In Windows 10, user accounts have varying levels of access permissions. Two of the most common are standard users and administrators. Here is how you can find if your account is Administrator or a Standard account.
Let's see first what the difference is between a Standard Account and Administrator.
Standard User accounts were intended for everyday usage prior to Vista. The user with a standard account could change some per-user settings to customize his environment, install per-user apps and open any app installed for his account or for all users. Standard users could not install programs that deeply integrate with the OS or change system-level settings, making it very secure. However as Windows shipped for years with administrator account as default, everyone ran as admin and few people bothered to run as standard user. UAC was introduced in Vista to balance usability with security. Instead of supplying password or other credentials every time, administrator account only required a manual confirmation and standard accounts required credentials. To do any system level action like installing an app for all users that changes the OS behavior or change system settings, the Standard User account will be prompted to provide credentials for an Administrator account.
Administrator: this type of account has full access to all PC settings, administrative tasks and global operating system options. The Administrator account can install programs that deeply integrate with the OS, manage other user accounts, drivers and so on. As malware started becoming widespread due to the proliferation of the internet and the open nature of the Windows platform, every user running as administrator with full access for any program to modify Windows was dangerous. So UAC was introduced so programs could run elevated only when doing systemwide actions but otherwise even the admin account ran with locked down permissions. When an application requires UAC elevation, the admin account can confirm it using Yes/No dialog prompt on the Secure Desktop. No credentials are required.
To find if your account is administrator in Windows 10, you can use the command prompt or the graphical user interface.
Using the command prompt
Open a new command prompt instance in Windows 10 and type the following command:
net localgroup Administrators
This will print all accounts which have administrative privileges on your PC.
Check out if your account is listed there. If it is not listed, then your account is a standard user. You can ensure this using the next command.
Type the following command:
net localgroup Users
This will list the Standard user accounts registered on your PC.
Find the account type using Settings in Windows 10
Do the following.
- Open Settings.
- Go to Accounts.
- There, check if you have the page name "Other accounts & family". If you can see it, then your account has administrative privileges. Here is how it looks for Administrator: Here is how it looks for the Standard Account.
Find the account type using Control Panel
The classic Control Panel can be also used to check the account type. However, you have to be signed in as an administrator to use this method.
- Open Control Panel
- Go to Control Panel\User Accounts\User Accounts.
- Click the link "Manage another account".
- Enter the administrative password if prompted.
- In the next dialog window, you will see the list of accounts available on your PC. Accounts of the "Administrator" type have the Administrator text under the user name. Others are Standard users.