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Special identities

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

Special identities

In addition to the groups in the Users and Builtin containers, servers running Windows Server 2003 include several special identities. For convenience, these identities are generally referred to as groups. These special groups do not have specific memberships that can be modified, but they can represent different users at different times, depending on the circumstances. The special groups are:

  • Anonymous Logon

    Represents users and services that access a computer and its resources through the network without using an account name, password, or domain name. On computers running Windows NT and earlier, the Anonymous Logon group is a default member of the Everyone group. On computers running a member of the Windows Server 2003 family, the Anonymous Logon group is not a member of the Everyone group by default.

  • Everyone

    Represents all current network users, including guests and users from other domains. Whenever a user logs on to the network, the user is automatically added to the Everyone group.

  • Network

    Represents users currently accessing a given resource over the network (as opposed to users who access a resource by logging on locally at the computer where the resource is located). Whenever a user accesses a given resource over the network, the user is automatically added to the Network group.

  • Interactive

    Represents all users currently logged on to a particular computer and accessing a given resource located on that computer (as opposed to users who access the resource over the network). Whenever a user accesses a given resource on the computer to which they are currently logged on, the user is automatically added to the Interactive group.

Although the special identities can be assigned rights and permissions to resources, the memberships cannot be modified or viewed. Group scopes do not apply to special identities. Users are automatically assigned to these special identities whenever they log on or access a particular resource.

For general information about groups, see Groups.

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