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What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

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What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

I use Incredimail email client, which has been clobbered by the most recent Flashplayer update. IM are working on a fix, but there is a workaround...  Start the program with right click>run as administrator. It stops the launch crash problem which has appeared since the Flashplayer update. What does "start as administrator" actually do in the Windows environment?
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

Put simply it runs an application with elevated privileges....highest permissions.

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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

Why should that stop a launch crash?
In other words, what's going on in Windows to stop it?
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

It's trying to do something that a normal user account doesn't have permission to do.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

It opens up the computer to system files a normal user wouldn't have access to, be careful what you give admin access to though, as some dodgy software can introduce malware which can take over your computer...
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

Quote from: nozzer
I use Incredimail email client,

I would caution you to be very wary of using Incredimail.  Of itself it may be okay but it has some unsavoury friends and is liable to ask them over for a party on your computer.
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

Quite. Giving admin permission to Incredimail is a very, very bad idea.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

Can those "unsavoury friends" only get in via an email? If so, wouldn't real-time antivrus and malwarebites catch them? Or are there some back doors open?
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

Real time AV and malwarebytes won't stop them if they manage to turn them off which with admin rights they could do!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

Ahh, right! Nuff said! Thanks.
I shall wait for the official fix. 
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

Going back to an earlier version of flash is probably less risky than running with admin rights.
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

Quote from: nozzer
Can those "unsavoury friends" only get in via an email? If so, wouldn't real-time antivrus and malwarebites catch them? Or are there some back doors open?

It seems to me that Incredimail is prone to install other bits of software, mostly of the type that tells you there is something wrong with your computer which you must pay to get fixed.  Whether it does this completely unbidden or whether it adds the software unless you untick an option I don't know.  It's not done via an email.  This type of junk software has a veneer of legitimacy and often escapes the notice of security software.  But I expect Malwareytes would identify such stuff as Potentially Unwanted Programs.
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

So is using Run as Administrator the same as choosing "Never notify..." in the User Account Settings?
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

I don't think so. Run as administrator gives gives absolute permission to do absolutely anything to absolutely every program and data file on the whole PC.
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Re: What exactly does "Run as Administrator" do?

By default all applications on your computer are run at a standard user level, they only have access to what they need access to, everything else is off limits, think of it as a security clearance, they can access some things, but not everything
Running something as an Admin removes the clearance and will allow full access to all parts of the Operating System, this means the application can do what it likes without repercussions, it can delete and modify system files, it can install things without asking etc
If the application is malicious it can infect your files at system level(Windows install files) and cause major issues, some types of malware can even install firmware updates for your harddrives and graphics cards meaning no matter what you do to wipe the system, the malware can always come back via the infected device.
You should only allow Admin access to applications where the need is definitely there and that you know you can trust, this goes the same for allowing users to have Admin accounts on your machine, you should have one Admin(generally the most tech-savvy person who will use the machine) then use standard accounts for everyone else, this means that without the Admin password, nothing bad can be installed by accident


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