Wow, I'm running as admin in my two Win10 PCs and didn't know it!

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  1. mck
    Posts : 133
    Windows 10 Home
       #1

    Wow, I'm running as admin in my two Win10 PCs and didn't know it!


    Within the last year, I bought a Dell XPS 8900 tower and an Acer Spin3 laptop. Both came with Windows 10.

    I just discovered that I'm running as the administrator in both PCs and never even knew it. I assumed I was running as a user since I get the UAC (User Account Control) popup when I do various things. But nope, in Control Panel > User Accounts I see only one account as:

    My Account Name
    Local Account
    Administrator
    Password Protected

    I guess I should add a user account and switch to it for normal usage to run with recommended security. I'm the only user of my two PCs.

    Questions are:

    1. If I add a new "non admin" account, will it be able to run all of the programs I currently have installed? And access all of the folders and files on my hard drives?

    2. When I go to "Start > Settings > Accounts > Family & other people > Add a family member", why am I getting the following error popup?

    ..... "Something went wrong
    ..... Try again, or select Cancel to set up your device later."

    3. From Googling, I learned about using netplwiz to add a local account. If I use that option and it is successful, will that account do all of the things I asked in Question-1 above?

    I'm reluctant to start adding stuff that won't work and screw up my Win10 systems. So I'm asking here first. Thanks.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 4,176
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Latest RP
       #2

    It is normal for windows to behave exactly as you describe

    You are a member of the administrators group but normally run as a standard user - When you require admin rights UAC will inform you of this and ask you to confirm you wish to proceed, if you were an actual standard user the UAC would require you to enter the administrator password before proceeding - this system is in place to improve security.

    You can add and remove as many users of what ever level you wish, but this is rarely a need on a home system that is not on a business network. If you ave family members that also use the system you can give them their own login ID which will allow them to set-up their desktop and other preferences.

    It is up to you to decide which level you assign the additional users - admin users will have exactly the same access and capability to run all programs add and remove programs and users so should only allow those you trust to become admins.

    A standard user can only perform tasks limited to that user - they cannot perform administrative tasks so can only install a limited type of program and only run those programs that do not require admin privileges, ( unless an administrator enters their password)

    I am not certain but netplwiz may only be available on the Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 10.

    Not sure why you get an error with family member entry but as long as you are an administrator, and follow the guidelines it should work.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 17,642
    Windows 10 Pro
       #3

    Barman58 said:
    Not sure why you get an error with family member entry but as long as you are an administrator, and follow the guidelines it should work.
    To add family members you have to be signed in using a Microsoft Account, according to OP he is using a local account. Also the family member accounts added must be Microsoft Accounts.

    How to Add or Remove a Child Account for Your Microsoft Family in Windows 10

    How to Add or Remove an Adult Account for Your Microsoft Family in Windows 10

    Wow, I'm running as admin in my two Win10 PCs and didn't know it!-image.png
    Last edited by Brink; 25 Mar 2017 at 09:30. Reason: added tutorial links for more info
      My Computer


  4. mck
    Posts : 133
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Barman58 said:
    It is normal for windows to behave exactly as you describe

    You are a member of the administrators group but normally run as a standard user - When you require admin rights UAC will inform you of this and ask you to confirm you wish to proceed, if you were an actual standard user the UAC would require you to enter the administrator password before proceeding - this system is in place to improve security.

    ..... snip to save bandwidth .....
    Ah ha, so that's why I get the UAC popup but when I click OK it does the task anyway. I wondered why the UAC seemed to be a useless popup since it let me do the task anyway. Now I see that it provides a warning but still allows one admin rights.

    After learning about my Admin account, I had checked a friend's Win7 PC and it is also running using an Admin account. Does Win7 also behave the same way as Win10 or should my friend be running as a standard user without admin rights?

    Thanks much for your valuable info.
      My Computer


  5. mck
    Posts : 133
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Kari said:
    To add family members you have to be signed in using a Microsoft Account, according to OP he is using a local account. Also the family member accounts added must be Microsoft Accounts.

    How to Add or Remove a Child Account for Your Microsoft Family in Windows 10

    How to Add or Remove an Adult Account for Your Microsoft Family in Windows 10

    ..... snip .....
    .
    Thanks for your additional info.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 5,478
    2004
       #6

    mck said:
    Does Win7 also behave the same way as Win10 or should my friend be running as a standard user without admin rights?
    7 acts the same when it comes to UAC although 10 is more secure in some ways.

    Ideally both of you should sign on as standard user and have a separate backup user that is part of the Administrators group in case you need it.

    It is easy for malware to bypass UAC so if you run all the time as an Admin account you are more at risk.
      My Computer


  7. mck
    Posts : 133
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #7

    lx07 said:
    7 acts the same when it comes to UAC although 10 is more secure in some ways.

    Ideally both of you should sign on as standard user and have a separate backup user that is part of the Administrators group in case you need it.

    It is easy for malware to bypass UAC so if you run all the time as an Admin account you are more at risk.
    Thanks for your help.

    After more Googling, it appears that adding a new standard user account will make that user have a different "C:\Users\UserName" path. Since I keep all of my data on a different drive (D: ), I should be able to access all of my data using a new standard user account. Correct?

    Here's what I couldn't find by Googling. The software that I'm currently using via my admin account, installed stuff that it (the software) uses in my "C:\Users\UserName" path. If I create a new standard user account, does that mean I would have to install all of my software again while in that new account?
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 5,478
    2004
       #8

    You could make a new user account called "MyAdminAccount" and make it Admin. This could be a local account.

    Sign on to it and then change your old existing account to standard user.

    Then sign back on your old account and everything will be as it was (except you are now standard user). There would be no need to move your documents or programs as you are signing on with same user.

    If you get UAC prompt put "MyAdminAccount" user / password to override.
      My Computer


  9. mck
    Posts : 133
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #9

    lx07 said:
    You could make a new user account called "MyAdminAccount" and make it Admin. This could be a local account.

    Sign on to it and then change your old existing account to standard user.

    Then sign back on your old account and everything will be as it was (except you are now standard user). There would be no need to move your documents or programs as you are signing on with same user.

    If you get UAC prompt put "MyAdminAccount" user / password to override.
    .
    Sounds like a logical plan.
    Thanks!
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 5,478
    2004
       #10

    mck said:
    .
    Sounds like a logical plan.
    Thanks!
    :)

    Don't end up with no Admin account. There are a few instances you need to sign on and use it - changing devices, system settings and so on. Day to day use (installing and running programs) a standard user will be fine.
      My Computer


 

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