Weekly quickTIP

Eliminating Run as Administrator

Poof! Just like that you can make it disappear with a simple registry editing.

I showed you how you can use some third-party tools as well as policies to enable a more powerful RunAs that works with more than just your own user token. OK, so I showed you how to make the tool run like it used to!

This time, I'll show you how to do just the reverse. For some environments, Vista's Run as Administrator link that is found in the context menu by right-clicking an EXE is concerning. Administrators don't want their non-administrator users to think that they can instantly gain omnipotent powers through a simple mouse click. For those situations with the non-administrators in your environment, you might just want that context menu item to simply go away.

It turns out there's a relatively easy fix to this interesting problem that is gained through a registry hack. To eliminate the menu item, open the registry editor and navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
Policies\Explorer

There create a new DWORD value titled HideRunAsVerb and set its value to 1.

If your environment is using Group Policy Preferences, doing this for all computers across your organization is a snap. If you're using old-style custom ADM files, it's a bit more complicated. In either case, once the machines have been rebooted or logged out, they'll see the change and no longer present the Run as Administrator link.

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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