Normally, when an application wants to write to C:\Program Files, a pop up is shown that asks me to confirm to elevate this application into admin mode so that it can write to C:\Program Files.

With Google Chrome this doesn't seem to be the case. I'm not running Chrome with admin privileges but still it seems to be able to automatically update itself and write to C:\Program Files without asking me for confirmation first.

How does this work? All other applications seem to need explicit confirmation before they are able to write to C:\Program Files but Google Chrome doesn't. It can just write to C:\Program Files even though I'm not running it with admin permissions.

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    It installs a Update service with system privileges. – eckes Mar 19 '17 at 11:45
  • I'm not sure, but it might: a. Sign itself so that it can execute code or b. Have another elevated service that does the work. – thel3l Mar 19 '17 at 11:46
  • Thanks for the information. I'd prefer to have an extra warning/confirmation dialog if an application tries to install a service with system privileges but it seems like every app can just do that during installation and I don't need to specifically approve it... not very nice :( – Andreas Mar 19 '17 at 17:23
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    @eckes: your comment should be an answer – Lie Ryan Mar 20 '17 at 3:44

The initial install requires per UAC prompt admin rights. It then uses this to install an update service. This one uses a local system account which has enough permissions.

Some other software uses btw the Windows scheduler. Funny enough it is quite easy to have such a high privileged background job, it's much more complicated to do that transparently as the user with admin rights.

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