I know viruses uses exploits to gain admin rights to install software. My question is here at work, we have people end up with the Bing Bar installed from time to time on their machines. It is listed in the Programs and Features as an installed programs - which requires admin rights to install.

My question is, all of these users do not have admin rights. How does the Bing Bar install onto the system without admin rights? Surely Microsoft does not use an exploit does it?


As far as I know using windows installer a per-user install (in opposition to a per-machine install) doesn't require elevation. As to why user end up with it I noticed that many downloads from Microsoft try to bundle up software. They have a web popup window with the suggested bundled crap checked by default. If you click download without unchecking these items you'll be served a special installer.

Per-user Installations: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa370813(v=vs.85).aspx

  • Right, but this would not show up in the Programs and Features would it? Or am I wrong? Because I am seeing it in the Programs list. – alexander7567 Apr 23 '15 at 20:03
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    EDIT: "Applications appear only under Add/Remove Programs on Control Panel for users that have installed the applications". I see it under my admin account.. – alexander7567 Apr 23 '15 at 20:06
  • Another delivery channel is the TrustedInstaller service. BingDesktop does use this service for it's automatic update mecanism. It is possible that some updating services with admin right can update (remove and re-install) the program with the wrong rights. It has happened in the past with Sun/Oracle and Apple updating services but I doubt such a mistake exists in Microsoft products. Another possibility is that Microsoft allows Bing Bar installed by third parties like Yahoo but again I don't think they allow that. If they do then any elevated process can install the Bing Bar. – user94592 Apr 23 '15 at 20:21
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    Have you tried looking the Add/Remove program list with another limited rights account? Maybe Admin has rights to see installed programs for all users. – user94592 Apr 23 '15 at 20:23
  • ohh.. I like that idea.. I will try that next time we find one. Thanks! – alexander7567 Apr 23 '15 at 20:25

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