Windows Vista / Getting Started

It Won't Let Me Do Something Unless I am an Administrator!

Windows Vista gets really picky about who gets to do what on your computer. The computer's owner gets the Administrator account. And the administrator usually gives everybody else a Standard account. What does that mean? Well, only the administrator can do these things on the computer:

  • Install programs and hardware.
  • Create or change accounts for other users.
  • Install some hardware, like some digital cameras and MP3 players.
  • Read everybody else's files.

People with Standard accounts, by nature, are limited to fairly basic activities. They can do these things:

  • Run installed programs.
  • Change their account's picture and password.

Guest accounts are meant for the babysitter or visitors who don't permanently use the computer. If you have a broadband or other "always on" Internet account, guests can browse the Internet, run programs, or check their e-mail.

If Windows says only an administrator may do something on your PC, you have two choices: Find an administrator to type his password, authorizing the action; or convince an administrator to upgrade your account to an Administrator account.

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