2.2.12 Ensure 'Debug programs' is set to 'Administrators'


This policy setting determines which user accounts will have the right to attach a debugger to any process or to the kernel, which provides complete access to sensitive and critical operating system components. Developers who are debugging their own applications do not need to be assigned this user right; however, developers who are debugging new system components will need it.

The recommended state for this setting is: Administrators.

Note: This user right is considered a 'sensitive privilege' for the purposes of auditing.


The Debug programs user right can be exploited to capture sensitive computer information from system memory, or to access and modify kernel or application structures. Some attack tools exploit this user right to extract hashed passwords and other private security information, or to insert rootkit code. By default, the Debug programs user right is assigned only to administrators, which helps to mitigate the risk from this vulnerability.


If you revoke this user right, no one will be able to debug programs. However, typical circumstances rarely require this capability on production computers. If a problem arises that requires an application to be debugged on a production server, you can move the server to a different OU temporarily and assign the Debug programs user right to a separate Group Policy for that OU.

The service account that is used for the cluster service needs the Debug programs user right; if it does not have it, Windows Clustering will fail.

Tools that are used to manage processes will be unable to affect processes that are not owned by the person who runs the tools. For example, the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit tool Kill.exe requires this user right for administrators to terminate processes that they did not start.


To establish the recommended configuration, set the following Device Configuration Policy to Administrators:

To access the Device Configuration Policy from the Intune Home page:

Click Devices

Click Configuration profiles

Click Create profile

Select the platform (Windows 10 and later)

Select the profile (Endpoint protection)

Click Create

Enter a Name

Click Next

Configure the following Setting

Path: Endpoint protection/User Rights
Setting Name: Debug programs
Configuration: Allow and sub-option: Administrators

Select OK

Continue through the Wizard to complete the creation of the profile (profile assignments, applicability etc.)

Note: More than one configuration setting from each of the Configuration profiles (ex: Administrative Templates, Custom etc.) can be added to each Device Configuration Policy.

Note #2: This setting can also be created via a Custom Configuration Profile using the following OMA-URI:

Name: <Enter name>
Description: <Enter Description>
OMA-URI: ./Device/Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/UserRights/DebugPrograms
Data type: String
Value: Administrators

Important: When there is more than one value that needs to be entered (ex: Guests, Administrator), the XML value of &#61440; will need to be converted to its Unicode character representation to separate the values in the Value field of the Custom Device Configuration Policy. This value should convert to a square with a question mark in it (). Please note that when copied from the converter to Intune a square will appear, but the value will still work. Also note that this value cannot be copied from sources like Microsoft Word. We recommend that the value be copied and used directly from the converter. A sample converter can be found at Online XML entity decoder | Coder's Toolbox.

Select OK

Continue through the Wizard to complete the creation of the profile (profile assignments, applicability etc.)

Note #3: The following link is an alternative way to set the 'User Rights Assignment' section. Policy CSP - UserRights - Windows Client Management | Microsoft Docs

Default Value:


See Also