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Snap-in Console Access Modes

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista

When building a custom snap-in console, you can assign the console one of two access options: author mode or user mode . There are, in turn, three levels of user mode, so that there are four options for default access to a console, which are described in the following table.


Mode Description

Author mode

Enables full customization of the snap-in console, including the ability to add or remove snap-ins, create new windows, create Favorites and taskpads, and access all the options of the Customize View and Options dialog boxes. Users creating a custom console file for themselves or others typically use this mode. The resulting snap-in console is usually saved in one of the user modes in this table.

User mode—full access

The same as author mode, except that users cannot add or remove snap-ins, change snap-in console options, create Favorites, or create taskpads.

User mode—limited access, multiple window

Provides access only to those parts of the tree that were visible when the console file was saved. Users can create new windows, but cannot close any existing windows.

User mode—limited access, single window

Provides access only to those parts of the tree that were visible when the console file was saved. Users cannot create new windows.

You can configure these options in the Options dialog box in MMC. For instructions on opening this dialog box, see Set MMC 3.0 Console Options.

Changes made to snap-in consoles in author mode and in user mode are saved differently. If you work with a snap-in console in author mode, when you close the console you are prompted to save your changes. However, if you work with a snap-in console in user mode and have cleared the Do not save changes to this console check box, available by clicking Options on the File menu, changes will be saved when you close the console.

If any of the following conditions apply, the default mode for a console is ignored and a console is opened in author mode:

  • MMC is already open when a snap-in console is opened.

  • A snap-in console is opened by using the shortcut menu command Author .

  • A console is opened at the command prompt with the /a option.

For more information about snap-in console modes and their command-line syntax for MMC, see Open MMC 3.0.

Author mode access for MMC is unnecessary for users who do not need to create or change snap-in consoles. A system administrator can configure user profile settings to prevent users from opening MMC in author mode, by disabling the /a option or the shortcut menu option. In addition, an administrator can use Group Policy settings to prevent users from opening MMC and saved consoles in author mode. For more information, see Use Group Policy to Control MMC 3.0 Usage.

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