Why can a Standard User install software on Vista? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I thought the whole point of UAC was to stop ordinary users (Standard User) from doing things like installing software, without an admin password check.

    So tonight I get home to find my partner (who is setup as 'Standard User) has installed 'Skype' and Google toolbar, not just for herself, but for also for me (I am Admin)  as well.
    All this without knowing the Admin password or even understanding anything about computers! Nice.

    Just to rub it in, I needed to confirm my Admin credentials in order to 'Uninstall' the software... (but any user can install it)

    Top security, that. Is there anything less than 'Standard User' that I should use to get basic security in Vista? Or should I just stick to lock and key?

    Monday, December 3, 2007 12:18 PM


  • Hi,


    Thank you for your post.


    Yes, by default, Standard Users cannot install most application without admin password since they do not have permissions to write/modify data in system-wide locations such as \Program Files\..., HKLM\SOFTWARE\..., \Windows\System32, etc.


    However, some simple applications may just add information in the user’s profile, without directly modifying the system-wide settings (as listed above). In this case, standard users may be able to run such applications. However, this kind of application should not affect the system and other users.


    Also, based on your description, I tried to install Google toolbar on my Windows Vista machine, and confirm that the UAC dialog box did prompt. This application cannot be installed if the user does not have administrator credentials.


    As a result, please confirm the permission that your partner has.


    You may check the permission of the user account via the following command:


    Net user <account name>


    Additionally, please create another Users account to confirm the issue.


    I’ve also included some UAC-related documents for your reference:


    How to use User Account Control (UAC) in Windows Vista



    Windows User Account Control Step-by-Step Guide



    Inside Windows Vista User Account Control



    Hope it helps.



    Joson Zhou

    Microsoft Online Community Support


    Thursday, December 6, 2007 10:53 AM