You are most likely to encounter the phrase ‘WDAGUtilityAccount’ when you run a net user command on a computer powered by Windows 10. This is quite common, but it does make a lot of users curious. We believe that is why you’re here. We also wondered about its role in the Windows 10 Operating System (OS).
We did a lot of research to learn about the importance of the WDAGUtility account. This article has everything we learned about this element of Windows 10 and this is everything you will need to know about it.
It is very important to understand the WDAG to get a clear idea of what the WDAGUtilityAccount is and what it does on your Windows 10 computer.
Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG)
Microsoft’s statement about the Windows Defender Application Guard is that it was created to eradicate the ways that hackers use to get into users’ computers and massively violate their privacy.
They intend to do this by eliminating all the techniques they use to gain unauthorized entry into computers, which should boost the productivity of employees in offices that work with Microsoft products.
As the developers say, WDAG is a tool that can be installed onto the Windows 10 and 11 Operating Systems so that the previous hacking techniques are no longer valid and to prevent newer methods from coming up.
This guard is being implemented upon a range of Microsoft devices while being powered by a virtual machine at the same time.
This might sound like every other security system that claims to prevent threats from entering your computer. But this application guard has taken a newer approach towards computer security.
For this to happen, the WDAG has to be installed on a newer version of the OS, that has the Edge browser installed in it by default.
The Application Guard, when installed, powers a minuscule virtual machine that runs the Microsoft Edge browser. When this virtually powered browser is used, it reduces the risk of threats on a computer through the internet drastically. This signifies safety for the firm’s devices, contents, and the network itself.
How Does WDAG Work On A Computer?
As stated earlier, The WDAG employs a hardware virtualization technique to operate the websites or web pages accessed through a specific network.
This provides the network with a Windows sandbox or a secure environment that tests a file before entering your system. When a threat is detected, it is processed and prevented from entering the virtual system if it is a piece of malware.
Untrusted files are opened in a Hyper-V-enabled container by Application Guard. The host OS is segregated from this isolated container. If the untrusted site or file is vulnerable to viruses, the host device is secured, and the attacker is barred from accessing the device or network data.
This method renders the isolated container anonymous, making it impossible for an attacker to get the corporate credentials.
The only setback about this is not a setback to the users who are convenient with the Edge browser. This application guard works only with the Microsoft Edge browser, which is not exactly a web browser that users prefer.
It is certainly wrong to say that Microsoft devised this strategy to get more Windows users to use the browser. But the devs behind this application guard are trying to improvise the security around the Edge web browser.
Because of the relevant hardware, the WDAG, a separate copy of Windows, cannot access the user’s regular operating zone. This includes system memory, hard disk storage, apps installed on the PC, and especially network endpoints on a corporate scale, which is very relevant to firms with networks.
It is being looked upon as a gift from developers by business organizations and firms as it offers more security to their systems. There are two situations where the WDAG can be useful on a professional level –
Prevent unsanctioned connections
Imitation is the biggest tool that attackers use to begin infiltrating a computer. They may send emails resembling those passed around among employees from employers or other employees. Such mail can contain hyperlinks that can access the network, steal information or download malware into the computer.
When someone interacts with this link, the hacker gets instant access to the network. If there is a server mainframe, it could also be compromised by this action.
You could be looking at not only financial loss but also loss or theft of data. It is wise to be cautious while clicking on links that do not resemble their usual standards for safety purposes.
Everything mentioned above can be prevented, thanks to the WDAG’s virtualization feature. It detects the entry of a possible threat and analyzes it in the sandbox.
It gets sent to the trash if confirmed as a threat. Adept hackers look for liabilities on the computer that they can latch onto. If they find one, it can become very difficult to get rid of them in the future and cost you a lot.
Removal of existing threats
It is unavoidable when a worker tries to visit a website, and it contains threats in it. It is impossible to make them stop trying to go to the website, but the threats can be removed.
These threats are instantly or eventually neutered by the Application Guard. This operation is carried out without any sign that the threat has been taken out. This happens in almost every company, with a ban on several websites by the firm’s network administrator.
Effects Of the Windows Defender Application Guard
Two components of the Windows OS are provided with prioritized security – Microsoft Edge & Microsoft Office services. Though they protect the system and these two aspects from threats, the processes involved are a little different for both.
Application Guard helps segregate websites deemed untrustworthy to secure the company. All of this occurs with the network allowing access to the Internet for many individuals, including visitors and employees.
The network administrator for the company assigns labels to trustworthy online sites, cloud services, and internal networks.
Everything that isn’t on the list above is considered a potential danger. If someone on this network visits an untrusted site using Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge opens the site in a separate container that is operated using hardware virtualization.
Where is the Windows Defender Application Guard targeted at?
Rather than making a statement about what and how some devices benefit from the Windows Defender Application Guard, it is better to say that it is quite advantageous to categorize sets of devices associated with Microsoft.
Computers being used in the firm
Domains connect the company’s computers, which the network administrator administers. Microsoft Endpoint Manager or Microsoft Intune are the primary tools for managing configuration. Employees often have Standard User credentials and connect to a connected business network with high bandwidth.
Laptops used in the office
A domain network connects the laptops that workers use for work, which is most usually the same network that runs the office computers, too and is controlled by the company.
Microsoft Endpoint Manager or Microsoft Intune are the primary tools for managing configuration. Standard User credentials are usual, and users connect to a high-bandwidth, preferably wireless, and unique network that adheres to the company standards.
These Bring-Your-Own-Device laptops are not connected to enterprise servers but are maintained by the commercial firm using solutions like Microsoft Intune. The employee is usually an administrator on the device who uses a high-bandwidth wireless company network at work and a similar personal network at home.
An enterprise does not manage these non-domain-joined or non-managed PCs or mobile laptops. When at home, the user is usually the device’s owner, and when outside, they use a good wireless home network or a comparable public network.
What Is The WDAGUtilityAccount?
WDAGUtilityAccount plays a vital role in the Windows Defender Application Guard once the WDAG is activated on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer. When the OS is installed on your computer, Windows makes several system user accounts during the OS installation process. One such user account is the WDAGUtilityAccount.
The WDAGUtilityAccount is an account accessible to the computer’s users but is used only when an Application Guard threat comes up in the system. Though this utility is not active on other editions of the Windows 10 OS, the Windows 10 Enterprise Edition has it active without prompting.
Two situations can show theWDAGUtilityAccount on your computer
- When a net user command is executed through the Command Prompt window.
- When the WDAG feature is active and you are attempting to delete files off your system
The second scenario is quite elaborate and needs a practical explanation to understand. When a file is attempted to be deleted by the computer user, there are chances that the system refuses to dispose of this file.
The user will see a message that states that access is denied to delete the file and that only the system administrator can carry out such a task.
If attempts are still made towards deleting the file through a non-admin profile, by clicking on the Continue option in the previous dialog box, you’ll be shown another message.
This time it says that the user needs permission from the WDAGUtilityAccount to delete the file. This is normal and nothing to worry about as it is a part of the elements that make Windows 10 the most secure OS.
Checking The Status Of The WDAGUtilityAccount
It is important to check if the WDAGUtilityAccount tool is active for the safety of your computer. There are three ways for users to do so, and they are stated as follows –
- Launch the Quick Link menu on your computer by pressing the Windows and X keys together. Some might know this as the Power User menu, which comes up when you right-click the Start button.
- Choose the Computer Management option from this menu.
- Click on the System Tools menu to expand it on the left panel.
- Further, expand the Local Users and Groups section in this window.
- Open the Users directory and in this location, you’ll be able to see the status of the WDAGutilityAccount and if it is up and running on your computer.
This procedure is also the method to change the WDAGUtilityAccount settings.
Windows PowerShell Or Command Prompt
There are two command processing applications on the Windows OS that can get you the status of the WDAGUtility account – Windows PowerShell and Command Prompt.
You have to open either one of these utilities and execute the following command:
Hit the Enter key once you’ve typed this command to run it. Wait for a few seconds for the results to appear. If you see the WDAGUtilityAccount among them, this user account is active on your computer.
Can I Delete The WDAGUtilityAccount From My Computer?
It is possible to disarm the WDAGUtilityAccount from a Windows 10 computer. But removing something that protects the device itself is not a very good decision.
Also, there is never a good reason to stop this service on your computer. It does not interfere with any Windows or third-party application. Therefore, deleting this can only bring more harm than good by lowering the defenses for your system.
Should I delete the account or keep it?
As a responsible Windows user, you need to keep the WDAGUtilityAccount. Under no circumstances should anyone delete this account from their system. The consequences of this action could be a massive violation of privacy or information theft from your devices. Your computer is safer with the WDAGUtility account if you are a professional who works on the internet.
This is everything we learned about the WDAGUtility account, and we hope it was helpful to you.