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Guide for Windows

Important Note

This guide is intended for self-managed Windows machines only (i.e. you're both the user and sole administrator of your computer). If your computer is managed by another group (e.g., MITS, ATS, etc.) and you require an administrative account, please contact your local IT support staff for assistance as your department may have specific policies or requirements governing such access.

Before getting started, there are some things to understand.  First off, a computer can have multiple administrative accounts, that is accounts that belong to the Administrators group and have the same rights as "Administrator," but there is only one "Administrator" account and it cannot be deleted or demoted (but it can be disabled).  Recent versions of Windows disable the built-in "Administrator" account by default, and walk the user through creating a new account during setup.  This new account is added to the Administrators group, so while it is not "Administrator", it is just as dangerous.

Secondly, a lot of programs and computer configuration options are tied to a user account.  Switching to a completely new user account will likely result in a lot of wasted time reconfiguring applications and moving data around.  This is not the preferred solution.  If, however, you are using the built-in "Administrator" account (very unlikely), it is the only way to move forward with this.  In that case, we recommend you wait until you are installing a new version of the operating system or moving to a new computer before continuing.  The rest of this document assumes that you are not using the built-in "Administrator" account (very likely).

 

Scenarios

After following the above set of steps, some tasks may not work right away because administrative access is required.  Anytime administrative access is required, a dialog box (UAC) will open prompting you to authenticate with an administrative account.  Using the new account you just created will almost always allow the process to continue, but in some cases you will need to run programs as an Administrator for them to work properly.  If you find yourself unable to run a program you previously ran before or if you are having issue configuring a setting, the Run As... feature outlined below may resolve this issue. 

UAC Elevation Prompts

Below are examples of UAC prompts for each operating system:

Windows 7Windows 8.1Windows 10

 

Run-As Administrator/Other User

Below are examples of running as administrator in each operating system, key combinations/procedures are the same in each OS:

  • Run As Administrator: Right-Click on program > Choose "Run as administrator"
  • Run As Different User: Shift + Right-Click on program > Choose "Run as different user"

 

Windows 7Windows 8.1Windows 10

Administrator:

 

Administrator:

Administrator:


Different User:

 

Different User:

Different User:





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