Microsoft Management Console

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Microsoft Management Console
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
TypeSystem configuration application
Snap-ins listed in the management console

Microsoft Management Console (MMC) is a component of Microsoft Windows that provides system administrators and advanced users an interface for configuring and monitoring the system. It was first introduced in 1998 with the Option Pack for Windows NT 4.0 and later came pre-bundled with Windows 2000 and its successors.

Snap-ins and consoles[edit]

The management console can host Component Object Model components called snap-ins. Most of Microsoft's administration tools are implemented as MMC snap-ins. Third parties can also implement their own snap-ins using the MMC's application programming interfaces published on the Microsoft Developer Network's web site.

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 management saved console,[1] which is a file with .msc extension and can be launched using this syntax: mmc path \ filename.msc [/a] [/64] [/32].

Common snap-ins[edit]

The most prolific MMC component, Computer Management, appears in the "Administrative Tools" folder in the Control Panel, under "System and Security" in Category View. Computer Management actually consists of a collection of MMC snap-ins, including the Device Manager, Disk Defragmenter, Internet Information Services (if installed), Disk Management, Event Viewer, Local Users and Groups (except in the home editions of Windows), Shared Folders, Services snap-in, for managing Windows services, Certificates 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 snap-ins in common use include:

  • Microsoft Exchange Server (up to version 2010)
  • Active Directory Users and Computers, Domains and Trusts, and Sites and Services
  • Group Policy Management, including the Local Security Policy snap-in; included on all versions of Windows 2000 and later (Home editions of Microsoft Windows disable this snap-in)
  • Performance snap-in, for monitoring system performance and metrics

Version history[edit]

  • 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 and Windows NT. New features:[2]
    • 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:[3]
    • 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 Vista, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows XP SP3[4] and every subsequent versions of Windows up to Windows 11. Also downloadable for Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1. New features:[5]
    • 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.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mitch Tulloch. Windows Server 2003 in a Nutshell. O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (August 2003). p. 288. ISBN 978-0596004040.
  2. ^ "What's New in MMC Version 1.1". Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved February 13, 2006.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Microsoft API and reference catalog". Microsoft Developer Network. 2016. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  4. ^ Download details: Windows XP Service Pack 3 Overview Archived May 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "What's New in MMC 3.0". MSDN. Microsoft.
  6. ^ "The Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Developer Story: Application Compatibility Cookbook". MSDN. Microsoft. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2007.

External links[edit]