How to Set Security in Windows XP Professional That Is Installed in a Workgroup


This article describes how to set permissions in a workgroup after an upgrade from Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional to Microsoft Windows XP Professional.

More Information

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

In Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional, if working in a workgroup, the Security tab is hidden by default. This behavior occurs because in Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional, guests are forced to log on to a workgroup.

NOTE: Security can only be set in an NTFS partition. If you remove the Everyone group from the NTFS permissions, the file or folder is inaccessible over the network.

When Simple file sharing is enabled, the user is presented with the Simple File Sharing UI rather than the classic "Security" and "Sharing" tabs. This new UI is implemented by default in Windows XP, Windows XP Home Edition, and Windows XP Professional when working in a workgroup. However, the computer is started in Safe mode, the ACL editor is displayed.

The simplified Sharing UI is different for My Documents and the folders that are located in My Documents. When the My Documents folder is opened, the following options are displayed:
  • Only I have access to this folder
  • This folder is shared on the network
    Share name:
  • Allow other users to change my files
However, when the other folders is opened, the following options are displayed:
  • Share name:
  • Allow other users to change my files
In addition, when a user password is created in Control Panel, the Protect The My Documents Folder option is displayed. On a Windows XP Professional-based computer, only you can make a registry change to show the classic security UI.

Registry Key and Values

When security settings are set in Windows XP, the following registry key is used:
The values are:
  • ForceGuest=1: Use this value to force guests on
  • ForceGuest=0: Use this value to force guests off
The following table describes the default value for the ForceGuest registry key for each operating system mode and the Sharing UI and ACL editor behavior.

Operating system and modeForceGuestSharing UIACL editor
Personal1 (no choice)SimpleNot available
Personal in Safe mode1 (no choice)ClassicAvailable
Professional1SimpleNot available
Professional in Safe mode0ClassicAvailable
Professional in Safe mode1ClassicAvailable
Windows XP Professional defaults to normal authentication but supports the Log on as Guest option. For example, if the computer is upgraded from Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, and Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows XP Professional uses the Guest if in a workgroup option by default.

NOTE: You cannot share a folder that is located in My Documents after you configure the simple Sharing and Security setting to Only I have access to this folder. When security is set for the parent folder, security is set on all child folders; security settings cannot be changed from the child folders.

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