admin account vs user account in windows

Posted on 2004-04-19
Last Modified: 2013-11-20

I have a file in C:\Program Files\etc etc...

I never realized that I could read / write from these files without any issues simply because my user account had admin rights.

I am always refused access to these files if I use an account that does not have admin rights. Something like

CStdioFile file;

if (!file.Open("C:\\test.txt", CFile::modeReadWrite)) {
    cout << "couln't open file";
else {
    cout << "file opened ok";

will always fail in my non admin account. Is there anyway to tell the OS the user can access this file through my app?

Question by:ragin_cajun
  • 2
LVL 86

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
As an admin, use

cacls.exe /e /g yourotheraccount:f c:\test.txt

Author Comment

Comment Utility
Hi jkr, it seemed to work, but is there any way to do it programatically at runtime right before the file is accessed, then set back to normal access rights?

Otherwise I would have to ask the administrator to change the permission for all users on all the files accessed each time they do an install.

LVL 86

Accepted Solution

jkr earned 100 total points
Comment Utility
>> but is there any way to do it programatically at runtime right before the file is accessed

That's sourt of pointless. When your program is not running under the admin account, you cannot change the access mode anyway. But, if you really want to know that:

   LPTSTR FileName = "C:\\test.txt";
   LPTSTR TrusteeName = "Everyone";

   EXPLICIT_ACCESS explicitaccess;

   PACL ExistingDacl;
   PACL NewAcl = NULL;

   DWORD dwError;

   dwError = GetNamedSecurityInfo(


   // add specified access to the object

   dwError = SetEntriesInAcl(

   // apply new security to file

   dwError = SetNamedSecurityInfo(
                   SE_FILE_OBJECT, // object type

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