, Office 2010, Group B, non-techie

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2037948 Reply
          Moonbear
          AskWoody Lounger

          I hope it really is that easy, I tried to do this exact same thing years back on XP and none of the programs showed up in the standard account.

      • #2038342 Reply
        Moonbear
        AskWoody Lounger

        The Standard account was successfully created and my programs were all listed and usable as they should be.

        But now I need to figure out how to get my downloads and documents folders to show up there as well.

        I’ve already tried the share with menu for both folders with read/write permissions and neither one could be shared.

        • #2038359 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Have you tried using the Users\Public Documents and Downloads. They should be accessible to both the IDs. You could redirect each Users data there.

          • #2038364 Reply
            Moonbear
            AskWoody Lounger

            I didn’t even think that could work that way. What would I need to do to set this up?

            • #2038367 Reply
              PKCano
              Da Boss

              Simply direct your data to those folders instead of the ones under each UserID – they already exist. See C:\Users\Public. It already has all the categories and is accessible to IDs on the computer. They are meant for sharing.

              • #2038381 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                Ok, but how do I direct the data?

              • #2038383 Reply
                jabeattyauditor
                AskWoody Lounger

                Open File Explorer, right-click on Documents (or Downloads), then select Properties. Click the Location tab, then either browse to the new location or type it in directly. Do the same with the other folder. Finally, move all the files from their current location(s) to the new common locations.

              • #2038390 Reply
                Bob99
                AskWoody Plus

                @moonbear

                Before doing what @jabeattyauditor mentioned just above this post, please make sure you’re logged into your OLD account you want to migrate the files and data FROM. Once you’ve followed his instructions, simply click the button that says “Move…” below the box that shows their current location. That will allow you to move all of your EXISTING files/folders to the new location. I believe that clicking the button that says “Find Target…” will allow you to change where all files created from now on will go, however.

                2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2038395 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        Create an admin account – it will be a new account, not the one you have been using. Now try to log in on the new account. Make sure that you have full admin access with the new account. Once you are sure, write down the password to the new account.

        Now log in to your regular account. Go to Control Panel / User Accounts, and change your regular account to a “Standard” account.

        Important: Make sure your new admin account works and has full admin access before changing your regular account to a standard account!

        The idea is, create a second account which is an admin account; then change your normal account to a standard account. In this way, you can continue to use your normal account, and everything will be there just as it has always been. You just won’t have full admin rights with that account. But you do need to have a way to have full admin rights, and that’s why you will create a new account with full admin rights, for those occasions when full admin rights are needed.

        No need to “migrate” anything if you do it this way. And if you need to install something, you can always log in on the new account, give your normal account admin rights, then do the install while logged in to your normal account. (Sometimes this is necessary.) Then change your normal account back to a standard account after doing the install.

        Trust me, I’ve been doing this for decades. This is the easiest way to start using a non-admin account from this point forward.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        8 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2038399 Reply
          cyberSAR
          AskWoody Plus

          This is the best way of doing what you are trying to accomplish. No fuss and all of your customizations stay.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2038437 Reply
          Moonbear
          AskWoody Lounger

          @MrJimPhelps

          I had already started moving me files and folders by the time I saw your post, but I’m going to print your post so when I do this the next time I’ll have an easier time.

          • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Moonbear.
        • #2039218 Reply
          Moonbear
          AskWoody Lounger

          What can I do to check to make sure the new Admin account has full access?

          I decided to redo creating a second account to be completely sure it was done right.

          • #2039231 Reply
            cyberSAR
            AskWoody Plus

            Not sure what you mean by full access. If you are attempting to set it up as @mrjimphelps described, check in accounts to see if the new user is part of the administrators group. You can also check in command line by using net user “username”

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2039249 Reply
              Moonbear
              AskWoody Lounger

              That’s exactly what I was trying to find, thank you.

          • #2039255 Reply
            MrJimPhelps
            AskWoody_MVP

            Basically, you log in on the new account (make sure you can do that), and then go to Control Panel / User Accounts and see if the new account is listed as “Administrator”.

            As a final test, while logged in on the new account, try to open a folder in the other user’s Documents folder. If you are an administrator, it will tell you that you need permission to do that, and it will allow you to give yourself that permission. If it doesn’t allow you to give yourself that permission, then you are not an administrator.

            Group "L" (Linux Mint)
            with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2039289 Reply
              Moonbear
              AskWoody Lounger

              Ok, that’s perfect

              Do I want to give that permission or is the idea to just get the prompt to appear?

              • #2039299 Reply
                MrJimPhelps
                AskWoody_MVP

                I would tell it to give you the permission. And I would then actually go to the folder in question to make sure that you actually do have access to it. In that way you can verify that the account is, in fact, an administrator account.

                It is absolutely essential that you have a working administrator account that you can use if needed. That’s why I recommend that you double and triple check to make sure that the new account is in fact an administrator account. Because once you relinquish administrator rights on your normal account, it will be impossible to get them back if you don’t have another account which is an administrator account.

                Group "L" (Linux Mint)
                with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2039302 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                All right, I’ll check this out and report back in a little while.

              • #2039313 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                After logging into the new Admin account I opened Computer, went to Users and clicked PC (the account I’m typing this in.) I was then told I didn’t have permission to do this so I gave myself that permission then I could open the documents folder for this account.

                Did I do this right?

              • #2039334 Reply
                MrJimPhelps
                AskWoody_MVP

                You did it right, as long as you were not trying to open the new account’s user folder, because the new account should already have permission to open its own user folder. But the fact that it told you that you didn’t have permission tells me that you were trying to open a good test folder.

                User folders are found here:
                C:\users\<username>

                In all cases, it will tell you that you don’t have permission to open someone else’s user folder. If you are an administrator, it will allow you to give yourself permission. If you are not an administrator, it will prompt you for the password of an administrator account.

                Group "L" (Linux Mint)
                with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2039343 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                Am I ready to change this account to Standard then?

                Also, when I do change this one to Standard, should I be logged in to the New Admin account?

              • #2039628 Reply
                MrJimPhelps
                AskWoody_MVP

                As long as you know that you have a working admin account, and you know its password, you are ready to change your normal account to standard.

                It is very simple to change an admin acct to standard – go to Control Panel / User Accounts, and change it to Standard. And you can be logged in to that account when you do it, because you are an administrator at the time of the change, and you can therefore change the rights on your own account. However, if you ever want to restore admin rights to that account, you will need to be logged in as an administrator to do so, that is, you can’t increase your own rights when you are currently a standard user.

                Group "L" (Linux Mint)
                with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
                1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2039627 Reply
          DrRon
          AskWoody Plus

          Is there a difference between loging in under the new user account and just changing users?

          • #2039630 Reply
            MrJimPhelps
            AskWoody_MVP

            Yes, there is a difference.

            * “Logging in under the new account” means that you have logged out of the other account; that is, only one account will be logged in at a time.

            * “Changing users” (or “switching users”) means that you have not logged out of the other account; that is, both accounts will be logged in at the same time.

            In order not to have to keep track of who all is logged in, I always log out first, and then log in on the other account.

            Group "L" (Linux Mint)
            with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • #2040622 Reply
          Tim Skene
          AskWoody Lounger

          That’s the right way to do it. However, are there security differences or advantages of normally using a standard account compared to an admin account with User Account Control set to maximum?

      • #2038518 Reply
        Moonbear
        AskWoody Lounger

        What will I need to do in terms of updating software (Chrome, Libreoffice etc) or running Windows update?

        Will I need to switch back to the admin account or would at least Chrome be able to be updated from the standard account?

        Also specifically in relation to Windows Update, how does the accounts being password protected effect how the updates install?

        • #2038614 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          @moonbear

          Chrome will be updatable from the standard account. LibreOffice probably will be updatable in the same manner.

          However, to properly use Windows Update, you will need to log into Windows using an account with administrator privileges.

          R/

          Bob99

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2041195 Reply
          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          Windows Update is a global updating service, meaning that all users are updated at the same time. Windows Defender also updates globally.

          The Microsoft Store Apps are not globally updated, though they can be synced if you have this set up in your Microsoft Account. I would run the Store App and updates in both accounts after setting up any new account. Windows Timeline if you use it is also run and cleared per account.

          The Google Chrome Browser can be installed “for all users” and will update everyone at once. But it can also be installed per-user and would need per-user updating. Don’t forget to run the Component Updating for Flash Player if you’re using it, and update any Extensions per user. Firefox last I used it on Windows was updated per user.

          CCleaner Free Edition runs non-globally, so it has to be run per-user. Glary Utilities runs globally, and is best run from an Administrator Account. Antivirus updates and scans are also global. (Antivirus system scans are best done from an Administrator Account, though you can in many cases run a Quick Scan from a Standard User Account.)

          LibreOffice installs and updates globally by default, but it can also be installed per user. If it’s installed globally, when you create a new account but are not installing a LO update, you will need to manually create desktop shortcuts for each user, for each LO component for which you want to have shortcuts. You need to find these Executables in your Programs Folder under LibreOffice.

          Third party software may update globally or per-user. Check each user to make sure everything has updated properly. Some third party programs also make you create new desktop shortcuts for new users. That can be a pain, as you have to find the Main Executable for each program and Send To Desktop. And Portable Apps will need to be copied to each new account. They generally do not need fresh downloads, but may need to configure themselves from the beginning on each new account to which they are copied.

          Settings generally are per-account as well, especially appearance settings. This applies to the Windows Settings as well as any Application Settings.

          Otherwise, creating the new account and getting it up and running should be easy. And highly recommended, so that you can use a Standard User Account for everyday tasks, but an Administrator Account for maintenance and updating tasks, which require Admin. privileges.

          -- rc primak

          • This reply was modified 3 months ago by rc primak.
          • This reply was modified 3 months ago by rc primak.
          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2039312 Reply
        DrRon
        AskWoody Plus

        Create an admin account – it will be a new account, not the one you have been using. Now try to log in on the new account. Make sure that you have full admin access with the new account. Once you are sure, write down the password to the new account.

        Now log in to your regular account. Go to Control Panel / User Accounts, and change your regular account to a “Standard” account.

        Important: Make sure your new admin account works and has full admin access before changing your regular account to a standard account!

        The idea is, create a second account which is an admin account; then change your normal account to a standard account. In this way, you can continue to use your normal account, and everything will be there just as it has always been. You just won’t have full admin rights with that account. But you do need to have a way to have full admin rights, and that’s why you will create a new account with full admin rights, for those occasions when full admin rights are needed.

        No need to “migrate” anything if you do it this way. And if you need to install something, you can always log in on the new account, give your normal account admin rights, then do the install while logged in to your normal account. (Sometimes this is necessary.) Then change your normal account back to a standard account after doing the install.

        Trust me, I’ve been doing this for decades. This is the easiest way to start using a non-admin account from this point forward.

        OK, bear with the newbie here.

        Going back to the OP, please help me understand the object of creating the standard user account prior to W7 EOL.

        Why can’t I just retain my Administrator account, protect my OS images and manage my machine the same way I’ve done with my old XP box?

        Sorry for the diversion….

        • #2039329 Reply
          Moonbear
          AskWoody Lounger

          I view it as one more layer to keeping my Windows 7 running for as long a possible.

          I like knowing that running a standard account makes it just that little bit harder for things I don’t want to get into my system.

          Windows 7 going EOL soon just reminded me that I had thought about doing this before but never actually got around to it.

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2039335 Reply
            MrJimPhelps
            AskWoody_MVP

            Moonbear is exactly right – using a standard account makes it harder for bad things to happen on your computer. For example, if you are using a standard (i.e. a non-admin) account, and a program tries to install itself on your computer, you will be prompted for an admin password; the program won’t be able to install itself without that password.

            Using a standard account is not an absolute guarantee that nothing bad will happen; but it makes it a lot harder for bad things to happen.

            Group "L" (Linux Mint)
            with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2039348 Reply
              DrRon
              AskWoody Plus

              OK, don’t mean to hijack Moonbear’s thread here, but just for the learning experience I’ve followed the posts closely.

              I’m running W7 Pro 32B that a trusted tech built for me.  It’s still new with minimal installed programs and data.  I have three additional hard drives and one external hard drive partitioned to populate with data from my trusty XP machine.

              I have a single user account, admin, no password.

              Looking at C/Users I see:

              • default
              • public
              • UpdatusUser
              • User

              The last is obviously my admin account.

              I think you’ve taught me how to set up a standard user account without losing the admin account.  But what are the other users above?  Most of their folders are empty.  I’d like to clean them up to have only the admin and standard users.

              • #2039366 Reply
                MrJimPhelps
                AskWoody_MVP

                Don’t worry about Default and Public: they aren’t actual user accounts.
                * Default is used by Windows as a template when a new user account is created.
                * Public is the shared set of user folders that are accessible to all.

                The other two, UpdatusUser and User: one of them is yours (probably “User”), and the other was probably created by whoever set up the computer for you (probably “UpdatusUser”). (I’m guessing that it is an admin account that the tech can use if he has to work on your computer.)

                Go to Control Panel / User Accounts to see how each account is listed. As long as the one you use (I assume “User”) is an admin account, then I would disable the other one (I assume “UpdatusUser”). I would then create another account (say, “MrUser”) and make it an admin account. Assign it a password, and write down the password. Then log out, and log in as MrUser, and make sure you have admin rights. Once you have verified that MrUser has admin rights, lower the rights on “User” to “Standard User”.

                Important: Don’t lower the rights of User until you have made sure that MrUser has full admin rights.

                Group "L" (Linux Mint)
                with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
              • #2039369 Reply
                DrRon
                AskWoody Plus

                Looks like User is the only user account set.

                I can create the new user account OK, but can I just ignore the UpdateusUser user folder?

              • #2039400 Reply
                DrRon
                AskWoody Plus

                So I now have 2 user accounts, both admin.

                When I log out of my old one and log in to the new one, my desktop is changed and programs that should be running in the taskbar are not.

                I think I have all the admin privileges but how do I get the desktop right?

              • #2039403 Reply
                cyberSAR
                AskWoody Plus

                To be expected. You haven’t personalized the new admin account and there is probably no need to. Switch your old account to a limited user and you are good to go.

                2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2039411 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                The reason everything looks different is because a new user account (either Admin or Standard) operates without any of the changes or customizations that have been made to the visual settings and the like.

                If you create a new Admin account and then set the account you use everyday as a Standard account you won’t need to worry about making the new admin account look right because you’ll only be logging into it when you need to set the Standard account back to Admin long enough to install or update software if/when certain things won’t update from the Standard account. After that’s done you’d reset the account back to Standard and be on your way.

                 

                2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2039415 Reply
                DrRon
                AskWoody Plus

                So simple…

                Trying to make it difficult…  duh.

                Happy new decade and thanks for letting me hijack your thread!

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2039422 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                You didn’t hijack anything, we’re all here to learn.

                Happy New Years

              • #2039372 Reply
                cyberSAR
                AskWoody Plus

                “UpdatusUser” folder is automatically created by NVIDIA graphics card driver installer.

                https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3067/~/what-is-nvidia-%E2%80%99updatususer%E2%80%99%3F

                2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2039381 Reply
                DrRon
                AskWoody Plus

                OK, got that…

                I do remember installing the NVIDIA driver update SW when setting up the system so that makes sense.

                I will leave that all alone.

                Thanks so much for the great tech support…

      • #2039328 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        It is about prevention vs disaster recovery.  A good carpenter can rebuild a house, but someone who stops it from burning down in the first place is ahead of the game.  If you create frequent and multiple backup images, you can restore if you install a virus or ransomware.  That is you can restore – but only after you notice that you are infected, only if you have kept a backup that existed before the ransomware, and the virus may have already harvested your passwords.  If you always run as a standard user instead of an admin, this will prevent the majority of viruses from installing, and if you are careful when you see a “admin permission required” popup and don’t just always agree you will prevent even more viruses.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2039333 Reply
        DrRon
        AskWoody Plus

        OK, got it.

        Thanks makes sense to me now…

      • #2039632 Reply
        Moonbear
        AskWoody Lounger

        If I logged into the new Admin account and set the Standard account back to Admin in order to install something (such as Windows updates) would I need to log back into the new Admin account to set my everyday account back to Standard?

        • #2039640 Reply
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          If your regular account is an administrator account, then you can convert it to a standard account while logged in on that account. The fact that it is an administrator account when you make the change allows you to do this while logged in on that account.

          However, the opposite is not true. If your regular account is a standard account, you cannot convert it to an administrator account while logged in on that account, because a standard account cannot change any account to an administrator account.

          Think of it this way: If I have a copy of my car key, I can throw that key away; but once I have thrown it away, I no longer have access to my car; and I have no way of getting the key back on my own, I have to go to someone else who has a copy of my car key and ask them to make me a copy of the key. Once they do that, I now have a copy of the key, and I once again have access to my car.

          For this reason, you MUST make sure that there is always a working administrator account on your computer, one that you can access anytime you need to.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2039643 Reply
            MrJimPhelps
            AskWoody_MVP

            Another reason for having a separate admin account that you use only when you need to:

            Whenever you use your account, it is possible for the files in your account to get corrupted and your account to become inaccessible as a result. If you are constantly logged in on your administrator account, you increase the chance that it will become corrupted and therefore inaccessible. But if you hardly ever log in on your admin account, you greatly decrease the chance that it will become corrupted and therefore inaccessible. In other words, you will always have a way that you can get in and fix things should something go wrong.

            Group "L" (Linux Mint)
            with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2039709 Reply
              Moonbear
              AskWoody Lounger

              @MrJimPhelps

              Part of your first post in this thread (#2038395) is what led to my question about switching the Standard account back to Admin:

              And if you need to install something, you can always log in on the new account, give your normal account admin rights, then do the install while logged in to your normal account. (Sometimes this is necessary.) Then change your normal account back to a standard account after doing the install.

              Did I read this completely wrong?

              • #2039745 Reply
                MrJimPhelps
                AskWoody_MVP

                Let me clarify:

                Often, you can install a program while logged in as a “standard user”. However, sometimes you need to be an administrator. It is those times (when you must be an administrator) that I was talking about.

                In those times when you need to be an administrator, when you start the install, it will usually prompt you for an administrator’s username and password. You can then proceed with the install, logged in as a standard user, because Windows will use the administrator rights you were prompted for to do the install. This is the way it almost always happens.

                However, there are rare occasions when the account which will use a program needs to be the one which installs the program, and that same account needs administrator rights in order to install the program. For those rare occasions, you will need to log out as the standard user, log in as the administrator, and then give administrator rights to the account you use for daily work. You then log in on that account and do the install, and then revert the daily account back to a standard account. These situations are rare, but I have seen them over the years.

                Group "L" (Linux Mint)
                with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2039758 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                OK This definitely helps.

                Is there anyway to tell when you would need to give those Admin rights back to the Standard account?

              • #2039789 Reply
                MrJimPhelps
                AskWoody_MVP

                There have been a handful of times when I have had to do that. And it has been a long time since I last had to do it. I can tell you the company I worked for when that happened, but I can’t tell you the programs involved. I can say that we were running Windows 2000 at the time, and that XP was out but we simply hadn’t yet switched to it.

                My guess is that you will probably never have to convert your daily account to an admin account temporarily so as to complete an install, then convert it back to a standard user account. But should you ever find that giving the admin username and password when doing an install isn’t sufficient, you will know a trick that will work to get the install done.

                Converting my daily account to an admin account would be my last resort, but I would keep it in my bag of tricks in case I ever needed it.

                Group "L" (Linux Mint)
                with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
                2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2039791 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                You have no idea how much better that makes me feel!

                Does this also mean that the Admin username and password should be enough to install Windows Updates as well or will I need to log into the new Admin account to do that?

              • #2040061 Reply
                MrJimPhelps
                AskWoody_MVP

                You should always be able to install them as a standard user (i.e. while logged in on your daily account). If you find that you can’t, then look for a setting in Control Panel / Windows Updates which will allow all users to install updates.

                Group "L" (Linux Mint)
                with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2040116 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                Thats perfect, I already have Windows update set to allow all users to install updates.

        • #2039648 Reply
          cyberSAR
          AskWoody Plus

          You can install most anything from within your standard account. A dialogue will pop up asking for admin credentials. Enter your admin user and pass and it will install.

          Why keep switching your standard account back to admin and back again? If you need admin access for maintenance or whatever log into your admin account do the system maintenance and when finished log out and back to your regular standard account.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2039649 Reply
          KP
          AskWoody Plus

          I do not go back and forth, with the standard user account. The standard user account is used for web surfing, get email, everyday computer usage.

          I log in as the admin account, to perform Windows Updates and software updates. (Some exceptions are Chrome and some anti-virus which allow the standard user to update.)

          I keep a second admin account, in case I get locked out of the primary admin account (it happen once.)

          What you are doing is good and gives you a better chance at keeping malware off, as noted in this forum, but not full-proof [it is very hard to be full-proof].

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2039914 Reply
            mn–
            AskWoody Lounger

            I log in as the admin account, to perform Windows Updates and software updates. (Some exceptions are Chrome and some anti-virus which allow the standard user to update.)

            Hm, I thought you shouldn’t actually need to do desktop login as admin even so? Because on W10 Pro 1909 I can manage to do pretty much everything with just the run-as-admin functionality and the separate admin account’s credentials…

            Actually I’ve been in organizations where IT personnel’s usual separate admin accounts were outright blocked from desktop login.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2041206 Reply
              rc primak
              AskWoody_MVP

              It depends on what type of admin tasks you are trying to do. On a few occasions, there are strings of tasks or commands which I need to run one after the other to complete a task. Then it makes more sense to run the whole session as Administrator. Otherwise I agree, UACs are sufficient for most tasks.

              -- rc primak

              • This reply was modified 3 months ago by rc primak.
              • #2041643 Reply
                mn–
                AskWoody Lounger

                … exactly.

                Though I did remember, there is one task… Windows Media Creation Tool wants to be run with admin-level desktop login.

                No, I really can’t figure out a good reason for that.

                Can just as well use a non-Microsoft operating system (or user-agent spoofer) and just download a straight .iso for most cases…

                Others exist too but they’re sort of rare, and usually cases where a programmer really should know better.

                1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2040063 Reply
        Moonbear
        AskWoody Lounger

        If I open the Properties and click the Security tab of any of the programs that are now on the public desktop, I see this in the list of Groups or user names:

        Account Unknown(S-1-5-21-804280639-3918793362-3679567503-1003)

        in the Advanced window it is shown as type allow with special permission inherited from

        C:Users\Public\Desktop\

        Also on the Groups and user name tab the permission check-marks are grey not black

        If I delete the program shortcut from the Public Desktop folder and recreate it on the Standard account desktop, Account Unknown isn’t listed in the Groups or user names anymore.

        Is this something I should worry about?

        • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Moonbear.
      • #2040249 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        “Account Unknown” means you have deleted that account from your machine, or copied the file from another system and retained permissions. The number is the UUID of the user who has the permissions and your machine has no record of that user.

        You do not need to worry about those accounts, they are not bad, m’kay.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2040340 Reply
          Moonbear
          AskWoody Lounger

          In that case, I think I know why its happening.

          I had to restore my system to before I had created the new account  to get back a document I had deleted and after the restore was done, that new account was gone.

      • #2041809 Reply
        DrRon
        AskWoody Plus

        My, my what a ride this has been…

        Based on all the expertise here I’ve learned a lot, for sure.  So here’s my list:

        • I’ve created TWO additional user accounts, each with administrator privileges
        • I’ve logged in and out of each account trying to verify they are truly authentic administrator accounts.
        • I’ve worked through all the current Master Patch List items verifying I’m fully up to date
        • I’ve deactivated and deleted all those MS telemetry services that have been calling home all these years.
        • I’ve backed up the state of my system at this point, waiting for any last minute items prior to EOL on my W7 Pro SP1 OS.
        • At that point I will downgrade my previous daily user account to standard and run on those credentials going forward.

        Now for the crux of the whole issue for me.

        Just to let you know a little about me.  I’m STILL running XP on a custom desktop with full internet access and have been since EOL on that trusty old OS.  I’ve customized the OS and full system setup over the entire lifetime of XP and love what I’ve got.

        I’m behind a simple reliable router as old as the machine.  I run Malwarebytes Premium, SUPER AntiSpyware and the MS Firewall.  I run Chrome with AdBlocker, Office 2003 and do my online banking with this machine.  My iPhone XR apps can do all the same but sometimes I just need a keyboard.  I did install the MS patch for BlueKeep.

        This W7 EOL flareup does take me back to the XP EOL days and I’m trying to assess how much I should be worried about keeping my beautiful old Gateway FX530 machine online.  Both desktops are running regular ATI full image backups weekly to big external HDs and one of 4 big internal HDs.

        I’m old enough to think I’ve learned a thing or 2 or 3 about responsible computing.  But I’m not so arrogant that I feel 100% safe.  Woody’s Jan newsletter tells me that Apple OS’s are as vulnerable as MS’s these days.  I’m too old to learn Linux and I’ll never go to W10.

        So, here I am trying to do my best to continue doing what I’ve been doing for 30 years and hope the bad guys don’t really care about it.  The worst I’ve had was the Equifax breach and so far my credit accounts have been safe after I froze them.

        Folks like Canadian Tech and Anonymous give me some comfort and  I’m inclined to hold the fort.  I look forward to any advice you, Woody and Susan offer, but will have to make my own decisions going forward.

        Thanks again for all the great help here.  It should be an interesting year / decade….

        Ron

        • #2041817 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Make an image backup to external disk before making any more changes.

          When your PC finally dies you will need a new OS on the replacement. Windows 10 or Chrome are the probable choices and neither is good with data collection – Chrome possibly being worse.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2041856 Reply
          KP
          AskWoody Plus

           I’m too old to learn Linux and I’ll never go to W10.

          I am not a believer of this. If you take your time, and learn slowly, you can get there; whichever OS you choose next. Now might be a good time, while the other PC’s are OK and you can slowly migrate over to a new computer.

          3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2068630 Reply
        Moonbear
        AskWoody Lounger

        Should the Standard account open the Task Scheduler window without asking for the Admin password?

        I went to the Task Scheduler to disable the tasks for the EOS notification and it opened like a normal window without triggering the UAC.

        But once in the Task Scheduler if I clicked to disable either of the EOS tasks I would get this popup message:

        The user account you are operating under does not have permission to disable this task.

        If I click Run as Administrator on the Task Scheduler I then get the prompt for the Admin password and the tasks can then be disabled.

        Is this normal?

        • #2068686 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Yes, it is normal, since you are changing system level settings. A Standard User usually doesn’t have permission to change system settings.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2068735 Reply
            Moonbear
            AskWoody Lounger

            In that case, why isn’t the Admin password required to even open the task scheduler?

            I have the UAC set to always notify so I thought it would ask for the password every time I opened something important like task scheduler or the services window.

            • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Moonbear.
            • #2068860 Reply
              PKCano
              Da Boss

              You can look, but not CHANGE.

              Think of a read-only document – you can pull it up and look at it, but you can’t EDIT it.

              2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2068924 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                Ok, I never thought of it that way.

                Would this also apply to regedit as well?

                I can also open that without the password.

                I only tried to do this as a test.

                • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Moonbear.
            • #2068932 Reply
              Myst
              AskWoody Plus

              When I connect my external HD to create a system image, my standard user account can get to the files and previous system images but it can’t open them. It’s my opinion, and as @pkcano said above, system changes are what prompt a sign in with admin password. It isn’t until you reach that level of change for the Admin to kick in.

              Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA / MacOS / Chromebook

              1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2069054 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                Now that I know how this works it makes perfect sense, I’m just used to how this worked when I was using the Admin account full time.

                When I would open the task scheduler (or anything else important) it would always ask if I wanted to let it make changes and I expected it to be the same with the Standard account.

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2069656 Reply
                Myst
                AskWoody Plus

                Your standard user account can access most files on your PC but when there are any actions that call out system changes, the road block pops up on the standard user. When you had the one admin account with easy access (with or without the required credentials for sign in, e.g. password protected or not), you had the ability to do anything no strings attached. As would any hacker if they were able to climb into your machine. And remember, your standard user account has been ‘demoted’ having made way for the newly created admn, which is now protected with a password and has rights to everything as before but with the required sign-in for system changes. It’s safer to work from a standard user platform for everyday tasks, and when you need the admin account it’s there. Changes made then switch user to standard. Hope this makes sense.

                Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA / MacOS / Chromebook

              • #2069959 Reply
                Moonbear
                AskWoody Lounger

                Thank you, it does.

                I don’t make changes or install new programs that often so I probably won’t ever need to log in to the Admin account very often.

                If I can’t install a program or make a change from the Standard account using the Admin password, I’m probably better off without that change or program.

      • #2086202 Reply
        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Coming a bit late to this party!

        Creating and using a standard account is something I had planned to do about a year ago and never did get to it. I am now making myself a tutorial with all of the instructions and comments here – thanks so much!!

        A question – I have only ever used an Admin account on my laptop (running Win 7 Home), and since I am the only one using it, I never even created a password. I understand the need to create a password for a NEW admin account before I try this conversion – but do I need to also add a password to the original admin account that will soon be “demoted” to standard?

        Also – the suggestion to create two new admin accounts sounds like a good idea as well. And potential issues with doing that?

        Thanks for the help and for the great step by step detail of how to create and use a standard account.

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