Using Groups to Control Access to Files and Programs
In a recent blog, I discussed access control in Windows. In that article, I mentioned how you can assign users to groups, and then grant access to the entire group at once. Today, I will take a look at setting up user groups in Windows.
User groups are setup in the Windows Management Instrument (WMI) plugin. This is can be found under the Administrative Tools in the control panel, on most versions of Windows. In the WMI plugin, expand Local Users and Groups, and then click on Groups. A list of the groups then shows in the right panel. To modify an existing group, double click on it. To add a new group, right-click on an empty space in the right-hand pane, and select New Group. If you are adding a new group, put in the group name and description.
To add members to a group, select Add. I usually just select Advanced, and Find Now, to get a list of all users and groups. If you have a large list of users, additional filtering can be done, by using the Common Queries area of window that opens. From the resulting list, click on the first user to add to the group. If you want to add additional users, you can use the control-right-click on the additional usernames, to select multiple users at once. Click OK, and OK again, and you have added those users to the group list that you are working with, whether it is a new or existing list.
If you need to delete members from a group, that is on the first window that opens when you double-click on a group name.
Through the use of user groups, keeping up with access control is greatly simplified. Instead of having to go through all of your shared directories and files once you have set the group up, and given the correct permissions to the group to update who has access, you just need to maintain the appropriate groups.