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I'm writing a monitoring service that uses WMI to get information from remote machines. Having local admin rights on all these machines is not possible for political reasons.

Is this possible? What permissions/rights does my user require for this?

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up vote 24 down vote accepted

The following works on Window 2003 R2 SP 2, Windows Server 2012 R2

  1. Add the user(s) in question to the Performance Monitor Users group
  2. Under Services and Applications, bring up the properties dialog of WMI Control (or run wmimgmt.msc). In the Security tab, highlight Root/CIMV2, click Security; add Performance Monitor Users and enable the options : Enable Account and Remote Enable
  3. Run dcomcnfg. At Component Services > Computers > My Computer, in the COM security tab of the Properties dialog click "Edit Limits" for both Access Permissions and Launch and Activation Permissions. Add Performance Monitor Users and allow remote access, remote launch, and remote activation.
  4. Select Windows Management Instrumentation under Component Services > Computers > My Computer > DCOM Config and give Remote Launch and Remote Activation privileges to Performance Monitor Users Group.


  • As an alternatively to step 3 and 4, one can assign the user to the group Distributed COM Users (Tested on Windows Server 2012 R2)
  • If the user needs access to all the namespaces, you can set the settings in 2. at the Root level, and recurse the permissions to the sub-namespaces via the Advanced window in Security
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I've found steps 2 and 3 aren't necessary if you add the user to Distributed COM Users. – Nexus Feb 12 '10 at 0:53
Working on WinXP and Win7, I was not able to add the "Distributed COM Users" group - maybe this group is only accessible on servers? It would not resolve during name lookup when trying to add to the permissions. Also, I found that I had to set permissions for WMI on "Root" as well as "Root/CIMV2" and that I had to go into advanced permissions and apply the permission for the subnamespaces as well as the namespace. – Shannon Wagner Aug 3 '12 at 20:26
Works also for Windows 8! Also, does somebody know how to do the same from powershell or some other shell? – Bunyk Mar 24 '14 at 9:02
In the case that you want a user to be able to access all the namespace, you can grant the permission to Root and all the sub-namespaces by selecting Root, opening Security then Advanced and setting up the recursion. By default these settings apply only to the selected object and do not cascade. – Thomas Aug 22 '14 at 20:23
that doesn't work for MSCluster namespace – John Jan 13 at 8:52

All I did on Windows 8 was added user to group "Remote Management Users", and remote WQL requests worked.

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By default, only the local Administrators group has remote permissions to WMI. You will have to customise the WMI "Remote Enable" permissions.

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You may also have to grant "DCOM remote access permissions" and/or "DCOM remote launch and activation permissions" depending on what exactly you are trying to do. This MSDN article gives the step-by-step procedures.

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