The default security policies of Windows XP don’t allow users to change power configuration options, even though power options can be user specific. I’ve had to work around it a lot of times, so I’m documenting the process mainly for my own reference.

The easiest method I’ve found of doing this is as described in the post by Aaron Margosis at MSDN Blog:

Managing Power Options as a non-administrator

The meat of the process for quick reference (as copied from Aaron’s post):

  • Run Regedit.exe as an administrator
  • Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Controls Folder\PowerCfg
  • Right-click on the “GlobalPowerPolicy” key and choose “Permissions”.
  • Click on the “Advanced” button.
  • Click “Add”.
  • Type INTERACTIVE and click “Check names”, then OK.
  • Check the “Set value” and “Create Subkey” checkboxes in the “Allow” column, and click OK, then OK, then OK.
  • Do the same thing with the “PowerPolicies” key.