Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Running without Admin rights to mitigate vulnerabilities

  1. #11


    Running with a standard account was a good idea in XP and older systems. Any malware that might find it's way into your system would be able to do little damage with such an account. But with the introduction of Vista and UAC we have most of the benefits of a limited account with less inconvenience. But a standard account is still somewhat more secure. If it works for you that is the best option. For most others UAC is a viable alternative.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Posts : 126
    windows 8.1 pro


    this thing of running wthout admin rights, isn't it basically what linux does? in linux, you have enter your password for every little thing you want to do. they claim it stops malware from installing.

    by the way, the idea just got a big review in PCWorld
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  3. #13


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    As Lmiller7 said perhaps it is antiquated. In NT I had to set some processes to "act as part of the operating system" and also be local admin. I've not had to do that for years.
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  4. #14


    Posts : 126
    windows 8.1 pro


    I get it. So basically, running a standard account in windows 7/8 only saves you from your own mistakes, and even that won't help, if you know the password for the admin account. But it probably won't stop the sophisticated malware that affects modern systems.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    No it will not but the issue is granting authority.

    If you download an .exe and select "run as administrator" then it is your fault. In my case the only programs I run as administrator are from sysinternals or occasionally cmd.

    If you have set up a local admin account and decided to make the password "Admin" or "Password" then also it is your fault if some software guesses it.
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  6. #16


    In Windows any software you run will by default inherit your rights and privileges. If you are using an admin account and UAC is off any malware you accidentally run will be have essentially unrestricted access to the system. If it wishes it can do considerable harm to your system. If you are using a limited account that malware probably won't be able to do much. It won't stop really sophisticated malware but it will make it's task much more difficult.

    Traditionally home Windows user have used an admin account for normal use. This goes back to Windows 9x which had no security worth mentioning and everyone was an admin. That being the case most software assumed it had unrestricted access to the system and acted accordingly. When XP was introduced it brought the NT platform to the masses. The NT platform has always had limited accounts but such an account imposes such restrictions on applications that many older versions would not run properly, if at all. Limited accounts work well in a business setting where most software is designed to run under these limitations. Most home users solved that problem in the most straightforward manner, they used an admin account all the time.

    Most modern software will now run under a limited account. But old habits die hard.

    Linux is an outgrowth of Unix which first became popular in universities. Most users only had access to a standard account with only a select few having a root account (like an admin account in Windows). Software was written accordingly.
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  7. #17


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    So why (running NT4) did I have to change my profile to "Act as part of operating System" in the past then? Sloppy programming?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    It is unfair to claim sloppy programming without a great deal more information, more than you or I will usually have access to.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Running without Admin rights to mitigate vulnerabilities
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