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I'm looking for particular examples of what can and can't be done by a limited account rather than vague generalisations. For example, run batch files/scripts but what commands can't be used? What areas of the registry can be touched (if any)? What directories are off-limits by default (if any)?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

See these articles from Microsoft:

In terms of the file system, generally speaking, limited accounts can't write to most locations outside of their profile folder. e.g. the Windows folder and Program Files are off-limits.

In terms of the registry, generally speaking, limited accounts can't modify HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, only HKEY_CURRENT_USER.

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Not that many;

A limited account cannot touch anything that affects other users on the computer. This means no access to c:\windows, no access to other user directories, no systemwide settings changes (though any per-user settings are good-to-go)

Limited accounts also can't install some programs (specifically ones that must integrate with the system to function - again going back to the affecting others point), but most of the time can install to their own directory without issue (Fun Fact: Google Chrome installs to a local dir, so limited users can install it without even a single extra step)

As for batch files, likely 99% of commands can be used, but what they can do is limited, again to a local view.

Of course, there will be some things limited accounts can do to affect others, but in general they shouldn't be - and neither can anything hidden inside them, like Virus.exe :)

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Let's group those common non-administrator user accounts.

  • Power Users
  • Users
  • Guests

Nothing beats what Microsoft site says. See it here.

For more details of guest account, check this out.

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