How Do Permissions Work in Windows 10?

By Andy Rathbone

After more than 20 years of development, Windows 10 is still pretty naive. Sometimes when you run a program or try to change a setting on your PC, Windows can’t tell whether youre doing the work or a virus is trying to move in behind your back.

The Windows 10 solution? When Windows notices anybody (or anything) trying to change something that can potentially harm Windows or your PC, it darkens the screen and flashes a security message asking for permission, like the one shown here.

Click No or Don't Install if a message like this appears out of the blue.
Click No or Don’t Install if a message like this appears out of the blue.

If one of these security messages appears out of the blue, Windows may be warning you about a bit of nastiness trying to sneak in. So click No or Don’t Install to deny it permission. But if youre trying to install a trusted program onto your PC and Windows puts up its boxing gloves, click Yes or Install instead. Windows drops its guard and lets you in.

If you don’t hold an Administrator account, however, you can’t simply approve the deed. You must track down an Administrator account holder and ask her to type her password.

Yes, a rather dimwitted security robot guards the front door to Windows, but it’s also an extra challenge for the people who write the viruses.