Administrator vs Standard Account

Joined
Sep 27, 2007
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I went ahead and bought a Dell 2 in 1 laptop to replace my aging ipad. So far I'm pretty happy with it. Things are a bit different, but I think I'm adjusting ok. There's a fair amount to learn, but I'm having fun with it. Nothing too frustrating, like I remember back in the early 2000's.

I have a question though about how people use their computers on a daily basis. Do you use it as an administrator or standard user?

When you first start setting it up, I understand you set up an administrator account. Do you usually just continue on just using that account from there on out? Or do you create another account and use it as standard, and do your daily routine from the standard account? Or is the difference not worth the trouble?

Thanks for your help.
 

Growltiger

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Administrator
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Apr 26, 2008
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Up in the hills, Gloucestershire, UK
Everyone simply carries on using that account. You are still protected by UAC. But you can allow yourself to do anything. Otherwise you will find yourself changing back to do things that need it.

Things are different in a large business. There everything is restricted by tools used by the IT people. They set policies which the users cannot override. Windows can be locked down and made extremely secure.
 
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
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Location
houston tx
I like to do most of my surfing and using as a user, not as administrator.
I like the "administrator needed" pop-up to let me know if something is trying to do something non-kosher, like installing something. Very rare for THAT to happen, but this era you can't be too careful.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
I do similar to Bill, I use a standard account for my normal use, and admin only when I have to.
It is from an old lesson. It is nice to have all that admin right power, but with admin rights you can also trash things by mistake. Been there, done that :( The standard user account gives you some level of protection from dumb mistakes.

You just have to write down the admin user id and password, and NOT lose it.

What then becomes irritating are programs that are designed to run with admin rights, and won't run properly or at all with non-admin rights.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
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What then becomes irritating are programs that are designed to run with admin rights, and won't run properly or at all with non-admin rights.
With WIndows machines, it's possible to designate a shortcut (in advanced properties) or the exe file itself (properites>compatibility tab) to run in admin mode while using a non-admin acct. (e.g., basic user).
 
Joined
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Don Roy
To me, the only reason for a single user machine to not to be in Admin mode all the time is because you are afraid you will screw something up. ...which, among other things, is the purpose of automated daily backups.
 
Joined
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To me, the only reason for a single user machine to not to be in Admin mode all the time is because you are afraid you will screw something up. ...which, among other things, is the purpose of automated daily backups.
That is certainly possible, but the main reason I see given for running a non-admin acct. is that malware has a more direct path to perform its mischief it you're browsing the net in admin mode. Even if you never visit questionable sites, today's exploits can arrive at your machine via attack vectors that require no action on your part (such a clicking on a link) other than being online. Everyone should operate as his own comfort level after assessing the risks involved.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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To me, the only reason for a single user machine to not to be in Admin mode all the time is because you are afraid you will screw something up. ...which, among other things, is the purpose of automated daily backups.
Having gone through backup recoveries, I would rather not have to do that. Sometimes they are rather painful to do, especially if you are in the middle of a task, which you then have to stop, to do the recovery.

But each person chooses his own comfort level.
 

Growltiger

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Administrator
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Up in the hills, Gloucestershire, UK
That is certainly possible, but the main reason I see given for running a non-admin acct. is that malware has a more direct path to perform its mischief it you're browsing the net in admin mode. Even if you never visit questionable sites, today's exploits can arrive at your machine via attack vectors that require no action on your part (such a clicking on a link) other than being online. Everyone should operate as his own comfort level after assessing the risks involved.
Running as an admin still means you are required to respond to UAC prompts before actions requiring admin permissions are allowed to proceed.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
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USA
Running as an admin still means you are required to respond to UAC prompts before actions requiring admin permissions are allowed to proceed.
UAC bypass is not a new thing so just be wary. I assume the older bypass methods no longer work on patched machines, but it seems like as one hole is plugged another is opened to take its place. Note the warnings in the article against using an admin acct. as your daily driver (having said that, this is exactly what I do 85% of the time, but my Software Restriction Policy is always set to "basic user". I also have a Basic User acct. with Family Safety enabled along with UAC... for when I'm not sure where my browsing will take me.
 
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