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Console access options

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

Console access options

When building a custom 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:


Mode Description

Author mode

Enables full customization of the MMC console, including the ability to add or remove snap-ins, create new windows, create Favorites and taskpads, and access to 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 console is usually saved in one of the following user modes.

User mode-full access

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

User mode-limited access, multiple windows

Provides access only to those parts of the console 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 console 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 about opening this dialog box, see Set MMC console options.

Changes made to consoles in author mode and consoles in user mode are saved differently. If you work with a console in author mode, when you close the console you are prompted to save your changes. However, if you work with a 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:

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

Author mode access for MMC is unnecessary for users who do not need to create or change MMC 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 Group Policy and MMC.

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