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I own the admin account of my PC running, Windows XP Pro edition. There is another Non-admin account in this system. I want to limit the administrative capabilities of this account. That is, to prevent that user from accessing registry, group policy, user accounts panel etc.

Is there anyway to do this without using third party softwares?

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"Limited Users" already cannot access any administrative capabilities: cannot modify accounts, cannot manage devices, etc.

The registry can always be accessed and if you disable this, absolutely nothing would work – but what can be accessed is already limited: only the user's own settings, not other users, can be accessed, and the system-wide ones are read-only.

Same for group policy: it is part of the registry, and normal users are forbidden from writing it. However, if you forbid reading it, then how the hell is it supposed to be applied?

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+1: user setting will always be available to users. – surfasb Sep 18 '11 at 17:03
?? I can do anything I want in a Normal User account in XP?? They have admin privileges by default. – Moab Sep 18 '11 at 17:46
@Moab: By which I meant a user belonging to the Users group (as opposed to Administrators). – grawity Sep 18 '11 at 17:55
@grawity, you might clarify this and add instructions on how to set up this type of account, by default it is part of the admin group? – Moab Sep 18 '11 at 18:25
@Moab: IIRC, the user account panel asks if the account should be "Administrator" or "Limited User". Since the goal is to forbid administrative privileges, there is only one choice left... – grawity Sep 19 '11 at 20:08

Set up "limited" user accounts, use strong passwords on regular and admin accounts.

Limited account The limited account is intended for someone who should be prohibited from changing most computer settings and deleting important files. A user with a limited account:

  • Generally cannot install software or hardware, but can access programs that have already been installed on the computer.

  • Can change his or her account picture and can also create, change, or delete his or her password.

  • Cannot change his or her account name or account type. A user with a computer administrator account must make these kinds of changes.

  • Can manage his or her network passwords, create a reset password disk, and set up his or her account to use a .NET Passport.

Source of Information

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