What is a Windows Security Identifier & how to resolve an SID

A Security Identifier (SID) is a unique value of variable length that is used to identify a security principal or security group in Windows operating systems. Well-known SIDs are a group of SIDs that identify generic users or generic groups. Their values remain constant across all operating systems.

Windows Security Identifier

Windows grants or denies access and privileges to resources based on access control lists (ACLs), which use these SIDs to uniquely identify users and their group memberships. When a user logs into a computer, an access token is generated that contains user and group SIDs and user privilege level. When a user requests access to a resource, the access token is checked against the ACL to permit or deny particular action on a particular object.

SIDs are useful for troubleshooting issues with security audits, Windows server and domain migrations.

SID has format as follows: S-1-5-21-7623811015-3361044348-030300820-1013

S – The string is a SID.
1 – The revision level (the version of the SID specification).
5 – The identifier authority value.
21-7623811015-3361044348-030300820 – domain or local computer identifier
1013 – a Relative ID (RID). Any group or user that is not created by default will have a Relative ID of 1000 or greater.

Possible identifier authority values are:

0 – Null Authority
1 – World Authority
2 – Local Authority
3 – Creator Authority
4 – Non-unique Authority
5 – NT Authority
9 – Resource Manager Authority

Windows SID Resolver is a free utility that allows you to resolve a Windows SID. Simply enter the SID you want to resolve, and the utility will identify what account the SID is from.

Windows Security Identifier

Additional information is available on KB243330.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.