Default groups

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Groups in the Builtin container

The following table provides descriptions of the default groups located in the Builtin container and lists the assigned user rights for each group. For complete descriptions of the user rights listed in the table, see User Rights Assignment. For information about editing these rights, see Edit security settings on a Group Policy object.

Group Description Default user rights
Account Operators Members of this group can create, modify, and delete accounts for users, groups, and computers located in the Users or Computers containers and organizational units in the domain, except the Domain Controllers organizational unit. Members of this group do not have permission to modify the Administrators or the Domain Admins groups, nor do they have permission to modify the accounts for members of those groups. Members of this group can log on locally to domain controllers in the domain and shut them down. Because this group has significant power in the domain, add users with caution. Allow log on locally; Shut down the system.
Administrators Members of this group have full control of all domain controllers in the domain. By default, the Domain Admins and Enterprise Admins groups are members of the Administrators group. The Administrator account is also a default member. Because this group has full control in the domain, add users with caution. Access this computer from the network; Adjust memory quotas for a process; Back up files and directories; Bypass traverse checking; Change the system time; Create a pagefile; Debug programs; Enable computer and user accounts to be trusted for delegation; Force a shutdown from a remote system; Increase scheduling priority; Load and unload device drivers; Allow log on locally; Manage auditing and security log; Modify firmware environment values; Profile single process; Profile system performance; Remove computer from docking station; Restore files and directories; Shut down the system; Take ownership of files or other objects.
Backup Operators Members of this group can back up and restore all files on domain controllers in the domain, regardless of their own individual permissions on those files. Backup Operators can also log on to domain controllers and shut them down. This group has no default members. Because this group has significant power on domain controllers, add users with caution. Back up files and directories; Allow log on locally; Restore files and directories; Shut down the system.
Guests By default, the Domain Guests group is a member of this group. The Guest account (which is disabled by default) is also a default member of this group. No default user rights.
Incoming Forest Trust Builders (only appears in the forest root domain) Members of this group can create one-way, incoming forest trusts to the forest root domain. For example, members of this group residing in Forest A can create a one-way, incoming forest trust from Forest B. This one-way, incoming forest trust allows users in Forest A to access resources located in Forest B. Members of this group are granted the permission Create Inbound Forest Trust on the forest root domain. This group has no default members. For more information about creating forest trusts, see Create a forest trust. No default user rights.
Network Configuration Operators Members of this group can make changes to TCP/IP settings and renew and release TCP/IP addresses on domain controllers in the domain. This group has no default members. No default user rights.
Performance Monitor Users Members of this group can monitor performance counters on domain controllers in the domain, locally and from remote clients without being a member of the Administrators or Performance Log Users groups. No default user rights.
Performance Log Users Members of this group can manage performance counters, logs and alerts on domain controllers in the domain, locally and from remote clients without being a member of the Administrators group. No default user rights.
Pre-Windows 2000 Compatible Access Members of this group have read access on all users and groups in the domain. This group is provided for backward compatibility for computers running Windows NT 4.0 and earlier. By default, the special identity Everyone is a member of this group. For more information about special identities, see Special identities. Add users to this group only if they are running Windows NT 4.0 or earlier. Access this computer from the network; Bypass traverse checking.
Print Operators Members of this group can manage, create, share, and delete printers connected to domain controllers in the domain. They can also manage Active Directory printer objects in the domain. Members of this group can log on locally to domain controllers in the domain and shut them down. This group has no default members. Because members of this group can load and unload device drivers on all domain controllers in the domain, add users with caution. Allow log on locally; Shut down the system.
Remote Desktop Users Members of this group can remotely log on to domain controllers in the domain. This group has no default members. No default user rights.
Replicator This group supports directory replication functions and is used by the File Replication service on domain controllers in the domain. This group has no default members. Do not add users to this group. No default user rights.
Server Operators On domain controllers, members of this group can log on interactively, create and delete shared resources, start and stop some services, back up and restore files, format the hard disk, and shut down the computer. This group has no default members. Because this group has significant power on domain controllers, add users with caution. Back up files and directories; Change the system time; Force shutdown from a remote system; Allow log on locally; Restore files and directories; Shut down the system.
Users Members of this group can perform most common tasks, such as running applications, using local and network printers, and locking the server. By default, the Domain Users group, Authenticated Users, and Interactive are members of this group. Therefore, any user account created in the domain becomes a member of this group. No default user rights.


Groups in the Users container

The following table provides a description of the default groups located in the Users container and lists the assigned user rights for each group. For complete descriptions of the user rights listed in the table, see User Rights Assignment. For information about editing these rights, see Edit security settings on a Group Policy object.

Group Description Default user rights
Cert Publishers Members of this group are permitted to publish certificates for users and computers. This group has no default members. No default user rights.
DnsAdmins (installed with DNS) Members of this group have administrative access to the DNS Server service. This group has no default members. No default user rights.
DnsUpdateProxy (installed with DNS) Members of this group are DNS clients that can perform dynamic updates on behalf of other clients, such as DHCP servers. This group has no default members. No default user rights.
Domain Admins Members of this group have full control of the domain. By default, this group is a member of the Administrators group on all domain controllers, all domain workstations, and all domain member servers at the time they are joined to the domain. By default, the Administrator account is a member of this group. Because the group has full control in the domain, add users with caution. Access this computer from the network; Adjust memory quotas for a process; Back up files and directories; Bypass traverse checking; Change the system time; Create a pagefile; Debug programs; Enable computer and user accounts to be trusted for delegation; Force a shutdown from a remote system; Increase scheduling priority; Load and unload device drivers; Allow log on locally; Manage auditing and security log; Modify firmware environment values; Profile single process; Profile system performance; Remove computer from docking station; Restore files and directories; Shut down the system; Take ownership of files or other objects.
Domain Computers This group contains all workstations and servers joined to the domain. By default, any computer account created becomes a member of this group automatically. No default user rights.
Domain Controllers This group contains all domain controllers in the domain. No default user rights.
Domain Guests This group contains all domain guests. No default user rights.
Domain Users This group contains all domain users. By default, any user account created in the domain becomes a member of this group automatically. This group can be used to represent all users in the domain. For example, if you want all domain users to have access to a printer, you can assign permissions for the printer to this group (or add the Domain Users group to a local group, on the print server, that has permissions for the printer). No default user rights.
Enterprise Admins (only appears in the forest root domain) Members of this group have full control of all domains in the forest. By default, this group is a member of the Administrators group on all domain controllers in the forest. By default, the Administrator account is a member of this group. Because this group has full control of the forest, add users with caution. Access this computer from the network; Adjust memory quotas for a process; Back up files and directories; Bypass traverse checking; Change the system time; Create a pagefile; Debug programs; Enable computer and user accounts to be trusted for delegation; Force shutdown from a remote system; Increase scheduling priority; Load and unload device drivers; Allow log on locally; Manage auditing and security log; Modify firmware environment values; Profile single process; Profile system performance; Remove computer from docking station; Restore files and directories; Shut down the system; Take ownership of files or other objects.
Group Policy Creator Owners Members of this group can modify Group Policy in the domain. By default, the Administrator account is a member of this group. Because this group has significant power in the domain, add users with caution. No default user rights.
IIS_WPG (installed with IIS) The IIS_WPG group is the Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 worker process group. Within the functioning of IIS 6.0 are worker processes that serve specific namespaces. For example, www.microsoft.com is a namespace served by one worker process, which can run under an identity added to the IIS_WPG group, such as MicrosoftAccount. This group has no default members. No default user rights.
RAS and IAS Servers Servers in this group are permitted access to the remote access properties of users. No default user rights.
Schema Admins (only appears in the forest root domain) Members of this group can modify the Active Directory schema. By default, the Administrator account is a member of this group. Because this group has significant power in the forest, add users with caution. No default user rights.


Default local groups

The Groups folder located in the Local Users and Groups Microsoft Management Console (MMC) displays the default local groups as well as the local groups that you create. The default local groups are automatically created when you install a stand-alone server or a member server running Windows Server 2003. Belonging to a local group gives a user the rights and abilities to perform various tasks on the local computer. For more information about domain-based groups, see Default groups. You can add local user accounts, domain user accounts, computer accounts, and group accounts to local groups. However, you cannot add local user accounts and local group accounts to domain group accounts. For more information about adding members to local groups, see To add a member to a local group.

Note:

  • To learn what group you need to be a member of to perform a particular procedure, many procedural topics under How To in Help and Support Center provide a note that identifies this information.

The following table provides descriptions of the default groups located in the Groups folder and lists the assigned user rights for each group. These rights are assigned within the local security policy. For complete descriptions of the user rights listed in the table, see User rights assignment. For information about editing these rights, see To assign user rights for your local computer.

Group Description Default user rights
Administrators Members of this group have full control of the server and can assign user rights and access control permissions to users as necessary. The Administrator account is also a default member. When this server is joined to a domain, the Domain Admins group is automatically added to this group. Because this group has full control of the server, add users with caution. Access this computer from the network; Adjust memory quotas for a process; Allow log on locally; Allow log on through Terminal Services; Back up files and directories; Bypass traverse checking; Change the system time; Create a pagefile; Debug programs; Force shutdown from a remote system; Increase scheduling priority; Load and unload device drivers; Manage auditing and security log; Modify firmware environment variables; Perform volume maintenance tasks; Profile single process; Profile system performance; Remove computer from docking station; Restore files and directories; Shut down the system; Take ownership of files or other objects.
Backup Operators Members of this group can back up and restore files on the server, regardless of any permissions that protect those files. This is because the right to perform a backup takes precedence over all file permissions. They cannot change security settings. Access this computer from the network; Allow log on locally; Back up files and directories; Bypass traverse checking; Restore files and directories; Shut down the system.
DHCP Administrators (installed with the DHCP Server service) Members of this group have administrative access to the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server service. This group provides a way to assign limited administrative access to the DHCP server only, while not providing full access to the server. Members of this group can administer DHCP on a server using the DHCP console or the Netsh command, but are not able to perform other administrative actions on the server. No default user rights.
DHCP Users (installed with the DHCP Server service) Members of this group have read-only access to the DHCP Server service. This allows members to view information and properties stored at a specified DHCP server. This information is useful to support staff when they need to obtain DHCP status reports. No default user rights.
Guests Members of this group will have a temporary profile created at log on, and when the member logs off, the profile will be deleted. The Guest account (which is disabled by default) is also a default member of this group. No default user rights.
HelpServicesGroup This group allows administrators to set rights common to all support applications. By default, the only group member is the account associated with Microsoft support applications, such as Remote Assistance. Do not add users to this group. No default user rights.
Network Configuration Operators Members of this group can make changes to TCP/IP settings and renew and release TCP/IP addresses. This group has no default members. No default user rights.
Performance Monitor Users Members of this group can monitor performance counters on the server locally and from remote clients without being a member of the Administrators or Performance Log Users groups. No default user rights.
Performance Log Users Members of this group can manage performance counters, logs and alerts on the server locally and from remote clients without being a member of the Administrators group. No default user rights.
Power Users Members of this group can create user accounts and then modify and delete the accounts they have created. They can create local groups and then add or remove users from the local groups they have created. They can also add or remove users from the Power Users, Users, and Guests groups. Members can create shared resources and administer the shared resources they have created. They cannot take ownership of files, back up or restore directories, load or unload device drivers, or manage security and auditing logs. Access this computer from the network; Allow log on locally; Bypass traverse checking; Change the system time; Profile single process; Remove computer from docking station; Shut down the system.
Print Operators Members of this group can manage printers and print queues. No default user rights.
Remote Desktop Users Members of this group can remotely log on to a server.

For more information, see Enabling users to connect remotely to the server.

Allow log on through Terminal Services.
Replicator The Replicator group supports replication functions. The only member of the Replicator group should be a domain user account used to log on the Replicator services of a domain controller. Do not add user accounts of actual users to this group. No default user rights.
Terminal Server Users This group contains any users who are currently logged on to the system using Terminal Server. Any program that a user can run with Windows NT 4.0 will run for a member of the Terminal Server User group. The default permissions assigned to this group enable its members to run most earlier programs. No default user rights
Users Members of this group can perform common tasks, such as running applications, using local and network printers, and locking the server. Users cannot share directories or create local printers. By default, the Domain Users, Authenticated Users, and Interactive groups are members of this group. Therefore, any user account created in the domain becomes a member of this group. Access this computer from the network; Allow log on locally; Bypass traverse checking.
WINS Users (installed with WINS service) Members of this group are permitted read-only access to Windows Internet Name Service (WINS). This allows members to view information and properties stored at a specified WINS server. This information is useful to support staff when they need to obtain WINS status reports. No default user rights.
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