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Microsoft Management Console
A component of Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Management Console.png
Included with Windows 2000; Windows NT 4.0 and later

The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) is a component of Windows 2000 and later Windows NT-based operating systems that provides system administrators and advanced users with a flexible interface through which they may configure and monitor the system.


MMC snap-ins and consoles

The management console can host one or more modules which are COM components called snap-ins. Most of Microsoft's administration tools included with both Windows itself, and Windows Server System products are implemented as MMC "snap-ins". Third parties can also implement their own snap-ins using the MMC application programming interfaces published at MSDN. Snap-ins are registered in the [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT]\{CLSID} and [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MMC\Snapins] registry keys. A snap-in combined with MMC is called a console.


Common snap-ins

Snap-ins listed in the management console.

The most prolific MMC is Computer Management, which appears in the Administrative Tools folder in the Control Panel. Computer Management is actually a collection of MMC snap-ins, including the Device Manager, Disk Defragmenter, Internet Information Services, Disk Management, Event Viewer, Local Users and Groups, Shared Folders, and other tools. Computer Management can also be pointed at another Windows machine altogether, allowing for monitoring and configuration of other computers on the local network that the user has access to.

Other MMC consoles in common use include:

  • Microsoft Exchange Server administration console
  • Active Directory user and group, domain trust, and site consoles
  • Group Policy management, including the Local Security Policy console included on all Windows 2000 and later systems
  • Services console, for managing Windows services
  • Performance console, for monitoring system performance and metrics
  • Event Viewer, for monitoring system and application events

Version history

  • MMC 1.0, shipped with Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack.
  • MMC 1.1, shipped with SQL Server 7.0 and Systems Management Server 2.0, and also made available as a download for Windows 9x versions and Windows NT. New features:[1]
    • Snap-in taskpads
    • Wizard-style property sheets
    • Ability to load extensions to a snap-in at run-time
    • HTML Help support
  • MMC 1.2, shipped with Windows 2000. New features:[2]
    • Support for Windows Installer and Group Policy
    • Filtered views
    • Exporting list views to a text file
    • Persistence of user-set column layouts (i.e. widths, ordering, visibility and sorting of lists)
  • MMC 2.0, shipped with Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. New features:
    • Operating system-defined visual styles
    • Automation object model, allowing the capabilities of an MMC snap-in to be used programmatically from outside MMC itself (e.g. from a script)
    • 64-bit snap-ins
    • Console Taskpads
    • View Extensions
    • Multilanguage User Interface help files
  • MMC 3.0, shipped with Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Vista[3], Windows Server 2008 and Windows XP SP3. Also downloadable for Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1. New features:[4]
    • A new "Actions pane", displayed on the right-hand side of the MMC user interface that displays available actions for currently-selected node
    • Support for developing snap-ins with the .NET framework, including Windows Forms
    • Reduced amount of code required to create a snap-in
    • Improved debugging capabilities
    • Asynchronous user interface model (MMC 3.0 snap-ins only)
    • True Color Icon Support (Windows Vista Only)
    • New Add/Remove Snap-in UI
    • DEP is always enforced. All snap-ins must be DEP-aware.[5]

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ Download details: Windows XP Service Pack 3 Overview
  4. ^ "What's New in MMC 3.0". MSDN. Microsoft.  
  5. ^ "The Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Developer Story: Application Compatibility Cookbook". MSDN. Microsoft.  

External links


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