Non-Admin Trick for Safe Web Surfing

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 28 March 2006 / Last Updated on 28 March 2006]

A safe way to browse the web when you're logged on as admin.

If for whatever reason you feel you must run your workstation using administrator credentials as opposed to the safer ordinary user credentials (see my article Running Windows Under Non-Admin Accounts on there's still a way you can surf the web safely. Just do the following (you must have Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later):

  1. Right-click on the icon for Internet Explorer and select Run As.
  2. In the dialog that appears, leave Current User selected.
  3. Make sure that the "Protect my computer and data from unauthorized program activity" checkbox is selcted and click OK.

This will run IE using the new Restricted Tokens feature of Windows XP Service Pack 2, and the effect is essentially to run IE as an ordinary user not an admin.

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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