Tip for Switching Users ...

By jobeard
Jan 14, 2007
  1. For users logging in on Limited Access Accounts (which is highly recommended for extra security protection):

    While Limited Rights adds security, it also impacts your maintenance activities,
    such as changing system settings, altering users passwords, install/remove programs.
    This typically requires you to
    1. Switch Users to the Admin account,
    2. perform the task
    3. and then Switch back to your Limited Account;
    ... gets to be an annoyance.

    Here's a tip that will save you lots of time:

    For any shortcut on the desktop and most items on the Start Bar,
    you can right-click for a menu, which may contain a Run As... entry.
    Slide to it and click. A dialog appears with the
    The second radio button will enable the User Name & Password text boxes
    where you can enter the Admin name for your system and its password.

    To get Admin Rights:

    If you right-click on a Command Prompt shortcut and Run As Admin,
    you can enter control and perform tasks from the Control panel :)
    including Add/Remove, Admin Tools, User Accounts, System .....

    You can even launch the explorer.exe but it will understand how you
    got here, so don't try the MS Updates on IE ... it will force you into a
    real Switch User scenario :(

    As long as you keep the Command Prompt window, it will retain the correct
    privileges to perform other tasks ...

    If you can get Admin rights, you can also Run As any other user login,
    eg: when logged into Admin, you can Run As joe-limited-user to read email :)

    [moderator: like to see this under Guides and Issues Solved please :) ]
  2. Hatrick

    Hatrick TS Rookie Posts: 90

    Yes, I use 'run as' regularly in the limited access account, but am slightly disturbed by one aspect. Although the pc is well protected from intrusion (I hope), should a keylogger be tucked away somewhere, I have given away my admin password and opened up the protected area.

    Of course the same thing applies for those jobs which must be done on line as administrator.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 9,160   +599

    if there is one, it's likely to be running at login anyway so your snafu already
  4. Hatrick

    Hatrick TS Rookie Posts: 90

    No, I've no password for limited access a/c - pointless - and I go there directly at login if going online.

    Of course, you are right if the loggers install themselves in Windows, but they can only do that if I use 'run as' or go online as admin, can't they?
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 9,160   +599

    OUCH! Lot's of luck -- I'm paranoid and run a secured system and thus would
    never allow an account w/o a password

    one can only hope, but it's better to not ASSUME
    define assume:making an A** out of You and Me
  6. Hatrick

    Hatrick TS Rookie Posts: 90

    Surely the password is only protection until it's used? Once logged on, with or without it, you are down to firewall, spyware and anti-virus protection.

    I like the definition. Yours?
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 9,160   +599

    obviously. the issue is to make it difficult to use a back-door to gain access to
    ANY account, not just the admin. fyi: simple file sharing uses the guest account and its password -- strongly suggesting you need one there too :)
    no :)
  8. Hatrick

    Hatrick TS Rookie Posts: 90

    Guest a/c is off, so no back door - except through 'run as'.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 9,160   +599

    sorry, not so. Guest Account inactive only prohibits keyboard login, not file sharing access. See MS KB articles on file sharing :)
  10. Hatrick

    Hatrick TS Rookie Posts: 90

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