Working with MMC in Microsoft Windows 7

MMC stands for Microsoft Management Console that works as a container for single or multiple snap-ins. Snap-ins provide configuration options that are not generally available to the users even through Control Panel or other configurations locations. An example of a snap-in is Computer Management that can be accessed by right clicking ‘Computer’ icon and going to ‘Manage’ option. Alternatively, Computer Management snap-in can also be initialized by typing ‘COMPMGMT.MSC’ command in either the search box that is available at the bottom of the start menu in Microsoft Windows 7 or in the ‘Run’ command box that can be initialized by pressing ‘Windows + R’ keys simultaneously.

Computer Management is a multipurpose console that has multiple snap-ins added to it and it works as a snap-in itself which can be added to an MMC console. Computer Management contains most commonly used snap-ins that Microsoft assumes users might need to work on in order to easily customize Windows 7 settings to best fit their requirements. With the help of MMC, individual snap-ins can be added to the consoles and the consoles can then be saved individually by the desired names. For example, Computer Management snap-in contains Disk Management, Device Manager, etc., wherein with the help of MMC, Disk Management snap-in can be added separately to a different console and the same can be done with Device Manager snap-in.

In order to create customized snap-ins using MMC console, administrative privileges are required and the administrators must also provide their consent on the User Account Control confirmation box before they can create customized snap-ins using Microsoft Management Console.

Once the snap-ins are added to Microsoft Management Console, the console can be saved in any one of the available modes. The modes in which MMCs can be saved are:

  • Author Mode – When an MMC is saved in this mode, the console can be modified and the snap-ins can be added or removed without any restrictions. Moreover, any added snap-in can also be opened in a new window in order to work on it individually and separately.
  • User Mode-Full Access – When an MMC is saved in this mode, snap-ins cannot be added or removed, however the operator gets the full control over the entire tree of snap-ins that are added to it.
  • User Mode-Limited Access, Multiple Windows – When an MMC is saved in this mode, hidden features and options of the snap-ins remain inaccessible, however the added snap-ins can be opened in new windows in order to allow the operators work on them separately.
  • User Mode-Limited Access, Single Window – This MMC works in the same way as the previous one does with the exception that it does not allow the operators to open the added snap-ins in separate windows.

Adding Snap-ins to the MMC

To add snap-ins to an MMC, administrators must follow the steps given as below:

  1. Log on to Windows 7 computer with administrator account.
  2. Click Start button, and in the search box at the bottom of the menu, type MMC and press Enter key.
  3. On the displayed User Account Control confirmation box, it Yes button to provide the consent.
  4. On the opened Console1 – [Console Root] console, click File from the menu bar, and from the displayed list, click Add/Remove Snap-in.
  5. On the opened Add or Remove Snap-ins box, click to select Disk Management snap-in from the displayed list in the left under Available snap-ins section.
  6. Click Add button, and on the opened Select Computer box leave everything as default and click Finish button.
  7. Back on Add or Remove Snap-ins box, make sure that Disk Management snap-in is added to Selected snap-ins list in the left and click OK button to add the snap-in to the MMC.


  8. Once added, back on Console1 – [Console Root] console, click File from the menu bar and click Save button to save the console with the desired name in the default Author Mode.
Author: Vivek Nayyar

Works as Systems Admin in Siskin Technologies, India. Corporate trainer on Microsoft and Cisco platform. Specialized in Virtualization Technology. LAN Consultant for some local organizations.