Admin or standard user for daily use? Why?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iLoveMacPro, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. iLoveMacPro macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2009
    This suddenly truck me after i read a guide about security and configuration for the mac. FOr daily use, admin or standard is better???? Why??? The guide said that is better to use standard for everyday use so that is safe. Plus if you happen to have malware/trojan atk your mac. it will only affect the standard user alone and not your admin account. is this even true???

    Also, if i were to used standard acc and i install some application in that acc. will it also install on my admin acc??? Any adjust to the system preference in standard acc will also change in admin acc???? it is seem to me that it is abit of a hassle to have 2 acc to manage or maybe more complicated. so i want to understand more about this.

    Just out of curiosity, does this concept of making a standard acc for daily use apply for window as well?? i was think of install bootcamp so this kind of get me thinking.

    I own MBP and i am the only one using it.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    If you are the only user, just use the admin account. No sense maintaining two, plus it will be a pain when you try to do anything restricted to admins. If you aren't completely careless about internet usage and downloads, you won't have an issue to begin with, especially running a mac. Also, with windows, it would be a double pain in the arse, as I believe you may have to log in as an admin to change certain things rather than just use the password. If you get a virus in windows, you're hosed anyhow, so I don't think that dealing with four accounts for one person would be a fun or practical thing to do. One mac and one windows is already a pain enough
  3. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've never heard, of that before, and personally I wouldn't do it. Macs don't get viruses anyway, so it doesn't matter ;)

    I'd just use one admin account for everything.
  4. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    on some of my Macs i have an Admin that i dont use other than to install apps and do updates etc.
    I use the standard user account just in case something attempts to compromise the system.

    Generally it doenst matter either way, but ive been using that type of set up on/off for a few years.
  5. frunkis54 macrumors 65816


    Apr 2, 2009
    i am the only one using my computers and i always have 2 accounts set up 1 admin that i don't use and the standard that i always use. i just put the password in when i need to install something.
  6. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009
    I'd also like to know the disadvantages of running as a std user.
    Specifically, how are updates to SW like Firefox handled when run from a user account?

    In Windows (where I ran user and admin separately, with full UAC on both) I would need to start FF from an admin account to allow it to update - admittedly that's actually a failure on the Mozilla side to deal with UAC but it was still a hassle - is this handled better in OS X?

    if I downgrade my 'azathoth' user to normal user, what chown changes do I need to make (all apps chown to root:admin?)?

    security exploits are a fact of life on every platform and despite sandboxing, I can imagine that there are some safety benefits in running as a standard user.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've seen this advice before. Its generally thought that for most day to day use, access to administrator level abilities is not needed. That is how often are you needing to install software that prompts you for administrator password.

    Personally, I run as an admin in OSX, Linux and windows and I've yet to really run into any issues.
  8. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    I use the Mac as a single user.

    On all the Linux servers I manage though, I only use the root account when I have to.
  9. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    That hasn't been necessary to do since Windows XP (circa 2001)!
  10. lewis82 macrumors 68000


    Aug 26, 2009
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    Either way is fine, but going for the admin route is far easier: you have to type your password less often.

    And any change to the system that is really critical will ask you for the password (security peference panes, permissions, etc), so it's not more dangerous at all.
  11. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    What about for another user? I am buying my mother a Mac Mini and she wants to auto login without a password :roll eyes:

    However, she has been known to hit that "download" button just because it is there....

    I want the system to require a password before any install or system change, but not to log in. Can I accomplish this with just an Admin account or should I make her a separate Standard?
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    You can enable an auto login for any user, so that they don't need a login password but still have to enter the password for software installs.

    Attached Files:

  13. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    A standard account can do exactly what you're requesting. The disadvantages of running an admin account (regardless of OS) is that if any malware gets on the machine, it has full access using admin priviledges without user intervention. With a standard user account, apps like Firefox can still autoupdate, but only software installed via disc or download from the internet (not App Store apps) will require the user password.

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