Restrict application privileges for greater security

By Scott Dunn

In recent columns, including in the Aug. 9 issue, I’ve told you how to limit user and application permissions in XP for greater security.

Our readers have responded with their own questions and suggestions on running programs with greater or fewer privileges.

Use PsExec with nonstandard Office shortcuts

In my Aug. 9 article, I explained how to use the free PsExec utility to run applications in a low-privilege state even when you’re logged in as an administrator. But reader Tim McGowan ran into a problem when he tried to customize his shortcuts to Microsoft Office:

  • “In Windows XP Home SP2, I was trying to modify the shortcuts for Word 2000 and Excel Viewer 2003. These two shortcuts don’t have a path that can be copied. It’s grayed out, and it lists only the application name: Microsoft Word 2000 SR-1 and Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2003, respectively.”

    “I tried using PSExec to launch the *.lnk file that starts these programs, but the utility is designed to run executables, not shortcuts. Can you write a follow-up piece, showing us how to obtain paths for these shortcuts?”

No problem, Tim. Although Microsoft Office uses nonstandard shortcuts to launch programs from the Start menu, you can create the more conventional kind if you know the right .exe file.

First, find the folder where you installed Office. A common place to look is:

C:ProgramsMicrosoft OfficeOffice

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2007-08-16: