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How to Create a Limited User Account in Windows XP

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By default, the first account created when you install Windows is an Administrator account. That's why most computer users use administrator accounts for everyday purposes. Doing so is extremely dangerous, since such an account has the ability to make system-wide changes. Therefore it is recommended to run as a limited account, reserving the Administrator account for tasks (such as installing and configuring software) that require administrator privileges.

A limited account stops most malware, including rootkits, trojans, and several types of worm. It also limits malware damage to one user, confines the malware and prevents further spreading of the malware to other users, therefore allowing an administrator to remove the malware effectively.

However, remember that some types of malware (keyloggers...) usually don't need Administrator privileges to work, so this won't give you absolute immunity to malware; it only limits malware damage on other users. Therefore it is recommended to combine it with other anti-malware measures to minimize the risk of infection.

  • This procedure only applies to Windows XP. Windows Vista and Windows 7 users should make use of the built-in User Account Control feature instead.
  • NTFS is required for this tweak to work. Read below to see how to convert your FAT partition to NTFS.

Step 1. Click Start - Control Panel - User Accounts.
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Step 2. Click Create a new account.
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Step 3. Name the new account; this will be your new Administrator account. Then click Create Account.
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Step 4. Let's create a password for your new Administrator account. This is optional; you can omit this step if you are the only one using this computer.
Click the newly created account name
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then click Create a password.
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Fill in the dialog, then click Create Password.

Step 5. Now that your new Administrator account has been created, it's time to change your account to a limited one.
Click Back to get back to the User Accounts. Then click your user name.
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Click Change my account type
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then click Limited.
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Then click Change account type to save your changes.
Finally, log out and log back in.
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Your account should become a limited account.

When you need the administrator account, you can log out and log back into your new account, or use the Run as feature of Windows.
To use this feature, do the following:
  • Right-click the program you want to start as an administrator.
  • Click Run as....
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    A dialog should appear.
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  • Select The following user.
  • Choose your Administrator account.
  • Enter the password if necessary.
  • Click OK.
Your program should now run in your Administrator account.

See here to see how to convert your drive to NTFS:
How to Convert FAT32 to NTFS

Edited by devper94, 01 May 2011 - 04:01 AM.

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