The benefits of using a limited user account in Windows XP are obvious. Read here what Microsoft say about it, and everyone who's not convinced should read at least the first three posts on this excellent site. A pretty comprehensive thread on Wilders can be found here. In one posting there I explained the easiest way how to create a new limited account and how to setup SuDown, a tool that makes it easy to manage Windows from a limited account. That said, I've recently found a tool that is much better than SuDown and makes running Windows 2000/XP as a limited user even more comfortable: It's called SuRun, an open source project from http://kay-bruns.de/wp/software/surun/ . The site is in German but an automatic translation is available. (BTW: The author, Kay Bruns, is planning to make the site multilingual. Anyone with e.g. English as native language willing to help is invited to contact Kay.) There is also a forum on http://forum.kay-bruns.de/ with an English sub-forum which is still empty, though - it's up to you to change that The dialogues of SuRun itself are available in German, English and Polish. Okay - what is SuRun? Let me quote from the English ReadMe.txt that is included in surun.zip: And by right-clicking the Windows desktop you have (via the context menu) access to the Control Panel with admin rights. This way you can change all important settings in Windows normally only accessible from your admin account. Here's an explanation why one shouldn't use the Runas... command and why SuRun is superior to SuDown: After installing SuRun in an admin account a windows with configuration options will open. The available options are self-explaining. You can also define applications which you always want to start with admin rights (i.e. SuRun won't ask you in the future). Now log off (a reboot should not be necessary) and log onto your limited account. Right-click any application you want to run with admin rights and chose "Run as admin" in the context menu. - A window will open that offers you to input the password of your admin account in order to become a member of the user group SuRunners. - Now another window will open where you have to input the password of your limited user account. NOTE: Both inputs have to be done just once as the passwords are stored in an encrypted form in the Registry. From now on, whenever you want to start an application with admin rights, just right-click it and chose "Run as admin". A window (=secure desktop) will open where you have to confirm your decision just with one mouseclick (very similar to the UAC prompt in the admin account of Vista) - that's it! Could it be really more comfortable? Additional remarks: 1. If you use Windows XP Home I strongly recommend using FajoXP in order to add the security tab available in XP Professional. On that website you'll find some very useful links regarding file and folder permissions. 2. Most applications work flawlessly in a limited account, running them with admin rights should only be necessary as an exception. I presented some ideas how to handle with these exceptions here. It's also important to temporarily start, e.g., Firefox (or any other application) with SuRun if you want to update it as you won't have write access to c:\Program Files as a limited user. 3. When I recently updated SuRun I tested Comodo Personal Firewall 3.0 with Defense+ enabled (can't remember if Installation Mode was enabled) and my computer froze. Thus it might be necessary to temporarily shut down CPF when installing/updating SuRun (this may also apply to other HIPS).