Deny log on as a service

Applies to

  • Windows 11
  • Windows 10

This article describes the recommended practices, location, values, policy management, and security considerations for the Deny log on as a service security policy setting.


This policy setting determines which users are prevented from logging on to the service applications on a device.

A service is an application type that runs in the system background without a user interface. It provides core operating system features, such as web serving, event logging, file serving, printing, cryptography, and error reporting.

Constant: SeDenyServiceLogonRight

Possible values

  • User-defined list of accounts
  • Not defined

Best practices

  1. When you assign this user right, thoroughly test that the effect is what you intended.
  2. Within a domain, modify this setting on the applicable Group Policy Object (GPO).


Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\User Rights Assignment

Default values

The following table lists the actual and effective default policy values for the most recent supported versions of Windows. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.

Server type or GPO Default value
Default Domain Policy Not defined
Default Domain Controller Policy Not defined
Stand-Alone Server Default Settings Not defined
Domain Controller Effective Default Settings Not defined
Member Server Effective Default Settings Not defined
Client Computer Effective Default Settings Not defined

Policy management

This section describes features and tools available to help you manage this policy.

A restart of the computer isn't required for this policy setting to be effective.

Any change to the user rights assignment for an account becomes effective the next time the owner of the account logs on.

Group Policy

On a domain-joined device, including the domain controller, this policy can be overwritten by a domain policy, which will prevent you from modifying the local policy setting.

This policy setting might conflict with and negate the Log on as a service setting.

Settings are applied in the following order through a Group Policy Object (GPO), which will overwrite settings on the local computer at the next Group Policy update:

  1. Local policy settings
  2. Site policy settings
  3. Domain policy settings
  4. OU policy settings

When a local setting is greyed out, it indicates that a GPO currently controls that setting.

Security considerations

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.


Accounts that can sign in to a service application could be used to configure and start new unauthorized services, such as a keylogger or other malware. The benefit of the specified countermeasure is reduced by the fact that only users with administrative rights can install and configure services, and an attacker who already has that level of access could configure the service to run by using the System account.


We recommend that you don't assign the Deny log on as a service user right to any accounts. This configuration is the default. Organizations that have strong concerns about security might assign this user right to groups and accounts when they're certain that they'll never need to sign in to a service application.

Potential impact

If you assign the Deny log on as a service user right to specific accounts, services may not start and a denial-of-service condition could result.