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What is a managed application?

A managed application is an application where the system administrator exerts some level of control over the installation and maintenance of the product. Managed applications are often used to deploy software to large numbers of users or machines. Managed applications are a way for system administrators to allow users to install authorized software in locked-down environments where users generally do not have the rights to install software.

An application is considered managed if it is:

  • Installed or advertised to a user by a member of the Administrators group.


  • Installed or advertised per-machine by a member of the Administrators group.


  • Assigned or published on Windows 2000 and later by an Administrator.
  • Marked as managed by another software and deployment management system. The exact method depends on the management system used, but generally requires an administrator's action.

An installation package cannot declare itself "managed." Whether or not an application is managed is controlled by the system administrator.

Note that "managed" is different from "elevated." An elevated application is an application that can run with system privileges when installing. All managed applications are elevated, but applications can be elevated without being managed by means of the AlwaysInstallElevated policy. Due to its security implications, this policy is disabled by default and requires careful consideration before use.