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I was running Windows 7 Ultimate (version 6.1.7600) and for some problem I cannot resolve, I had to reinstall it (I cannot rely on restore points). Now I've seen something that I didn't notice ever (neither in XP nor 7): standard users (non-admin users) can delete file/folder that they didn't create. To investigate this, I opened properties dialog box of a drive, choose security tab, and saw that there is a user group named Authenticated Users, who have the privilege of modifying and writing to every drive. From there if I uncheck modify checkbox for Authenticated Users, then files cannot be deleted from non-admin user account.

Now, from Computer Management window, I choose System Tools > Local Users & Groups > Groups from the left pane. The middle pane lists all groups but I didn't see Authenticated Users group.

I'd like to give only read, list and execute permissions to users in Authenticated User group. How can I do that? Thanks for your time.

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I've noticed that removing this 'group' from the root of a drive causes all sorts of problems. Removing it from folders within a drive seems okay though. – user235257 Jul 2 '13 at 17:53
up vote 5 down vote accepted

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 as explained in this Technet article

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"Authenticated Users" is not a real group - it is a special security principal that stands for any and all sessions that have been authenticated using some account such as a local SAM account, domain account or an account from any trusted domain, basically, any user account existent in your database.

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As a rule you should not mess with this setting. It can kill all access to your drives. – BinaryMisfit Jan 17 '10 at 18:06
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I routinely remove this group and leave the Users group because my machine is not in a domain - what potential problems am I looking at? Haven't noticed any yet. – mindless.panda Aug 9 '11 at 1:01
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@Diago, I think this warning is a little exaggerated. For example, I specifically needed to remove this permission on my user directory, to prevent other users from having access. – Jonathon Reinhart Dec 20 '11 at 7:11

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