In task manager there are a lot of different processes that are running under different users. And it seems that they also have different levels of privileges enter image description here


For example if i should launch some TestApplication.exe in process manager in column User nameopposite TestApplication.exe will be written my current user for example Dave. If i should make service from TestApplication.exe and run it User name will be SYSTEM.

  1. What is the difference between LOCAL SERVICE, SYSTEM, NETWORK SERVICE privileges.
  2. SYSTEM User name it is only for services?
  3. Is it possible somehow run TestApplication.exe with SYSTEM privileges without doing service?

1 Answer 1


Although listed in Task Manager, these are not accounts but serve as a groups of privileges/rights (see Service Security and Access Rights).

LocalSystem Account, aka SYSTEM, has extensive privileges on the local computer, and acts as the computer on the network. In most respects, it has unlimited privileges and is used by Windows itself for internal purposes.

LocalService Account is a limited account that is equivalent in privileges to a normal user. Windows services execute by default under this account. Although "limited", it still has considerable privileges, except on the network where it can only present anonymous credentials.

NetworkService Account only differs from the LocalService Account by its ability to present the computer's credentials on the network. It is used by Windows services that need free access to the network.

One can launch an application under the SYSTEM account. The free PsExec can launch any command-line as SYSTEM when using its -s parameter. One should use extreme caution when doing so, since many Windows API functions will give unexpected results under this pseudo-account.

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