Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

My administrator account isn't really an administrator

  1. #1

    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1

    My administrator account isn't really an administrator

    I have only one account on my computer, and it's an administrator account.
    However, I still have the "run as admin" option in the context menu. How come?

    Often I get issues when running installations, because they don't have the necessary permissions until I run them as admin. But Windows already states I am an admin! That makes very little sense to me.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 573
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu

    Ever since vista windows has used a dual token system of administrator security, the administrator actually runs as a normal user until elevated to full administrator status. this is a vastly more secure system than used by many home users in XP - the XP system meant that any malware that entered the system would run as a full administrator and could do untold system damage the Dual token system now in use limits any malware damage to a much reduced level, It's basically a semi auto method of the security used by professional users for many years even before XP
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    In XP and older systems an Administrator level account was fully elevated all the time with all of it's attendant rights and privileges. That was convenient. But XP was released in 2001 and a great deal has changed since then. Security threats have grown from a relatively minor problem to a very serious one, and it is only expected to become worse. It is war between malicious software and the software that tries defend against these threats. Many experts believe that malware is winning.

    By default any software you run has all the rights and privileges as the account it runs under. If that software is malicious you have a serious problem. It has all the rights you do and it will exercise them, no questions asked.

    By the time development was begun on Vista Microsoft realized that a full time admin account, while convenient, was too dangerous for general use, at least as the default configuration. This brought about the security system known as UAC where an admin account normally has only limited rights but can be elevated when needed. UAC can be disabled providing a full time admin account but this is NOT recommended.

    UAC is a good compromise between security and convenience. Security always has it's price.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    I have only one account on my computer, and it's an administrator account.
    Actually, you don't. You also have another account that was created when the OS was installed -- the "hidden" Administrator account.

    You can unhide this, but that is unwise and running under that account essentially defeats the security mechanisms MS has worked hard to build into Windows since Vista.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

My administrator account isn't really an administrator
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