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Default groups

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Default groups

Default groups, such as the Domain Admins group, are security groups that are created automatically when you create an Active Directory domain. You can use these predefined groups to help control access to shared resources and delegate specific domain-wide administrative roles. For information about default groups stored on local computers, see Default local groups.

Many default groups are automatically assigned a set of user rights that authorize members of the group to perform specific actions in a domain, such as logging on to a local system or backing up files and folders. For example, a member of the Backup Operators group has the right to perform backup operations for all domain controllers in the domain.

When you add a user to a group, the user receives all the user rights assigned to the group and all the permissions assigned to the group on any shared resources. For more information about user rights and permissions, see Group types.

You can manage groups by using the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in in Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Default groups are located in the Builtin container and the Users container.

The Builtin container default groups contain groups that are defined with domain local scope. You can move groups in and out of this container, but you cannot move the default groups in this container to another location or to another domain.

The Users container default groups contain groups that are defined with global scope and groups that are defined with domain local scope. You can add the groups in this container to other groups and you can move the default groups in this container to other organizational units (OUs) or containers, but you cannot move the group to another domain.

As a security best practice, it is recommended that members of default groups with broad administrative access use the Run as command to perform administrative tasks. For more information, see Using Run as. For information about security best practices, see Active Directory Best practices. For information about additional security measures that can be used to protect Active Directory, see Securing Active Directory.

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.

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.

See Also

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