Admin On Demand

Admin On Demand is the process that select users of Davidson-managed computers use to request administrative rights when they are needed to perform specific actions, like downloading software or adjusting select settings.

Table of Contents

Overview 
What Is Admin On Demand?
Why Are We Using It? 
When Do You Need Admin Rights? 

How to Use Admin On Demand
macOS - Privileges
Windows - Make Me Admin

Tips and FAQs

 

Overview 

What is Admin On Demand? 

Admin On Demand is the process that select users of Davidson-managed computers use to request administrative rights when they are needed to perform specific actions, like downloading software or adjusting select settings. Currently this procedure is restricted to staff computers. 
 

Why Are We Using It? 

For most users across campus, admin privileges are rarely needed, but are a major security risk for college devices. Our cybersecurity insurance provider requires Davidson to reduce our exposure to this risk. The Admin on Demand process is being enabled across campus devices to allow for better security, while still allowing users to make changes to devices when needed. If you are prompted for administrator credentials unexpectedly (when browsing a web page or opening a PDF, for example), investigate further before you elevate your rights using the process outlined below.

When Do You Need Admin Rights? 

Your computer will ask for admin privileges when making important changes to your device, such as installing new programs or changing certain settings. Always remember that these are system messages from your operating system, and differ from regular sign-ins on specific apps or in your browser. 

Admin privileges are typically needed when installing new programs, making major changes to your system’s settings, or applying updates to specific software. They are not needed for day to day work such as browsing the web or using already-installed apps. 

Below are example admin prompts you may see, for macOS and Windows respectively. 
 

Screenshot of Mac admin notice   Screenshot of PC admin notice



How to Use Admin On Demand

macOS - Privileges

Privileges icon
  1. First, if you already see a prompt for admin credentials, you may need to cancel out of that process, and then repeat the action after you have upgraded your rights.

    Stop and review: Were you expecting your current task to require admin rights? If not, STOP and investigate further before continuing. 

  2. Open the Privileges app on your Mac. This can be done either through a shortcut, or searching for Privileges using the Spotlight Search magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of your screen. The Privileges app can also be found in the Applications folder within Finder. 

  3. When you launch the app, you’ll be prompted to confirm by selecting "Request Privileges." Your open windows will "fly away" - don't worry, they'll be back as soon as you respond to this dialog.

    Screenshot of standard user popup

  4. Your Mac account will now have temporary admin privileges. When prompted for administrator credentials, enter your Davidson username (excluding the @davidson.edu) and password to allow the changes.

  5. Once you’re done making changes, launch the Privileges app one more time to revoke your admin privileges. If you don’t do this, the app will pop up after about half an hour to remind you to revoke privileges. If you do not respond within 2 minutes, rights will be removed.

    Screenshot of are admin rights still needed pop up

 

Windows - Make Me Admin

MakeMeAdminUI_32512.png
  1. First, if you currently see an admin prompt, you will need to close out of it before continuing.
     
    Stop and review: Were you expecting your current task to require admin rights? If not, STOP and investigate further before continuing. 

  2. Open the Make Me Admin app, which can be found either through a shortcut or by searching for it in the Windows Search Bar in the bottom left corner of your screen.

Screenshot of where PC Make Me Admin is located in the search bar

 

  1. After opening the app, select “Grant Me Administrator Rights.” Wait for a few seconds, and the app will close on its own.

Grant me administrator rights pop up

  1. You will see a pop-up saying that “You are now a member of the Administrators group.”

Screenshot of PC You are now an adminsitrator pop up notice

  1. After returning to the admin prompt, enter your Davidson username (excluding the @davidson.edu) and password to allow the changes.

  2. Once you’re done making changes, launch the Make Me Admin app and select “Remove My Administrator Rights” to revoke your admin privileges. If you don’t do this, the app will automatically revoke your privileges in about 30 minutes.

Screenshot the You are no longer a member of the Administator Group pop up

 

Tips and FAQs

What's the easiest way to open the request app?

If you’re finding yourself needing admin rights often, you can pin the application to your computer’s task bar/dock to make it more accessible.

  • For macOS, while the Privileges app is open, right click on the icon in your dock, then select Options> Keep in Dock. The appearance of the Privileges icon changes to indicate if you currently have admin rights enabled (orange and unlocked) or not (green and locked).

  • For Windows, while Make me Admin is open, right click on the icon in your bottom task bar, and select Pin to Taskbar. 

How long do I keep the admin rights?

Both apps have approximately 30 minute timeout windows. Remember, most processes only need admin rights to start, and don’t need them to be maintained while running. 

For macOS devices, you will be prompted to re-confirm that you still need privileges, with automatic revocation if you do not respond within two minutes.

For Windows computers, admin rights will be automatically revoked after the timeout. 

What can be done to reduce the need for admin rights?

T&I has already taken several steps to reduce the need for you to have admin rights.

  • Our standard pre-installed apps (web browsers, etc.) are now being updated automatically in a way that does not utilize your account rights.
  • OS patches and upgrades do not require you to have admin rights.
  • Installers presented in the Self Service/Software Center do not require you to have admin rights.
  • Some lower-risk settings that normally require administrative rights have been adjusted so that they do not require them.

Mac users should consider utilizing App Store versions of non-default apps, rather than using an installer downloaded from the software website. Then the App Store can take care of updating those apps in the background and you will not be prompted each time. Just remember to quit the app every now and then so the updater can work!

If you have a specific process or tool that frequently requires admin rights, we are happy to consult with you to see if there is a way to reduce or eliminate that need.

Does this mean anybody on campus can become admin on my computer?

No. Only the users specified on each computer can use these tools to elevate their rights. As part of the installation of Admin On Demand, every account that was previously an admin on a given computer will be allowed to enable admin rights.

I elevated my rights and it's still not working!

Some programs may only check your rights at the very start, and if you enable your admin rights once the app has launched or the prompt has been shown, they won't notice the change. Quitting the program/process and restarting it will usually fix this. In the worst case, log out after enabling admin rights and then back in again right away to retry the action.

Can my computer get an exception?

Admin On Demand is mandatory for computers assigned to Davidson staff members as of February 2023. Faculty computers will be addressed after the Spring 2023 semester concludes.

If you have a specific process or tool that frequently requires admin rights, we are happy to consult with you to see if there is a way to reduce or eliminate that need.

If you have any specific concerns about your computer or processes, please email ti@davidson.edu.

 

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