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Default Security Groups in Windows Server 2003

Updated: December 5, 2005

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

This topic contains security groups with attributes and values.

Account Operators

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-548

Type

BuiltIn Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

Yes

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

By default, this built-in group has no members. It can create, manage, and delete users and groups in the Users and Computers containers and other organizational units (OUs), but it cannot manage service administrator accounts. In addition, members of this group cannot create computer accounts in the Domain Controllers OU, although they can modify and delete them. Members of this group can log on locally to domain controllers, but they cannot shut down or restart them. As a best practice, do not add members to this group, and do not use it for any delegated administration.

Administrator

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-500

Type

User

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

N/A

Default member of

Administrators, Domain Admins, Enterprise Administrators, Domain Users*

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

Yes

Safe to move out of default container?

Yes

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

This account is the first account created during operating system installation. The account cannot be deleted or locked out. It is a member of the Administrators group and cannot be removed from that group.

* This membership is due to the fact that the Primary Group ID of all user accounts is Domain Users.

Administrators

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-544

Type

BuiltIn Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Administrator, Domain Admins, Enterprise Admins

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

Yes

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

The Administrators group has built-in capabilities that give its members full control over the system. This group cannot be renamed, deleted or moved. This built-in group controls access to all the domain controllers in its domain, and it can change the membership of all administrative groups. Its own membership can be modified by the default service administrator groups BA and DA in the domain, as well as the EA group. This group has the special privilege to take ownership of any object in the directory or any resource on a domain controller. This account is considered a service administrator because its members have full access to the domain controllers in the domain.

Backup Operators

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-551

Type

Builtin Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

Yes

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

Backup Operators can back up and restore all files on a computer, regardless of the permissions that protect those files. Backup Operators also can log on to the computer and shut it down. This group cannot be renamed, deleted or moved. By default, this built-in group has no members, and it can perform backup and restore operations on domain controllers. Its membership can be modified by the default service administrator groups BA and DA in the domain, as well as the EA group. It cannot modify the membership of any administrative groups. While members of this group cannot change server settings or modify the configuration of the directory, they do have the permissions needed to replace files (including operating system files) on the domain controllers. Because of this, they are considered service administrators.

Cert Publishers

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-517

Type

Domain Local

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

Yes

Safe to move out of default container?

No

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

A group that includes all computers that are running an enterprise certification authority (CA). Cert Publishers are authorized to publish certificates for User objects in Active Directory.

Domain Admins

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-512

Type

Domain Global

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Administrator

Default member of

Administrators

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

Yes

Safe to move out of default container?

Yes

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

A group whose members are authorized to administer the domain. By default, the Domain Admins group is a member of the Administrators group on all computers that have joined a domain, including the domain controllers. Domain Admins is the default owner of any object that is created in the domain’s Active Directory by any member of the group. If members of the group create other objects, such as files, the default owner is the Administrators group. This group controls access to all domain controllers in a domain, and it can modify the membership of all administrative accounts in the domain. Its own membership can be modified by the service administrator groups BA and DA in its domain, as well as the EA group. This is a service administrator account because its members have full access to a domain’s domain controllers.

Domain Computers

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-515

Type

Domain Global

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

All computers joined to the domain, excluding domain controllers

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Yes (but not required)

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

Yes

Notes

The group includes all computers that have joined the domain, excluding domain controllers.

Domain Controllers

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-516

Type

Domain Global

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Computer accounts for all Domain Controllers of the domain

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

No

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

The group includes all domain controllers in the domain. New domain controllers are added to this group automatically.

Domain Guests

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-514

Type

Domain Global

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Guest

Default member of

Guests

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Can be moved out but it is not recommended

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

This group includes the domain’s built-in Guest account.

Domain Users

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-513

Type

Domain Global

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

All user accounts in the domain

Default member of

Users

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Yes

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

This group includes all user accounts in a domain. When you create a user account in a domain, it is added to this group automatically.

Enterprise Admins

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<root domain>-519

Type

Universal (if Domain is in Native-Mode) else Domain Global

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Administrator

Default member of

Administrators

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

Yes

Safe to move out of default container?

Yes

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

This group exists only in the root domain of an Active Directory forest of domains. It is a universal group if the domain is in native-mode, a global group if the domain is in mixed-mode. The group is authorized to make forest-wide changes in Active Directory, such as adding child domains. By default, the only member of the group is the Administrator account for the forest root domain. This group is automatically added to the Administrators group in every domain in the forest, providing complete access to the configuration of all domain controllers. This group can modify the membership of all administrative groups. Its own membership can be modified only by the default service administrator groups in the root domain. This account is considered a service administrator.

Group Policy Creators Owners

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-520

Type

Domain Global

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Administrator

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

No

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

This group that is authorized to create new Group Policy objects in Active Directory. By default, the only member of the group is Administrator.

Guest

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-501

Type

User

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

Domain Guests, Guests

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Can be moved out but it is not recommended

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

A user account for people who do not have individual accounts. This user account does not require a password. By default, the Guest account is disabled.

Guests

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-546

Type

Builtin Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Guest

Default member of

Guest, Domain Guests

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

A built-in group. By default, the only member is the Guest account. The Guests group allows occasional or one-time users to log on with limited privileges to a computer’s built-in Guest account.

Incoming Forest Trust Builders

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-557

Type

BuiltIn Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

This group cannot be renamed, deleted or moved.

KRBTGT

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-502

Type

User

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

Domain Users*

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

Yes

Safe to move out of default container?

Can be moved out but it is not recommended

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

A service account that is used by the Key Distribution Center (KDC) service.

* This membership is due to the fact that the Primary Group ID of all user accounts is Domain Users.

Network Configuration Operators

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-556

Type

BuiltIn Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

Yes

Notes

This group cannot be renamed, deleted or moved.

Performance Log Users

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-559

Type

BuiltIn Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

Yes

Notes

This account cannot be renamed, deleted or moved.

Performance Monitor Users

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-558

Type

BuiltIn Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

Yes

Notes

This group cannot be renamed, deleted or moved.

Pre-Windows 2000 Compatible Access

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-554

Type

BuiltIn Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Refer to the Notes column

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

In Windows 2000, if you choose the Pre-Windows 2000 Compatible Permissions mode, Everyone (including Anonymous) is a member, and if you choose the Windows 2000-only permissions mode, the membership is empty. In Windows Server 2003, if you choose the Pre-Windows 2000 Compatible Permissions mode, Everyone and Anonymous are members, and if you choose the Windows 2000-only permissions mode, Authenticated Users are members.

RAS and IAS Servers

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<domain>-553

Type

Domain Local

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Yes

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

Yes

Notes

By default, this group has no members. Computers that are running the Routing and Remote Access service are added to the group automatically. Members of this group have access to certain properties of User objects, such as Read Account Restrictions, Read Logon Information, and Read Remote Access Information.

Remote Desktop Users

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-555

Type

BuiltIn Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

Yes

Notes

This group cannot be renamed, deleted or moved.

Schema Admins

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-<root domain>-518

Type

Universal (if Domain is in Native-Mode) else Domain Global

Default container

CN=Users, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Administrator

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

Yes

Safe to move out of default container?

Yes

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

This group exists only in the root domain of an Active Directory forest of domains. It is a universal group if the domain is in native-mode, a global group if the domain is in mixed-mode. The group is authorized to make schema changes in Active Directory. By default, the only member of the group is the Administrator account for the forest root domain. This group has full administrative access to the schema. The membership of this group can be modified by any of the service administrator groups in the root domain. This account is considered a service administrator because its members can modify the schema, which governs the structure and content of the entire directory.

Server Operators

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-549

Type

BuiltIn Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

Yes

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

This group exists only on domain controllers. By default, the group has no members. Server Operators can log on to a server interactively; create and delete network shares; start and stop services; back up and restore files; format the hard disk of the computer; and shut down the computer. This group cannot be renamed, deleted or moved. By default, this built-in group has no members, and it has access to server configuration options on domain controllers. Its membership is controlled by the service administrator groups BA and DA in the domain, as well as the EA group. It cannot change any administrative group memberships. This is a service administrator account because its members have physical access to domain controllers and they can perform maintenance tasks (such as backup and restore), and they have the ability to change binaries that are installed on the domain controllers.

Terminal Server License Servers

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-561

Type

BuiltIn Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

None

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

Yes

Notes

This group cannot be renamed, deleted or moved.

Users

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-545

Type

Builtin Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Authenticated Users, Domain Users

Default member of

Domain Users*

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

No

Notes

After the initial installation of the operating system, the only member is the Authenticated Users group. When a computer joins a domain, the Domain Users group is added to the Users group on the computer. Users can perform tasks such as running applications, using local and network printers, shutting down the computer, and locking the computer. Users can install applications that only they are allowed to use if the installation program of the application supports per-user installation. This group cannot be renamed, deleted or moved.

*This membership is due to the fact that the Primary Group ID of all user accounts is Domain Users.

Windows Authorization Access Group

 

Attribute Value

Well-Known SID/RID

S-1-5-32-560

Type

Builtin Local

Default container

CN=BuiltIn, DC=<domain>, DC=…

Default members

Enterprise Domain Controllers

Default member of

None

Protected by ADMINSDHOLDER?

No

Safe to move out of default container?

Cannot be moved

Safe to delegate management of this group to non-Service admins?

Yes

Notes

This group cannot be renamed, deleted or moved.

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