-a Account - Overview

This document will serve as an overview of the -a account.


The -a account (pronounced "dash a") is a user account with administrative rights. If your ePanther ID is "jhklika," your 'dash a' would be "jhklika-a." This account will have a different password than your non-admin account.

Technical Details/Requirements

When you first begin work here you will not be given a -a.  You will be asked to take the necessary training from D2L.  If you pass, a ticket will be made and assigned to IAM to request a -a account be created. 

Using your -a to open certain applications gives you more power to change parts of our infrastructure. Examples:
  • Opening "Active Directory Users and Computers" as an administrator allows you to modify security groups and their users as well as moving computers between OUs
  • Opening SCCM as an administrator allows you to remote into computers
  • Deleting system files or accessing other user profiles on a computer will prompt for a password. In this prompt, entering your admin credentials will allow you to perform these changes.

Generally, if you ever run into a situation where you cannot perform a task and are given a "Access Denied" error, perform the following:

  1. Close the application
  2. Find the application in the start menu and right click on it
  3. Click on "Run as Administrator"
  4. In the prompt that appears, enter your username + "-a" as the username and the account's password in the password field.
This will run the application as an administrator.

Examples of -a Misuse


  • Must be at least 15 characters
  • Must be changed every 180 days
  • Can't be changed more than once a day
  • Must contain UPPER/lower/numbers and/or symbols
  • No maximum length 
  • Can't be the same as any of the last 24 passwords you have used
If you fail to enter the correct password 10 times in a row you will be locked out for 30 minutes.

Do's and Don't's


  •          Open AD, SCCM, ect.
  •          Make minor inconsequential changes if requested (moving desktop icons, ect.)
  •          Delete things from system folders
  •          Delete unused User Profiles to free up space on a hard drive
  •          Open Device Manager
  •          Open Services Console (Print Spooler)
  •          Remote into PC's from the Macs in the office


  •          Install software outside of Software Center without explicit permission from Endpoint
  •          Update Software such as Java without explicit permission from Endpoint or Chad
  •          Use it as your primary log on account
  •          Leave it logged in and unattended
  •          Give others your password, even SAITS HD Staff
  •          Write down your password

See Also:

Keywords:introduction, requirements, account, dash a, -a   Doc ID:65582
Owner:Help Desk K.Group:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Created:2016-07-29 08:41 CSTUpdated:2019-01-02 14:45 CST
Sites:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk, UW-Milwaukee Student Affairs IT
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