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In Windows 7, what differences are between

  • Authenticated Users,
  • Administrators (ADMIN\Administrators), and
  • Users (ADMIN\Users)

I saw them when right click on a partition and click properties - in the security tab, click Edit to change the permissions.


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

They are all default users and groups Windows uses to maintain permissions, typically for security purposes.

Authenticated Users is a pseudo-group (which is why it exists, but is not listed in Users & groups), it includes both Local PC users and Domain users.

SYSTEM is the account used by the operating system to run services, utilities, and device drivers. This account has unlimited power and access to resources that even Administrators are denied, such as the Registry's SAM.

Administrators can do just about everything a user would want to do with Windows, typically this includes the first user you create with windows. You are probably a member of this group.

Users are accounts with lower permissions, and typically require an Administrator to enter their password to do anything that would bring up a UAC console in Windows. You can create accounts with these permissions (I do it for my guest account) with the "Add Remove User Accounts" menu in the Control Panel.

MicroSoft has quite a bit of information out there on these default accounts and groups. Read more below:

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The Authenticated Users group contains users who have authenticated to the domain or a domain that is trusted by the computer domain. Authenticated Users will contain all manually created user accounts in all trusted domains regardless of whether they are a member of the Domain Users group or not. Authenticated Users specifically does not contain the built-in Guest account, but will contain other users created and added to Domain Guests.

The following list shows the members who are fall under this group

1.All the domain users and  users who are in trusted domain.
2.Local computers.
3.Built-in system accounts
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