I did a lot of tweaking after reformatting my computer for a system image I'm going to create. In the end, I noticed that one of my program short-cuts on the desktop had a UAC icon (a shield) overlay. I was surprised because I turned UAC off by accessing Control Panel -> User Accounts. I checked again and it was indeed off. When I then accessed the registries Location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System and saw EnableLUA has a value of 1 (when it should be 0). I changed the value to 0 and the my problem was solved.
What explains this? This is on Windows 8, by the way.