Windows 10, Admin Acct or User Acct in 2020?

Should you have separate Admin and User Accts on Win10 PC?

  • Yes, separate User and Admin accts

    Votes: 4 40.0%
  • No, just one Admin acct is fine

    Votes: 6 60.0%
  • Don't know, unsure, or it depends

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    10

biggles

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
1,961
Historically it was advised that we use Windows computers under a User account rather than Admin. This was for added security vs malware. However, in 2020 it is fair to say that Windows is more secure than before. And the built-in Windows Defender has improved over time. I have posted this question on computer message boards in the past couple of years and the answers were mixed. Please give your opinion.

The downside I have seen to have User and Admin accounts is that installs sometimes don't work right. Just today I did a Realtek network adapter update under the User account. Afterwards, when logging into the Admin it gave error messages and the device manager showed the old device driver. I have had lots of other problems over the years with User accounts.

My takeaway is that if you do decide to have 2 accounts, do NOT install programs, driver updates, or OS updates under the User account. It can cause lots of problems later. Install all of these under the Admin account. Or, just keep it simple with one Admin account.

Assumption here is just one user on the computer. I am NOT talking about a situation where you share a computer with, say, other family members. Certainly multiple accounts in that case. And User accounts if they are not tech savvy.
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
8,372
Historically it was advised that we use Windows computers under a User account rather than Admin. This was for added security vs malware. However, in 2020 it is fair to say that Windows is more secure than before. And the built-in Windows Defender has improved over time. I have posted this question on computer message boards in the past couple of years and the answers were mixed. Please give your opinion.

The downside I have seen to have User and Admin accounts is that installs sometimes don't work right. Just today I did a Realtek network adapter update under the User account. Afterwards, when logging into the Admin it gave error messages and the device manager showed the old device driver. I have had lots of other problems over the years with User accounts.

My takeaway is that if you do decide to have 2 accounts, do NOT install programs, driver updates, or OS updates under the User account. It can cause lots of problems later. Install all of these under the Admin account. Or, just keep it simple with one Admin account.

Assumption here is just one user on the computer. I am NOT talking about a situation where you share a computer with, say, other family members. Certainly multiple accounts in that case. And User accounts if they are not tech savvy.
If the normal user account doesn't work, it's yet another manifestation of the totally broken security model of Windows in my opinion. No other mainstream OS has this problem.
 

grim4593

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2014
Messages
276
Unless you are in a corporate environment or you are sharing the PC with others it doesn't make a lot of sense to have a separate User and Admin account as long as UAC is enabled.
I am not an expert in elevation exploits but I would imagine that any malware that could bypass the UAC approval prompt would also bypass the UAC "Run As" prompt.
My 2c.
 

bigdogchris

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
18,161
For my personal computer which I have 3 backups and with UAC I'm not as worried about it as I once was.

Obviously, at work, yes a seperate account because non-admins should not be logging in as an administrator.
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
8,372
Unless you are in a corporate environment or you are sharing the PC with others it doesn't make a lot of sense to have a separate User and Admin account as long as UAC is enabled.
I am not an expert in elevation exploits but I would imagine that any malware that could bypass the UAC approval prompt would also bypass the UAC "Run As" prompt.
My 2c.
UAC is easily bypassed by many malware. Even Microsoft admitted it's supposed to be an annoyance for developers to change their coding habbits, not a security measure.
 

Shikami

Gawd
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
712
Security's inverse relationship has always caused issues for typical "home" end user usage. As the single computer user the UAC and much of the admin account administration was nothing but useless and asinine IMO. Most of the security hardware and software bugs, if you ever noticed, bypass all these rules and escalate privileges to the acting entities. These are the first things that I change during the initial installation; but the execution that is tied into this mess, even if the options that are configured not to be, are nothing but preventative to "my" clicking. I also do not like the scale in which things are added "for my security," and yet are always manipulated away to nothing. I also do not like the fact that more and more I use computers over the years, the more and more difficulty is added to just operate as I want to freely. A security warning for the mic usage if I want to use Discord, really? YOU get to install drivers, that YOU say are secure? Or how the firewall is so integral to Defender that I have to have it on (q.v. XBox app for Live) or also a fucking annoying you are "not secure" shield is always glaring at me, and I have to inform it that I want a game to have privilege to punch a port hole? Fuck, I get tired of this shitty security paradigm.

Now, on the other hand, If I had children and a spouse this would be different and I would handle the administrative authority in a different manner and accordingly for some safety to data and preventative things such as access to sites that children should not have access to till they are older.
 
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