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Using Microsoft Management Console

Microsoft Management Console (MMC) is an application that hosts tools for administering computers, networks, and other system components. By itself, MMC performs no administrative services. Rather, it acts as the host for one or more modules, called snap-ins, which do the useful work. MMC provides user-interface consistency so that you or the users you support see more or less the same style of application each time you need to carry out some kind of computer management task. A combination of one or more snap-ins can be saved in a file called a Microsoft Common Console Document or, more commonly, an MMC console.

Creating snap-ins requires expertise in programming. You don't have to be a programmer, however, to make your own custom MMC consoles. All you need to do is run MMC, start with a blank console, and add one or more of the snap-ins available on your system. Alternatively, you can customize some of the MMC consoles supplied by Microsoft or other vendors simply by adding or removing snap-ins. You might, for example, want to combine the Services console with the Event Viewer console, the latter filtered to show only events generated by services. You might also want to include a link to a website that offers details about services and service-related errors. Or perhaps you would like to simplify some of the existing consoles by removing snap-ins you seldom use.

MMC consoles use, by default, the file name extension .msc, and .msc files are associated by default with MMC. Thus, you can run any MMC console by double-clicking its file name in a File Explorer window or by entering the file name at a command prompt. Windows 10 includes several predefined consoles; the most commonly used ones, can be easily found by typing their name in the search box.

Avoiding User Account Control problems with MMC consoles
Consoles can be used to manage all sorts of computer hardware and Windows features: With a console, you can modify hard-drive partitions, start and stop services, and install device drivers, for example. In other words, MMC consoles perform the types of tasks that User Account Control (UAC) is designed to restrict. In the hands of someone malicious (or simply careless), consoles have the power to wreak havoc on your computer.

Therefore, when using an MMC console, you're likely to encounter a User Account Control request for permission to continue. If UAC is enabled on your computer, the type of request you get and the restrictions that are imposed depend on your account type and the console you're using. Some consoles, such as Device Manager (Devmgmt.msc), display a message box informing you that the console will run with limitations. (In effect, it works in a read-only mode that allows you to view device information but not make changes.) Others block all use by standard user accounts. To ensure that you don't run into an "access denied" roadblock when performing administrative tasks while signed in with a standard account, always right-click and then click Run As Administrator.

Useful predefined consoles

Console name 	Description
(file name)

Certificate 	Uses the Certificates snap-in to view and manage 
Manager 	security certificates for the current user. 
(Certmgr.msc)	A similar console, Certlm.msc, manages 
		certificates on the local machine.

Computer 	Includes the functionality of the Task Scheduler,
Management 	Event Viewer, Shared Folders, Local Users And Groups,
(Compmgmt.msc)	Performance Monitor, Device Manager, Disk Management, 
		Services, and WMI Control snap-ins, providing control 
		over a wide range of computer tasks.

Device Manager 	Uses the Device Manager snap-in to enable administration
(Devmgmt.msc)	of all attached hardware devices and their drivers. 

Disk 		Uses the Disk Management snap-in for configuring disk 
Management 	volumes and partitions.

Event Viewer	Uses the Event Viewer snap-in to display all types 
(Eventvwr.msc)	of logged information.

Hyper-V 	Uses the Hyper-V Manager snap-in to provide an environment
Manager 	for creating, modifying, and running virtual machines. 

Local Users	Uses the Local Users and Groups snap-in to manage local 
and Groups 	user accounts and security groups.

Performance	Uses the Performance Monitor snap-in to provide a set of
Monitor		monitoring tools. 

Print		Uses the Print Management snap-in for managing printers
Management 	and print jobs.

Services 	Uses the Services snap-in to manage services in Windows.

Task Scheduler	Uses the Task Scheduler snap-in for managing tasks
(Taskschd.msc)	that run automatically.

Trusted 	Displays information about and enables configuration 
Platform 	of a computer's TPM chip.
Module (TPM) 

Windows 	Uses the Windows Firewall With Advanced Security snap-in
Firewall With 	to configure rules and make other firewall settings.
Security (Wf.msc)