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Privileges determine the type of system operations that a process can perform.

Process Privileges is a set of extension methods, written in C#, for System.Diagnostics.Process. It implements the functionality necessary to query, enable, disable or remove privileges on a process.

The following extension methods are offered:
  • DisablePrivilege - Disables the specified privilege on a process.
  • EnablePrivilege - Enables the specified privilege on a process.
  • GetAccessTokenHandle - Gets an access token handle for a process.
  • GetPrivilegeAttributes - Gets the attributes for a privilege on a process.
  • GetPrivilegeState - Gets the state of a privilege.
  • GetPrivileges - Gets the privileges and associated attributes from a process.
  • RemovePrivilege - Removes the specified privilege from a process.

In addition, a privilege enabler class is offered that enables privileges on a process in a safe way, ensuring that they are returned to their original state when an operation that requires a privilege completes.


For more information on privileges, see:


Privilege Constants


Enabling a privilege allows a process to perform system-level actions that it could not previously.

Before enabling a privilege, many potentially dangerous, thoroughly verify that functions or operations in your code actually require them.

It is not normally appropriate to hold privileges that you enable for the lifetime of a process. Use sparingly; enable when needed, disable when not.

Example 1: Safely Enabling a Privilege

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using ProcessPrivileges;

internal static class PrivilegeEnablerExample
    public static void Main()
        Process process = Process.GetCurrentProcess();

        using (new PrivilegeEnabler(process, Privilege.TakeOwnership))
            // Privilege is enabled within the using block.
                "{0} => {1}",

        // Privilege is disabled outside the using block.
            "{0} => {1}",

TakeOwnership => Enabled
TakeOwnership => Disabled

Example 2: Using the Extension Methods

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Linq;
using ProcessPrivileges;

internal static class ProcessPrivilegesExample
    public static void Main()
        // Get the current process.
        Process process = Process.GetCurrentProcess();

        // Get the privileges and associated attributes.
        PrivilegeAndAttributesCollection privileges = process.GetPrivileges();

        int maxPrivilegeLength = privileges.Max(privilege => privilege.Privilege.ToString().Length);

        foreach (PrivilegeAndAttributes privilegeAndAttributes in privileges)
            // The privilege.
            Privilege privilege = privilegeAndAttributes.Privilege;

            // The privilege state.
            PrivilegeState privilegeState = privilegeAndAttributes.PrivilegeState;

            // Write out the privilege and its state.
                "{0}{1} => {2}",
                GetPadding(privilege.ToString().Length, maxPrivilegeLength),


        // Privileges can only be enabled on a process if they are disabled.
        if (process.GetPrivilegeState(Privilege.TakeOwnership) == PrivilegeState.Disabled)
            // Enable the TakeOwnership privilege on it.
            AdjustPrivilegeResult result = process.EnablePrivilege(Privilege.TakeOwnership);

            // Get the state of the TakeOwnership privilege.
            PrivilegeState takeOwnershipState = process.GetPrivilegeState(Privilege.TakeOwnership);

            // Write out the TakeOwnership privilege, its state and the result.
                "{0}{1} => {2} ({3})",
                GetPadding(Privilege.TakeOwnership.ToString().Length, maxPrivilegeLength),

    private static string GetPadding(int length, int maxLength)
        int paddingLength = maxLength - length;
        char[] padding = new char[paddingLength];
        for (int i = 0; i < paddingLength; i++)
            padding[i] = ' ';

        return new string(padding);

ChangeNotify         => Enabled
Security             => Disabled
Backup               => Disabled
Restore              => Disabled
SystemTime           => Disabled
Shutdown             => Enabled
RemoteShutdown       => Disabled
TakeOwnership        => Disabled
Debug                => Enabled
SystemEnvironment    => Disabled
SystemProfile        => Disabled
ProfileSingleProcess => Disabled
IncreaseBasePriority => Disabled
LoadDriver           => Enabled
CreatePagefile       => Disabled
IncreaseQuota        => Enabled
Undock               => Enabled
ManageVolume         => Disabled
Impersonate          => Enabled
CreateGlobal         => Enabled

TakeOwnership        => Enabled (PrivilegeModified)

Example 3: Reusing an Access Token Handle

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using ProcessPrivileges;

internal static class ReusingAccessTokenHandleExample
    public static void Main()
        // Access token handle reused within the using block.
        using (AccessTokenHandle accessTokenHandle =
                TokenAccessRights.AdjustPrivileges | TokenAccessRights.Query))
            // Enable privileges using the same access token handle.
            AdjustPrivilegeResult backupResult = accessTokenHandle.EnablePrivilege(Privilege.Backup);
            AdjustPrivilegeResult restoreResult = accessTokenHandle.EnablePrivilege(Privilege.Restore);

                "{0} => {1} ({2})",

                "{0} => {1} ({2})",

Backup => Enabled (PrivilegeModified)
Restore => Enabled (PrivilegeModified)


Privilege Constant Enum Description Support Baseline
SeAssignPrimaryTokenPrivilege SE_ASSIGNPRIMARYTOKEN_NAME Privilege.AssignPrimaryToken Replace a process-level token. Windows 2000
SeAuditPrivilege SE_AUDIT_NAME Privilege.Audit Generate security audits. Windows 2000
SeBackupPrivilege SE_BACKUP_NAME Privilege.Backup Back up files and directories. Windows 2000
SeChangeNotifyPrivilege SE_CHANGE_NOTIFY_NAME Privilege.ChangeNotify Bypass traverse checking. Windows 2000
SeCreateGlobalPrivilege SE_CREATE_GLOBAL_NAME Privilege.CreateGlobal Create global objects. Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2
SeCreatePagefilePrivilege SE_CREATE_PAGEFILE_NAME Privilege.CreatePageFile Create a pagefile. Windows 2000
SeCreatePermanentPrivilege SE_CREATE_PERMANENT_NAME Privilege.CreatePermanent Create permanent shared objects. Windows 2000
SeCreateSymbolicLinkPrivilege SE_CREATE_SYMBOLIC_LINK_NAME Privilege.CreateSymbolicLink Create symbolic links. Windows 2000
SeCreateTokenPrivilege SE_CREATE_TOKEN_NAME Privilege.CreateToken Create a token object. Windows 2000
SeDebugPrivilege SE_DEBUG_NAME Privilege.Debug Debug programs. Windows 2000
SeEnableDelegationPrivilege SE_ENABLE_DELEGATION_NAME Privilege.EnableDelegation Enable computer and user accounts to be trusted for delegation. Windows 2000
SeImpersonatePrivilege SE_IMPERSONATE_NAME Privilege.Impersonate Impersonate a client after authentication. Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2
SeIncreaseBasePriorityPrivilege SE_INC_BASE_PRIORITY_NAME Privilege.IncreaseBasePriority Increase scheduling priority. Windows 2000
SeIncreaseQuotaPrivilege SE_INCREASE_QUOTA_NAME Privilege.IncreaseQuota Adjust memory quotas for a process. Windows 2000
SeIncreaseWorkingSetPrivilege SE_INC_WORKING_SET_NAME Privilege.IncreaseWorkingSet Increase a process working set. Windows 2000
SeLoadDriverPrivilege SE_LOAD_DRIVER_NAME Privilege.LoadDriver Load and unload device drivers. Windows 2000
SeLockMemoryPrivilege SE_LOCK_MEMORY_NAME Privilege.LockMemory Lock pages in memory. Windows 2000
SeMachineAccountPrivilege SE_MACHINE_ACCOUNT_NAME Privilege.MachineAccount Add workstations to domain. Windows 2000
SeManageVolumePrivilege SE_MANAGE_VOLUME_NAME Privilege.ManageVolume Manage the files on a volume. Windows 2000
SeProfileSingleProcessPrivilege SE_PROF_SINGLE_PROCESS_NAME Privilege.ProfileSingleProcess Profile single process. Windows 2000
SeRelabelPrivilege SE_RELABEL_NAME Privilege.Relabel Modify an object label. Windows 2000
SeRemoteShutdownPrivilege SE_REMOTE_SHUTDOWN_NAME Privilege.RemoteShutdown Force shutdown from a remote system. Windows 2000
SeRestorePrivilege SE_RESTORE_NAME Privilege.Restore Restore files and directories. Windows 2000
SeSecurityPrivilege SE_SECURITY_NAME Privilege.Security Manage auditing and security log. Windows 2000
SeShutdownPrivilege SE_SHUTDOWN_NAME Privilege.Shutdown Shut down the system. Windows 2000
SeSyncAgentPrivilege SE_SYNC_AGENT_NAME Privilege.SyncAgent Synchronize directory service data. Windows 2000
SeSystemEnvironmentPrivilege SE_SYSTEM_ENVIRONMENT_NAME Privilege.SystemEnvironment Modify firmware environment values. Windows 2000
SeSystemProfilePrivilege SE_SYSTEM_PROFILE_NAME Privilege.SystemProfile Profile system performance. Windows 2000
SeSystemtimePrivilege SE_SYSTEMTIME_NAME Privilege.SystemTime Change the system time. Windows 2000
SeTakeOwnershipPrivilege SE_TAKE_OWNERSHIP_NAME Privilege.TakeOwnership Take ownership of files or other objects. Windows 2000
SeTcbPrivilege SE_TCB_NAME Privilege.TrustedComputerBase Act as part of the operating system. Windows 2000
SeTimeZonePrivilege SE_TIME_ZONE_NAME Privilege.TimeZone Change the time zone. Windows 2000
SeTrustedCredManAccessPrivilege SE_TRUSTED_CREDMAN_ACCESS_NAME Privilege.TrustedCredentialManagerAccess Access Credential Manager as a trusted caller. Windows 2000
SeUndockPrivilege SE_UNDOCK_NAME Privilege.Undock Remove computer from docking station. Windows 2000
SeUnsolicitedInputPrivilege SE_UNSOLICITED_INPUT_NAME Privilege.UnsolicitedInput Read unsolicited input from a terminal device. Windows 2000

Related: Process Token Privileges, AdjustTokenPrivileges, GetTokenInformation, LookupPrivilegeName, LookupPrivilegeValue, LUID, LUID_AND_ATTRIBUTES, TOKEN_PRIVILEGES

Last edited Jan 1, 2009 at 10:00 PM by nicklowe, version 35