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Queries on Administrator and Standard User Accounts


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#1 JoeWatson

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 04:41 AM

I have only just installed Win 7 Pro and am trying to find difinitive answers on some queries I have.

 

There are lots of warnings on using the administrator account to enable installs from 3rd parties which need you to ' install as administrator". Some suggestions are to set up a standard user account and then enable adminstrator privileges to this. If I do this , how do I enable these privileges to the standard account.?

 

I am currently always logged in as Adminstrator and I am the only user of my computer. If anyone did ask to use it I would open the standard user account for them.

 

By default the administrator account is disabled and has no password. s it better to leave this as it is or set up a password for this account.

 



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#2 Will5200

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 07:36 AM

Joe,

 

All good questions. You are correct, in Windows 7 the built-in administrator account is disabled with no password, I have included this link, as it should have a password: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744293%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

 

Correct me if I am wrong, folks, but all you need to do to run an install is to right-click on the executable and select "run as administrator", providing the credentials to start the install.

 

Cheers.



#3 Kilroy

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 10:48 AM

To make a user an Administrator they just need to be a member of the Administrators group.

 

It is actually recommended that you run with a Standard account and have an Administrator account when need to install or change things.  While this may seem very inconvenient, after you have the machine set up you will very rarely need to use the Administrator account.



#4 Agouti

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 10:49 AM

First of all, it isn't clear which administrator account you are talking about.  In Windows 7, you can create an account that has administrative powers or a standard user account without administrative powers.  There's also the hidden administrator account which is a sort of super user that has powers system-wide.  Most people shouldn't ever have to use the hidden administrator account.

 

It is recommended that you create both an administrative and standard account.  Both of these should be password-protected.  For regular everyday activities you should use the standard account.  The administrative account (or rather its password) should only be use to grant permission, e.g. when installing software.  If you were to get infected while using a standard account, the infection will at least be contained since it does not have administrative privileges.

 

I'm also not sure about what you mean when you say "lots of warnings".  In Windows Vista and later, UAC (or User Account Control) was introduced to help protect the user from malicious software.  E.g. when installing software you will get a dialog box asking if you are sure you want to allow the program to make changes to your system.  This is intended to make you think again before you click "Yes".  In Windows XP (and earlier) there was on such control and users invariably set themselves up as administrators, therefore the risk was greater.  Some people see UAC as a bother and recommend disabling it but doing so will be contributing to weakening your system.



#5 JoeWatson

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 09:32 AM

I'm sorry if I have confused everyone with my initial post.

 

First of all the "warningts" I referred to are from various websites re using administrator everytime software is installed. many websites say this is not a good idea.

 

When you saty use a standard a standard user account for everyday use, when I looked at the user account I had set up, when i log into this a lot of the icons/folders/pdfs etc which are on my desktop do not appear so it would be difficult to use this because of what is missing.

 

What I thought I would do is use my administrator account, wirth a passord, for everyday use and then use the standard user account, with administrator privileges for 3rd party software installs.

 

If I do this, what I need is info on how to enable admibnistrator privileges on the standard user account.



#6 Kilroy

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 10:04 AM

To make a standard user an administrator you just need to add them to the administrators group.

 

Normally you can run with a standard account and will be prompted for administrative credentials to install or make changes.  Initially this is a pain as it seems that everything you do require administrative rights.  After a short period of time the need for administrative rights decreases.  Next you will rarely see the requests for administrative rights only when you are expecting them for installing programs or making changes to the system.

 

The reason for running with a standard account is to prevent malicious software from being installed or damaging the machine as the software will only run with the abilities of your account.  This normally limits issues with the machine being limited to a specific user.



#7 Agouti

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:27 PM

When you saty use a standard a standard user account for everyday use, when I looked at the user account I had set up, when i log into this a lot of the icons/folders/pdfs etc which are on my desktop do not appear so it would be difficult to use this because of what is missing.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you are saying you don't see the same icons/folders/pdf etc. which you have on your Admin account's desktop on your Standard account's desktop?  Well that's because Windows treats each user account as though it were a separate and different person.  Windows doesn't know you have set up 2 separate accounts (i.e. a Standard and Admin account) but that it's the same person.  Picture this: Some households share the same computer.  In that case you can't have one person's desktop items appearing on another user account.  That's not reasonable.

 

Most times, when installing software the installer will put a shortcut icon on your desktop.  If you install software from a Standard account then it will usually put the icon on that user's desktop.  In the rare case that it doesn't you could locate the .exe file of the program and create a desktop shortcut yourself.

 

Likewise, you can put files and folders (or shortcuts to them) on the desktop of any of your user accounts, but you have to do it manually.

 

I've always operated from a Standard account and never had problems with items on my desktop.






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