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Windows Managing User Accounts and Permissions


In the world of cybersecurity and system administration, user accounts and permissions play a pivotal role in upholding the security and integrity of a Windows operating system. Effectively managing user accounts and permissions ensures that only authorized individuals have access to critical resources and functionalities. In this article, we’ll delve into essential concepts and practical techniques related to user account management and permissions on Windows systems.

User Account Management Commands: net user and net localgroup

For streamlined user account management on a Windows system, administrators can leverage powerful command-line tools such as net user and net localgroup. These commands offer a seamless way to create, modify, and delete user accounts, along with configuring various attributes associated with user profiles.

Creating a User Account

To create a new user account using the net user command, follow this syntax:

net user [username] [password] /add

Replace [username] with the desired username and [password] with the associated password. This command establishes a new user account with basic privileges.

Modifying User Account Properties

The net user command empowers administrators to modify user account properties:

net user [username] /fullname:"User's Full Name" /passwordreq:yes /logonpasswordchg:yes

Here, the /fullname flag assigns a full name to the user, while /passwordreq:yes enforces password complexity. The /logonpasswordchg:yes flag prompts users to change their password upon the next login.

Adding and Removing Users from Local Groups

Windows employs the concept of local groups to manage user access to specific resources. The net localgroup command facilitates this:

net localgroup [groupname] [username] /add

This command adds [username] to the specified [groupname]. Conversely, to remove a user from a group:

net localgroup [groupname] [username] /delete

File and Folder Permissions: icacls and cacls

Safeguarding sensitive files and folders necessitates precise control over permissions. Windows provides utilities like icacls and cacls to effectively manage access rights.

Using icacls

The icacls command empowers administrators to view and modify permissions for files and folders:

icacls [path_to_file_or_folder] /grant [username]:(CI)(OI)F

This command grants the [username] full control (F) of the specified [path_to_file_or_folder], including inheritance (CI) and object inheritance (OI).

Leveraging cacls

An alternate tool, cacls, also offers methods to manage permissions:

cacls [path_to_file_or_folder] /e /g [username]:F

The /e flag edits existing permissions, while /g grants full control (F) to [username].

Running Commands with Elevated Privileges: runas

In scenarios requiring elevated privileges, the runas command comes to the rescue. It allows users to execute commands as different users, often with administrative rights.

To run Command Prompt as an administrator:

runas /user:Administrator "cmd.exe"

Replace Administrator with the desired username. This command prompts for the corresponding user’s password and opens a Command Prompt with elevated privileges.


Effectively managing user accounts and permissions on Windows systems is a critical aspect of maintaining cybersecurity and efficient system administration. By mastering commands like net user, net localgroup, icacls, cacls, and runas, administrators can ensure that access to sensitive resources is controlled and secure.

Remember, these techniques align with government regulations such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines for user authentication and access control.

For more in-depth information on Windows user management and permissions, refer to the official Microsoft documentation .


  1. Microsoft Documentation on User and Group Accounts
  2. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)