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Disable User Account Control (UAC) the Easy Way on Win 7, 8, or Vista

I’ve previously written about a way to enable or disable UAC from the command line. This is an easier method that you can use to do the same thing from the GUI interface in either Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or Vista. To recap my earlier article, UAC is ANNOYING.

Note: Disabling UAC will lead to a less secure system, so be warned.

 

Disable UAC on Windows Vista

Open up Control Panel, and type in “UAC” into the search box. You’ll see a link for “Turn User Account Control (UAC) on or off”:
uac1.png

On the next screen you should uncheck the box for “Use User Account Control (UAC)”, and then click on the OK button.

uac2.png

You’ll need to reboot your computer before the changes take effect, but you should be all done with annoying prompts.

Disable UAC on Windows 7

Windows 7 makes it much easier to deal with UAC settings, and in fact you don’t have to completely disable UAC if you don’t want to. Just type UAC into the start menu or Control Panel search box.

You can simply drag the slider up or down, depending on how often you want to be alerted.
Windows 7 UAC Settings
If you drag it all the way down to the bottom, you’ll have disabled it entirely.

Disable UAC on Windows 8 or 8.1

Open up the Start screen, search for UAC, and you should see an option for User Account Control settings. If you don’t, you’ll need to change to search through your Settings first, but then you should see it.

And then you can drag the slider all the way to the bottom, the same as for the other versions of Windows.

Pretty simple.

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Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/21/13

Comments (244)

  1. benthegeek

    It is nice to be able to get rid of this annoying feature but it unfortunately replaces it with a Security Centre popup that UAC is not enabled.

    You can disable the Security Centre popups and icons appearing but this also stops notification of antivirus and other more essential security issues.

    Perhaps there is a registry tweak where the notification that UAC is disabled can be disabled, but all other notifications can continue to appear.

  2. Ed M

    Haven’t you missed the point with UAC?

    Yes it is annoying – but that’s only because as Windows users are not used to having to actually think about security issues – and as such we’ve had all the problems of the last few years. Critics continually slate Microsoft for not doing more to make the OS secure – and yet when they attempt to, there are numerous articles like this encouraging people to turn these features off.

    I’m not saying your average user might not just click ok on a UAC dialog box (after the tenth one) without reading it – thereby negating any benefit – but it at least it encourages the majority of users to think before they click (and creates a greater awareness of security implications). I believe it also helps power users (more than they’d like to admit) since if some unknown application suddenly needs to elevate it’s privileges and perform file operation commands then it alerts said power user that there’s possibly a Trojan on the loose.

    One thing that a significant proportion of the reviewers/critics of Vista/UAC tend to forget is that once the OS/drivers/basic software is installed (which would be the case for the average pre-built purchased PC), these UAC dialog boxes become much less frequent. Add to that the inevitable rewriting of post-Vista applications, so that they are coded properly (such that they don’t require administrator privileges unnecessarily and are digitally signed etc), users will see the UAC prompt much less frequently when using software day-to-day on their PCs.

    Anyway for those of you that have read all the way through – thank you – and really do think of the implications before you turn off UAC.

  3. The Geek

    Ed,

    I absolutely agree with you that turning off UAC for regular users is probably a bad idea.

    I think UAC for average users is fine… it’s just obnoxious that I’ve got an administrator account and I still get prompted every few seconds.

    At least if they had made it more like Ubuntu, where I enter my password once in the “UAC”-like dialog, and then it stays good for a few minutes… that I would not just tolerate, but be very happy with.

  4. Tek Joe

    I agree that it should be left on for the reg users. As for admins….etc. needs to remain off.

  5. HAYU

    I have found a fix for the adminsitrator access without turning off UAC.

    Open the Run Command and type secpol.msc
    This will open the Local Security Policy.

    Browse through the Local Policy to the Security Policy. Click on the Security Policy folder. In the window to the right locate:

    User Account Control: Behavior of the Elevation prompt for administrator’s in Admin Approval Mode.

    Change it to: Elevate without Prompting.

    Then reboot. This has gotten rid of a lot of problems for me.

  6. The Geek

    I’ve actually written an article about disabling UAC for administrators only

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-user-account-controluac-for-administrators-only/

  7. dussel

    Very usefull information indeed – but still even cooler would be to disable this check only for selected applications (e.g. SQL Server since for starting and stopping you need to start Management Studio in Admin Mode … and on Development environment you need this quite often) and keep the higher security level for the rest

  8. Undefined

    i think UAC should be off no matter what. you didnt need it in XP so why vista. My sister tried her hardest to get used to UAC and ended up allowing a virus into her comp because she got so used to clicking allow to every little damn thing she did. If you have antivirus and antispyware then why do you need UAC. Even regular users like myself dont need it.

  9. Cat Megex

    Hayu: you really should have let people know which version of Vista you’re using; only Vista Enterprise and Ultimate can change specific settings for UAC. All other versions of Vista can only turn it completely on and completely off.

  10. Left Blank on Purpose

    Megex, that isn’t entirely true. If you do a search on the Web, you will find there is a way for Home users to change the elevation prompt level as well, but it takes a Registry entry.

  11. IT Guy For Spokane

    As a security professional I think UAC is a great tool, for the common “User”. that being said, it is annoying to power users and system admins. And even for some business users. For example we have an app that all our employees use, that is run 10 to 30 times a day on each computer. This application triggers UAC prompts because it tries to directly access the hard drive. So the users get so used to just clicking continue that it loses all effectiveness. Now the real kicker, if you leave UAC off, you will run into issues if you try to install a printer. Why? I have not clue, or a better question is why would changing DPI for a user require Admin permissions? UAC, while a great concept was not fully thought out before implementation.

  12. JoeB

    In response to IT Guy’s April 4th comment, I’d say that releasing Vista in its present form, when MS was undoubtably aware it would break many legacy apps, was the concept that was not fully thought out, period.

    Regards,

    JoeB

  13. Pete

    I’m thinking exactly same that “dussel” said. Drives me mad to click the continue several times per day :|

  14. Ryan W

    I think all posters have a valid point. I think as most do, that the UAC is a very valid feature to have. It does get annoying for those of us who are ‘computer savvy’ so to speak. I think that it might help some people but it also might confuse some. I don’t know if it was a positive move on MS’s part to make this a new feature in vista. It was not in XP, but neither were a lot of other features that are available in Vista. I think if someone really wants to turn it off they will use google and find a way to do it. No need to complain about it though because realistically it isn’t going to change anything. :)

  15. This space also left blank

    So why don’t Macs and Linux users need UAC?

  16. Carl

    Why can’t you exempt a specific program from triggering UAC?

  17. Jim

    “Why can’t you exempt a specific program from triggering UAC?”

    Yeah – where the hell is the “exceptions” tab like for firewall? Or perhaps “Permit Always” option on the popup. I have one the hits at startup for a wireless USB device – and the only solution is to turn off the entire UAC system? Vista Blows. Yeah OSX!

  18. Scott

    The problem I ran into was that the UAC would prevent me from making changes to files that I needed to update unless I saved them as a new name.

  19. DMAN

    Everyone has made valid points about UAC. I’ve been a computer tech for years and it really doesn’t matter if you prompt people to install stuff or not because most of the time the average user does not know if they “are” or “are not” supposed to install something and they just click to install it anyways. That is why techs find so much crap like toolbars and such installed on computers. People think they need it or it must be ok to install because it’s already prechecked in an application install program. I use Vista and the only prompt (warning) I find handy is when something new is trying to run during startup. That is the only time I like to be “annoyed”. The bottomline is you are still going to have people clicking on things they shouldn’t no matter how many chances you give them. Let’s face it, mankind has not changed and children still burn themselves on the stove everyday and always will. You get burned once and most people learn the next time. Computers are no different than anything else in life. :)

  20. K Henderson

    As an IT manager I find UAC ill-concieved. Typical users should not be running all of the time in an admin account in the first place and MS should be trying much harder to get that message across rather than creating an app that nags you incessently. Users should login in as admin to install an app, then log back into the limited account. If they did that, the deeply annoying UAC prompts wouldnt be needed. On the other side of things, Admins techs should be able to disable the prompts without also having to see the red x in the sys tray that indicates elevated permissions. My hunch is that UAC will be overhauled whenever there is a service pack 1. As it stands now, the UAC doesnt help anyone.

  21. Tomas

    I don’t want to turn it off, yet there are a couple of programs that I use that every time I try to open it warns me about safety. and it gets old very fast. Is there any way to customize this so that it knows that the program is OK? Can I enter it is some list somewhere?
    I’d love to know if that’s possible.
    Thanks

  22. shass

    This was nice tricks and it work well, well done once again

  23. Triel

    Ok, I do like the fact that people are thinking about this instead of just turning it off completely. I can fully understand the IT people not liking it at all. My brother is also a MSCE and has told me repeated ly not even to screw around with Vista till at least the first SP. Since I get bored easy, then that is hard for me to do.

    Anyway, I do not need the UAC at all. I have the computer setup the way I like it and do not want it to tell me how it wants me to do a specific task. But, one thing I noticed from your Local Sec Pol adjustment is that does infact shutdown UAC. I get a prompt that tells it is shut down. When I go look it is infact shut down. So, why do this when it gets shut down no matter what? I just wish I could also get ride of the damn notification aswell, but at least I only have to click it once in awhile to shut it up.

  24. Machito

    I’m trying to write a file into my windows folder. I have done turned off UAC, however, I’m still need permission when I attempt to write into folder. Any ideas?

  25. CA

    If I am logged in as an administrator and turn the UAC off, its fine. I dont get the annoying popups, but if I log in as standard user, and turn off the UAC, it doesn’t ask me to reboot in the first place and doesn’t seem to do anything.. is this feature only for administrator accounts??
    Is there a way to turn the UAC off for certain programs?

  26. Tomb Raider

    Ed, see that’s a philosphy difference. Instead of securing holes, and problems in the OS security, rather then just saying “Ok, we tried, now you figure it out” like Vista does. I wonder how the grandmother would know what is dangerous and what is secure. I mean honestly, how many average, non comptuer savy people do you know actually read the warnings?

  27. Aaryn Ellsworth

    I would like to point out one thing about these instructions. When you open the control panel you must have the view set to Windows Vista Default. NOT “Classic view.” If you are using the classic view then the search will not provide the link that you need to Enable/Disable UAC. So in your instructions you may want to note that they should make sure they are in the default view by clicking the “Control Panel Home” it the top left before they search for user accounts.

  28. Triel

    You guys should really get the program TweakUAC. It allows you to turn it down or turn it off. then you can turn it right back up or on after you finish doing whatever it is you do. Very simple UI that explains it very well.

  29. jan

    THANK YOU thank you thank you!

  30. Carol

    Thank god! That was so annoying! I am the only one using my comp! I didn’t need the prompts.
    I use incredimail and the prompts would NOT allow me to make it my default email no matter what I did!
    How annoying to be told I don’t have the right to make it my default over and over!

  31. matt

    Okay, well, that works if you are the administrator account on the computer. But what if you are only a limited account peon user and you simply want to turn UAC off so that you will be able to run programs without having the UAC pop up every stinkin time that you want to run the programs?

  32. M L

    So why don’t Macs and Linux users need UAC?
    PWNED!!!!!!!!!

  33. Triel

    Because Mac and Linux are not even smart enough to build a system worth even talking about. Just look at legit security information and you will find that even Windows XP beats Mac and Linux on security. The only reason Windows is attacked more is do to the fact that it dominates the market from A to Z, and thats the bottom line.

  34. Violator

    Comment to some of the anti turn off UAC replies.
    Why should I have UAC running, if I am the one and only person to use my computer? ;)

  35. Jim

    “Because Mac and Linux are not even smart enough to build a system worth even talking about. Just look at legit security information and you will find that even Windows XP beats Mac and Linux on security. The only reason Windows is attacked more is do to the fact that it dominates the market from A to Z, and thats the bottom line.”

    hehe. Glad to see an educated comment on the security of Unix over Windows. Triel is really on to something here! You know what else? VHS was clearly a better technology than Beta. And George Bush is a brilliant leader.

    Refreshing commentary!

    J

  36. LinX Hooper

    I,ve trying to install Open Office and Adobe Acrobat reader on windows vista premium and progress to a point. The installation stalls set up begins to configuring the directory. A message saying I need to be an administration to proceed. I am the system administrator. How can I get pass this problem?

    I’ve turn off UAC using control panel with zero success.

  37. Triel

    Make sure you are running both programs as an Administrator. Right click the exe file and you will see “Run As Administrator”. Or try and download Tweak UAC and shut off the UAC for the install of these programs.

    http://www.tweak-uac.com/

  38. LinX Hooper

    Thanks Triel. I tried your suggestion without success. The message I get is: error 1303 the installer has insufficient privilege to access this directory. then the path, followed by you need to log on as an administrator etc. I am logged on as an administrator!! I tried to set up a new admin account, in control panel, but found there was an account with administrator as the user name. Do you know why this is? and how can I get access to that account?

  39. Triel

    The only way to access the real admin account is via “Safe Mode”. It may not work though since most of the MS installer is blocked in Safe Mode.

    Is your exe file on a disc? If so, try and copy all the files to the HD and see if that helps.

    Let me know if it works or not.

  40. LinX Hooper

    Thanks Triel. The exe file was part of a download, so it on my hard disc!! Installer is blocked in Safe mode.
    Can I alter the registry to affect my admin status?

    PS this problem persists with acrobat reader 8 also???

  41. Paul Rafferty

    Hello

    I turned off the user account. when I try to turn it back on a message says

    Security Center can’t enable user control on this computer.

    Whilst the UCA was off I don’t know what I did but the screen the became blue and full of writing,

    I couldn’t exit or use esc. or Ctrl Alt Del so I powered down with the on button.

    Can you help me please

    Paul Rafferty

  42. Triel

    LinX Hooper,

    I think I remember having issues with Acrobat 8. Try to unpack the downloaded file with WinRAR or other porgram. Another way is to start the install and after it goes through the unpacking process (that is what the Adobe downloaded files do first) go to your temp folder and collect the files it unpacks. I think there may be a command line prompt also that does this for you and allows you to save them where you want to. Finally, try and look this issue up in the Adobe Support section.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Paul,

    Do you have more then one User Account? If so then that is mostlikely the cause of the errors.

  43. Des

    It is not just UAC that irks me about Vista. I have come to the conclusion that Vista leaves me feeling that if I had wanted a MAC I would have bought one. :-)
    If you type …control userpasswords2…in the run box from the start menu, you will see a list of the users. My user account that I had created during installation was assign “debugger” status.
    I changed it to Administrator status. A few days later I found it had reverted to “debugger” so I changed it again. It seems stable now.
    Debugger did not allow full permissions UAC.

  44. Matt

    My thoughts on: Windows Vista
    and the User Account Control

    Quite possibly one of the worst bungles in Microsoft’s long and glorious history of dominating the computer industry, the User Account Control (UAC) in Windows Vista is simply unnecessary.
    The UAC tries to prevent security breaches in your system by requesting your permission to continue before it uses any program or application with what it deems as a β€œpotential threatβ€?. Now, how does it know if something is a potential threat or not, anyway? Well, we’ll discuss that later.
    UAC is a great idea for home users, such as a family with small children. But for networks and businesses as well as single users, the UAC is just simply ridiculous. Businesses probably already have filters and good network security programs that they’ve paid thousands of dollars for. So why would they need this crappy version of security that limits everything when they already have a $20,000 network security program as well as security hardware for their network. The point is that they don’t. Also, if you run a LAN in your home, one would think that the computers on the network would be run by people smart enough to use a computer on their own without having to be constantly pestered by the UAC.
    If there is a family using a network of Vista-enabled PCs, one would think that the parents would only give the children a computer of their own if they were smart enough and responsible enough to handle a computer and not ruin the files or software. Surely the parents know that, and they should teach their children that as well. In my personal experience with Windows Vista, I have to say that it’s basically the worst operating system I have ever seen in my life. I want Mac OS10 Tiger, Windows XP Professional, or Fedora Core Linux instead. These operating systems work well and trust the users to do the right thing with their own security. After all, would a person use a computer and not have ANY idea what they are doing with the computer? No, I think not. I think if anyone makes the choice to buy a computer, they know fully well what they are getting into. I also believe that the parental controls included with Windows Vista are basically too strong. If a kid is old enough to know what they are doing with a computer, and to be responsible with the computer, I think that they’re going to be more responsible than the parental controls give them credit for. I believe that the parental controls included with Windows Vista give the administrator account too much control over the other users and basically make it pointless for other users to use the computer, depending on the level and severity of the parental controls that are used by the administrator on the other account. For example, I am using a Vista-enabled PC and my father has enabled the parental controls. He has used the time limits and program limits and game limits and Internet access limits. I think that the game limits idea is really quite stupid. There’s no point to it. I take using the compute rmore seriously than just using it to play games. The program limits is also stupid because what if something happens while you are using the computer, and Windows needs to run an emergency process? There’s nothing you can do about it. Then the time limits is just stupid. Because I was working on a research paper for school, and then my time was up five minutes later. So, when the time went out, Windows just logged me off of the computer, and I later found out that my paper had been deleted (the entire thing), that it had basically closed Microsoft Word without even saving my document for me. See, that right there is an example of the stupidity of the UAC for you (parental controls as well). I think that the parental controls would be good for kids who are, like, 4 years old, or something like that. But for me, someone who’s about to graduate high school and move on to college where I am pursuing a COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE I think it’s a bit ridiculous, don’t you agree?
    Furthermore, if there is only one user using a PC, then what’s the point of having UAC on the PC? If there is one user, they will obviously be the administrator account and the administrator doesn’t need to constantly be bugged by some stupid Windows Vista dialog box that tells them Windows needs their permission to continue. I’m sorry, but that’s a load of bullshit. If I had a PC with Windows Vista, and I were the sole user, UAC would be kicked in the pants the first day. And I’d never put it up there again.
    To sum up what I’ve discussed here today, I want to say that Windows Vista’s User Account Control is basically a major programming flaw and certainly there are some problems that need to be worked out. Maybe the Windows OS could leave UAC dormant if there is only one user, and then later, add the UAC if another user is added to the PC. This discussion of Windows Vista’s major flaws should point out that Microsoft has made a serious error and they need to fix it as soon as they possibly can for they’ve really got a problem on their hands.

    –Matthew Burt
    –October 2007

  45. Vince

    Thanks for the help in shuting off this annoying popup.
    Now I have ANOTHER one warning me that it’s off and that I should turn it back on. (no gain)
    I’m starting to HATE VISTA!!!
    Bill Gates STOP trying to micromanage my life!

  46. Grey

    sudo apt-get remove Vista…. lol

  47. Graham Klerks

    I use Vista on my Media Centre for the Media Centre functionality..Nothing Else.

    My laptop is XP (Soon to be replaced by a Macbook…) and my Main PC is XP. All three systems are more then capable of running Vista, But I won’t be rushing to upgrade my other systems. Why ? You tell me.

    What does Vista offer me ? Vista’s biggest opposition at the moment is XP. DirectX 10 Gaming…hasn’t really arrived yet. The widgets in the sidebar are nice, but come on… I find Vista is a more efficient OS then XP, it doesn’t leave temp files everywhere. (Something XP shouldn’t do anyway??) Dual/Quad Core ? Available in XP. 4GB+ Memory ? poorly implemented in XP 64Bit and Vista 64bit. (My macbook will be running 4GB of RAM on a 64Bit OS…cool eh.) I read of people having problems with the RAM being installed/recognised fully. Thats before we get on to the severe lack of software on 64bit. So 4GB of RAM is pretty much a nono. Vista uses more resources then XP. To run Vista well you need 1GB, Dual Core machine with half decent graphics, for most of us that means chucking your old machine away. As opposed to 512MB of RAM, 2Ghz CPU to run XP well. and the ‘sweet spot’ is roughly double the RAM for each OS.

    Call me a Mac fanboy if you like, I’ve setup XP on over 400 systems, and built over 50. At home, I use two Hi-Spec PC’s built by me, I’ve had enough of XP, and seen how ‘good’ Vista is for myself. I’m not tech support, and have no qualifications to prove it as I’m self taught. But after setting up just one Powerbook, I fell in love with the Mac OS. It’s simple and doesn’t treat you like a child. I’ve seen many user’s systems, and UAC or not, they will download what they want, when they want, how they want. Vista is an OS not ready for release, and why I will be waiting to see if SP1 improves things any.

    “Because Mac and Linux are not even smart enough to build a system worth even talking about. Just look at legit security information and you will find that even Windows XP beats Mac and Linux on security. The only reason Windows is attacked more is do to the fact that it dominates the market from A to Z, and thats the bottom line.”

    Triel – Ask anyone in the Graphics or Music industry what they use. It’s not even about PowerPC’s anymore. it’s just down to the OS. Don’t get me wrong though – I have no desire to see Apple where M$ are now. It would be more of a closed market then what M$ currently offer.

    Oh, and Name (required) whoever you are…UAC is M$’s way of attempting to remove the user from the Admin account. Apple don’t allow the user to be Admin 24/7. Neither does any Linux distro. (See Dell.co.uk for ubuntu on their entry level systems btw.)

  48. The Geek

    Note: I deleted some comments in this thread that were really not so friendly. Everybody has their own opinions and should be allowed to express them freely.

    Let’s try and keep things on a friendly basis here!

  49. Stephen Whipp

    UAC is a good idea in principle but poorly thought out as regards execution.

    I’d like to address a couple of issues.

    1) Dialogs don’t protect the user unless they already know what they are doing, They either lead to wholesale ignoring even of important ones, as previously discussed, or worse they lead to wholesale panic and fear of using the computer. This is certainly the case for people of my mother’s age etc.

    To address Mathew above. It is a fact that the a large % of home users don’t know what they are doing and have no understanding of computers. Many parents do provide compueters to kids who don’t know about computers, for doing school work etc. The parent’s themselevs have no knowledge of computers becuase they aren’t interested in them except for writing letters etc. These are the facts. Thus for them UAC is actually a hinderence not a boon. OK Younger parents may know some stuff but most likely in many cases, how to plug in a playstation and stick in the DVD.

    2) Lack of configurablity is the Microsoft way and its always been the wrong way. Its fine to have wizards but for users in the know, the option to actually configure the options manually and in detail is a must. In converse however the good old Linux way is just as bad. A perfect system would provide auto setup and easy wizards for basic users, and for advanced users who don;t know about the hardware itself (in detail). I’m sorry I don;t want to spend weeks learning about how to configure each individual hardware, unless it becomes necessary. Likewise though when I need to, I want the power to do so. In this case, way can I not configure exceptions to the rule and do so on a number of parameters. Why are there only 2 levels of security. This is why UAC doesn’t float my boat. Tweak UAC is nice as far as it goes, but I still lack power to say this is ok and this I would like to be reminded about.

    3) It doesn’t actually adress the fundamental problem. The problem is that developers etc and infact many users cannot work in a user account (especially on their home PC) for a lot of regular tasks. It is most annoying to have to keep swiching users to o it but this is the only way to provide security. The answer however is not to only have 2 levels, but have several allowing a proper power user account, which however still protects the system against abuse in critical areas, such as modification of the system itself (software installation, driver upgrades etc). The limited user account should be for users who really don;t understand computers and for business use. For most other situations, the admin account is too open really and the imited account is far too closed. Therefore what actually happens is that no-one uses a limited account. I certanly don’t and couldn’t do my job if I did.

    Instead of UAC as it is, it should have worked as an improved local policy system, with nicely organised and simply named options for configuration, similar to AD but less obtuse to use. With the Windows Installer service, and the fact that it keeps track of components, Security for instance could have been sepcified in Add/Remove Programs… sorry Programs and Features. As well as a more detailed one in policy settings. No most users would never need to touch it if there appropriate defaults, but it would give the power to do so and make UAC actually usable.

    Oh and Tiel, Linux is more secure than Windows for many reasons. What you say has some truth, yes more viruses are written for Windows users because MS have a greater market share. However its also true that Linux is much harder to write a virus for, becuase its a lot harder for them to infect the system. You can’t just run a virus from a webpage in Linux and hope to get away with it for instance. Under windows you can and its up to software on top of the operating systemt o prevent it, unless you;re in a limited account which as I said earlier is simply not practical. There are so many ways in which MS could have prevented thewholesale spread of viruses by email for instance, without being offcious. For instance instead of the download pictures removal for instance. They should have llowed the user to specify Text only email and be **** with the vendors and their pretty adverts. This is just a simple example. Others include the codecs for MP. They should have forced the vendors to use specific known formats, rather than allowing user coding. The web browser should have been prevented entirely from modifying the system, Downloads should only be possible through actual proper links and not through automated scripting. This is of course if they wanted a truely secure OS and actually cared more about the end user than the vendors, this is not the case for good business reasons.

  50. Skywarp

    hi all,
    nice to see honest-to-goodness minds at work from many angles. if my topic’s off, please point me in the right direction.

    i have Vista Premium, and what bugs me the most is that i’m the one and only user of this PC, and yet i have to laboriously dig around my C:, my personal user folders, as well as “shared”, etc. folders to find my own files that i’m looking for. in XP, i could just click “My Docs”, or “Program Files”, etc., and now i have to spend 3+x time finding the right “user” folder and/or HD i.e. C:/Computer just to find simple files of my own. it has me running in circles, and i find the structure of the new Windows Explorer interface frustrating, on top of the frustration of *within* Explorer finding the right User or “Public” files. ie.: i just dumped MP3s from my old PC onto my new vista pc, only to find that i placed them in the wrong “music” directory, and none of them showed up in Media Player, let alone all in the same universal “music” folder. it’s like a dang idiot folder hunt to find most files in the confusing new, extraneous user/file interface. in XP it was a snap. in Vista, i’m either missing something, or they’ve just plain over-complicated things in their new “user friendly” OS. i’m no novice, and i’m no master; though i must say a good friend who owns a PC company in town swears he’ll not install Vista on any PC that leaves his shop because of such absurd complications.

    -oh yeah, i also turned off UAC hoping to avoid crap, but still have that bright and shiny red shield with the X on it telling me to turn it back on. i feel like slaping the big B.G.-Man in the face. i bought my new HP 1 month ago, and it didn’t even come with a flip-flappin’ physical-in-hand Vista installation disc…that seems wrong (as well as another topic). there’s a seperate partition, apparently, on my C drive for system recovery, but if that’s ever Virusized… i’ve made recover back ups, and think i’m allowed to send for a physical disc (which i’m going to do), but why MS+HP didn’t include a friggin’ OEM registered OS disc is beyond my comprehension.
    -Skywarp, with best regards to all

  51. Tomas

    Skywarp: It’s really an issue that old habits die hard. At least that was the case for me. I do a lot of video work and work as an IT on both PC’s and Macs. My laptop is still XP, and will stay that way untill I get a new one, but not because I prefer it, but because I think it should run the OS it was designed for. Don’t get me wrong, I cursed Vista when I first got it. It would crash non-stop. Then I did a total restore. As an IT there are few things more frustrating than talking to techincal support on the phone, since I’ve never found one that could help me beyond what I already knew or couldn’t find out by googling it. That aside, I found that the problem was a codec that I didn’t really need in the first place, that I had installed in a package with other things. Once I fixed that and opened up to a different way of operating (closer to Macs actually) life on Vista is a breeze.

    The lack of discs doesn’t bother me because it’s cutting costs, and I don’t blame companies for doing so, and you still have the ability to restore it.

    The directory structure is much simpler than XP, you just have to re-learn it. Extreemely superior is the media center, with it I have the Tivo equivalent (I have a TV card). LOVE IT. The side bar is a gadget that I’m addicted to as well.

    The UAC dilemma: I quit fighting it and left it on eventually and this is why: I do not run virus protection nor spyware on my PC, and I recommend my clients (except for a select few) not to use them. They use up a vast amount of resourses and slow down the system exponentially (like any evolving programs they are not getting leaner). Some virus protection programs are better than others, but for the most part they’ll bog you down and do nothing to stop a virus that most likely are more advanced than your “virus protection”. The reason being is that if the virus is spreading, it means it found a way around, so you’re screwed anyway. If you use your intelligence and not click on everything that comes your way, especially when adding “free” programs, you’ll be much better off. This is why the UAC is handy, because I too sometimes click aimlessly, and the UAC, which is only one extra click, is way worth the extra resources you get to play with.

    The Red Shield eventually goes away, believe me on this one, hidden with other useless icons. We ITs tend to be OCD (guilty as charged) so I wanted mine to go away really bad (showing because of no Virus Protection). Once I let go of my obsession, I got to breathe and relax, it doesn’t really matter, if you know what you’re doing, and since you’re in this forum, it’s safe to assume you do.

    Graham: OS, on PCs, Macs or wherever, are getting more complex and will use more resources. If you think the next Vista or Leopard is going to be leaner, you’re just going to be agravated. I work with Macs because most of my Graphics and Video collegues have Macs, but there’s nothing that they do on Macs that a PC won’t do and for substantially smaller price. Yes, Macs are cool, and designwise are amazing and I love them, but when it comes to shedding an extra couple thousand for the same system, I shy away. As systems get more complex Apple’s rigidness has to loosen up and MS open architecture will become more rigid (the UAC is a prime example). And it’s not about egos, but plain numbers. The computer can’t make all the decisions for you and it can’t ask you about everything either, so where’s the middle ground? With things getting so complex both sides have to let out. Macs are great for artists who know zilch about computers, PCs give you freedom to canibalizing them and build your one of a kind machine for a low price (Linux more than Windows). As things progress there are too many options for any one person to handle and the artists are finding they want more options. So I believe both will grow closer, but remain at arm’s length to target differnt types of customers.

    Hope this helps.

  52. Skywarp

    thanks a lot thomas, you helped clear up a lot of questions with great advice. i tried to go into more detail in this reply, but despite not using any spam or bot talk, the message was blocked. perhaps it will work tomorrow.

    Skywarp

  53. Slappanaspank

    you can set your security center options to notify and display the icon, or not notify and display icon, and Don’t notify but not show the icon

    Personally I think there should be a Notify but DO NOT show the icon option too… that way you would be notified but then you could ignore it or do something without the constant nag in the bar.
    If you don’t know how to turn this nag off..
    Go to your “Start Search” and type in security center
    -next go to the option on the left side that says “change the way Security Center alerts me
    -then choose your option

  54. Roo

    Does UAC stop “Blue screen” happening? Blue screen as in- Playing games online, once in a while screen switches off (hear game running) then systems shuts down and ya see a blue screen with white writing. Im running a sweet system as well so i know it aint thaT. I BELIEVE ITS WHEN YA COMP GETS TROPPED UP BY OTHER THINGS HAPPENING ON YA COMP WHEN YA DOIN SOMTHIN ELSE. And i read somewhere UAC prevents this cos of course another process would need ya permission to start. Gona leave UAC on an see how long i go b4 getin blue, if i get it at all. Any1 know if this will defo stop blue screen?

  55. Roo

    Thats Tripped* up not tropped lol

  56. Bigsoke

    The reason why I disable UAC is because my games and some software isn’t compatible with my games. PunkBuster (A cheat/hack preventer) is disabled by U.A.C automatically and would not let me play my games online that needs punkbuster. And when I had problems installing an add-on (Areosoft FDC Cockpit) for Flight Sim X. So I disabled U.A.C and MOST of my vista problems have been solved.

  57. catpay

    I didnt not mind the prompts when this was on but we couldnt get any games to download when this was on, wow and lord of the rings neither one would download, you dont pay that much for a computer to spend so much time trying to figure out how to get things to work on it. My son also has ventrilo, his voice chat, wouldnt work when he would shrink it, turn off the user account control and it worked

  58. Jack

    Maybe people should just always think. Thereby eliminating the need for “are you sure” boxes.

  59. saracen480

    the way i see it is this…..in general, we as consumers and members of the public, are ‘forced’ into buying products we may not actually need…..so, theres a whole raft of people who dont actually need a pc, have no knowledge of pcs, yet own one…because they can “email their kids in australia or whatever”.
    So, the assumption that if you have a pc, you must know how to use it….doesnt always apply.
    Ive worked in the IT side of the banking industry for 15years now…running systems from server based, right up to IBM mainframes, and you wouldnt believe the skill differences ive come across….never ever assume people know what theyre doing (remember the jokes about using cd players as coffee cup holders? people have in fact done it)

    So UAC is good for these sorts of people…as long as they can apply a modicum of common sense….nothing to do with pc literacy, just good old fashioned common sense….ie, they WONT allow “big fats wobbly naked women.com” to turn their pc into an internet brothel….common sense isnt it.
    If your distruibuting Vista in a large enviroment, you should know, and be able to use group policies to stop most of the pop ups getting to users in the first place anyway, if you dont, then you are an end user trying to install something on the works pc that you shouldnt!

    rgrds
    saracen

  60. Timbo Nagasaki

    Am I missing something. Why don’t they take a leaf out of firewall programs and allow you to “allow certain programs in” so you dont have to be asked everytime?!?! Then it will only annoy you once! i have to keep being asked for the same programs i run day in day out. Thats bl**dy stupid! That will make people turn in off.. and then how secure are their systems then!

  61. Papa Smurf

    JoeB
    In response to IT Guy’s April 4th comment, I’d say that releasing Vista in its present form, when MS was undoubtably aware it would break many legacy apps, was the concept that was not fully thought out, period.
    Regards,
    JoeB

    Joe, every one is missing the point, from Microsoft’s financial point of view, this is exactly what they wanted!!!

  62. mitch

    hello everybody, im really startaing to get annoyed with uac. I understand how to turn it off, but i only have one problem. I’m logged onto a limited account user and the Administrator is locked with a password. secpol.msc command doesnt work, control userpassword2 doesn’t work? anyone know how to disable uac from alimited account with a protected password?

  63. Papa Smurf

    mitch,

    unless you’re a damn good hacker, it can not be done. For a fee (of course), you can contact microcrap, and they will tell you how to unlock the admin account from the recovery console. But again, your easiest option is to search astalavista for a hack.

  64. mitch

    papa smurf,

    thankyou for your advice papa smurf ill check it out. but, before do that i think i found a solution. i’m going to download tweakuac.exe on my other computer and send it to myself through email. hopefully, on my vista it will open and work to disable uac from my limited account. I’ll try to remember to update you on the news. Thanks!

  65. John De Leon

    I am working on a Dell laptop that has Windows Vista Home Premium. I am trying to install a program that is downloaded from one of our hospital vendors to view xrans online. Whenever we attempt to download and install the software we receive an error stating that there isn’t enough disk space. I’ve seen this before in Windows XP Prof and it was related to Admin rights. There’s only one user account on the laptop and he has Admin rights, but it still fails to install the program correctly. How can I get around this? I’ve made all sorts of UAC changes and nothing seems to work. Help!

  66. Mitch

    John,

    Have you tried Safe Mode yet? If not and you are unsure on how to get there:

    Turn on your computer and continuously tap the F8 key. Advanced option menu will appear, go to Safe Mode using the direction keys and click enter. After it is done loading there will be a login screen similar to the same screen that you see when you login normally. Click Administrator. If there is no Administrator click your account. A screen will appear asking about system restore. Unless you want to restore click ‘Yes’ to continue. In this mode you have more power over files etc… But be very careful and read everything! There should be no need to run regedit or any such program. If you can still says you do not have enough disk space, maybe you don’t have enough. Or if it is just because of your user privedges you can repeat the process I instructed above but instead of clicking ‘Safe Mode’ click, ‘Safe Mode with Networking’ and download the software there. Also, you may be saving the data on a seperate hard drive with his disk space.

  67. tom

    @John De Leon:Click right on your installation exe (e.g. setup.exe) and choose “Run with admin..”, that’s all, I hope. Otherwise choose here “properties” and the “compatibility” tab and choose the XP Setup with admin rights. Turning off UAC or other Vista Features is stupid – ever !

  68. Anthony

    I just tried to install Motorola Phone Tools (from a cd) I got told 11 times by Vista that the publisher wasn’t verified. I don’t know if that counts as UAC but they sure as hell got the balance wrong, I’d prefer one virus – to a billion warnings personally. Probably cost me less time.

  69. buzz

    I could almost stand a warning first. However all i get is a blank screen (lets call it a grey screen of death) .

  70. tom

    @Anthony: Try the newest version of Moto-Tools on their homepage. The versions on CD are mostly older ones. Many manufacturers still have bad vista compatible software. That’s also the reason, why Microsoft still doesn’t release it’s new (RTM) SP1. If you still have these problems, write Moto! They need to fix this problems. If you disable UAC you just accept their bad programming skills. Give the quality pressure back to the causer. Good luck.

  71. Luis

    There’s even another way: hit your window key + R this will open the System Configuration Tool (a very useful tool by the way) move to the Tools tab and locate: Disable UAC hit the Launch button and that’s it, reboot your system. Every single method does the same with the same result. Happy “unsafe” Vista Experience.!

  72. Luis

    CORRECTION

    There’s even another way: hit your window key + R AND TYPE: MSCONFIG, this will open the System Configuration Tool (a very useful tool by the way) move to the Tools tab and locate: Disable UAC hit the Launch button and that’s it, reboot your system. Every single method does the same with the same result. Happy “unsafe” Vista Experience.!

  73. Big Jim

    Most of the people here see the UAC as a “security feature”, as a firewall or an antivirus.

    In fact, it is not. Strictly speaking, it warns you when you do something that has a potential impact on other profiles/users on the same machine and then asks you to confirm. It has nothing to deal with “computer security”, but more about “profile security”.

    If you are the single user on the computer, the added value is poor because except yourself you may not harm anybody, and as some said most people click yes and then read the question. But for others users, it does not show a shield and asks you to confirm: it claims for the administrator password.

    If you are a family and share a computer, as a Daddy that bought your brand new PC with Vista OEM, you will be glad not to see your computer in a mess every week because your 11-year boy installs a new crappy thing every day. So the Dad makes everybody “regular users” and then he is sure that he computer will boot every time he needs it to work and he will find his applications.

    On this point of view, the question “why Linux don’t have this ?” has no sense. Seriously, do you know a lot of family computers that runs under Linux ?

  74. adelta hagens

    tried all of sugested solutions, none worked. just need to install a printer. can’t.

  75. Zybermark

    UAC is a great feature. Disabling it should not be necessary for normal home users. It keeps them a little safer while spelonking through the internet. However, for system administrators it can get in the way. Thanks for sharing this little gem.

  76. Jacob

    Personally, Vista has great features and the UAC is a great feature. People have their opinions and say its annoying and sucks and it’s true. The biggest problems is that it is over protective. I think sooner or later, they should eventually put up an update or patch or something to take off so many limitations and warnings for all this and only notify when the system will majorly be affected.

  77. major tom

    vista wont even let me access programs ive installed says i don have permission from the administrator i bought the computer its sitting on my desk in my home im the only one using it i feel like smashing the ##### thing in a million pieces and getting an apple surely ms could have come up with a more user friendly system than vista not everyone is a computer geek

  78. Bhavesh

    on windows vista not able to login to other users on my system apart from administrator.
    (before i was able to login to other users also. i even scanned my system for virus but did not find any.
    as soon as i login with other users i get the screen preparing the desktop setting & later i get a logoff screen. )

  79. Captain

    Windows Explorer Stops Responding when i open the UAC

  80. Jeff Rubinoff

    I’m a tech writer so not as “power” a user as a sys admin or developer, but I’m doing more than writing docs and email and surfing porn.
    I had a problem with my NetBeans IDE controlling a GlassFish application server that was installed to Program Files. I had a WAR file in GLASSFISH/domains/../autodeploy and I was trying to update and redeploy it from a NetBeans project. Just would not work, kept giving me a message that the WAR file could not be renamed to “temp.” Then a developer suggested I turn off UAC and voila! everything works.
    Not only would it be nice if you could turn off UAC for specific programs, but if you could authorize programs to change files elsewhere in Program Files. Of course, you can always install the application server to somewhere else, like a data partition, and then UAC lets you change any files you want!

  81. joeabby

    Concerning UAC in Vista, click START. At the top right of the drop down, there is a 1″ square with a flower in it [daisy?]. Left click the square and it takes you to UAC. No muss, no fuss, no typing.

    Joeabby

  82. Jeff Rubinoff

    Holy cow, I thought that was just a decoration.

  83. The Geek

    @joeabby

    That’s a good point.. much simpler!

  84. bizcut93

    ive tried everything and it still wont work what should i do.
    please help

  85. Dave

    For Vista Home Premium….. you can’t bring up the secpol.msc, but you can still disable UAC very easily in the System Configuration page (command prompt, type in MSCONFIG) and select the TOOLS tab, where you will find settings that allow you to either enable or disable UAC.

    I understand the intensions behind creating UAC in Vista, however the proper way of using XP was to create and use an Admin account only when you needed it, and otherwise use a Power User or standard user account so that an outsider wouldn’t have access to Admin privileges. I may be wrong, but this seems like the way to go, it’s certainly a lot less annoying.

    Please let me know if my thinking here is screwed up. I don’t want to jeopardize my new system.

    Dave

    Dave

  86. Chris

    To disable uac easily just do this: start menu –> run –> msconfig, click on tools tab then scro.ll down to disable uac then click launch.

  87. Wesley Robertson

    I have Windows Vista Business on my laptop and I hate the damn thing. The laptop had good specs like 2GB RAM + 1GB TurboCache, 250GB hard drive and ATI 2600 with 256 dedicated RAM, but it is not fast at all like it should be. I miss XP so much that I will be installing it soon. I am too tired of seeing the windows cursur spinning around in a circle and having programs say “not responding”, because vista is taking its time.

    As for the user account control, after 4 months, I have disabled it, as it is a royal pain in the ass. What the hell do you need it for anyway when you have a top internet security program that gives warnings and asks for permission to tasks like changing pc settings. The user account control is so irritating coming up all the time. It can’t even let you tell it that a specific program is trusted by you and not to bother you about it again. I have been reading up on the user account control and Kaspersky Labs says that their staff have found no less than 5 ways to get past it. Symantec has also said in news that they are trying to make a function in their software to control the user account control, as user find it too irritating and turn it off, just like me.

    Clever idea, not cleverly executed.

  88. Stubu

    All of this is very useful stuff, the UAC i mean, the only thing I find infuriating is that as an administrator I cannot save applications into the program files folder. For this fact alone I have disabled the UAC but if I could set I could give permission to myself to save where I want with the click an ok button, I would turn it back on.

    Is there a way to allow access to save to the programs file, even if it has a security warning? at the moment it just says I do not have permission to save in this location and to ask an administrator, even though I am he.

  89. john weis

    My only question for MSFT is “Why the hell do I have to trigger UAC if I want to change the text on a friggin desktop shortcut? What kind of security issue is that, huh?”

  90. Joshua

    I hate how whenever I switch on Itunes, that thing pops up!!!!
    Maybe its to make ppl think twice about using an apple media player software on a windows computer………..
    But UAC is still improtant.
    What I don’t get is what is the point of having ‘unidentified publisher’ but still expect to accept or deny it? If it is for your security, shoud’nt you know the name of the thing? at least put something! I mean, if I am meant to deny all ‘unidentified publisher’ popups because it might be a virus (or not), then I will be denying microsoft because MICROSOFT STUFF COMES UNDER ‘UNIDENTIFIED PUBLISHER!!!!’

    Weird huh?

  91. vi editor lover

    UAC idea is good, but its implementation of The Corporation is weird. No one need to approve “elevation” for any single run of any single app. It can be done only once – by default when is run by user for the first time – and put on list of insecure apps if necessary. So simple it is – but try to explain it to a smart asshole just out of college – wasted time!

  92. Flix

    Hi there! Is there any way to change UAC from a standard account? I used to have an admin account but I ended up changing it into a standard account and now only my older brother has an admin account and everytime I need something done, I have to go to him. Its really annoying. Please help me out. Thank you.

  93. Michellette

    What about the annoying prompts from the System Tray that you get each time you restart – reminding you that you have turned off UAC? Anyone to turn *those* off?

  94. Elay

    hi i have vista ultimate on my pc with 2 accounts, admin and user. I would like to permit access to an application for the user without having him type in the admin password cause the user can’t run the application without the admin password, it worked with turning off UAC but i didn’t recommend it cause it just makes my system less secure, so if there is a way to apply permissions just to that application without turning off UAC( Maybe editing UAC) it would be very helpful (and also not changing the app directory where it is located in program files)

    thanks

  95. shidi

    hi, i have installed a codec then play a movie file and i notice if i enable the UAC the codec is not installed properly to the registry and my playback was very lagg. After i turn off the UAC then i installed the codec. The file can be played smoothly. May i know the location at registry where those files were installed??

  96. Chris

    I would be much happier with UAC if it allowed you to remember settings, I have had to disable UAC because a program that loads on startup is blocked by windows (Don’t even get an annoying message)

    Quote Ed M
    Yes it is annoying – but that’s only because as Windows users are not used to having to actually think about security issues – and as such we’ve had all the problems of the last few years. Critics continually slate Microsoft for not doing more to make the OS secure – and yet when they attempt to, there are numerous articles like this encouraging people to turn these features off.

    What about linux? No annoying popups every five seconds there, yet it’s still nice and secure!

  97. Annoyed MCP

    I’ve see several comments about why doesn’t Mac and Linux have this. They do. Difference is, they have security built in the kernel from the start, not as an afterthought implemented so all the legacy stuff kinda works mostly.

    Near as I can tell UAC is little more than an over engineered nag pop up that doesn’t really fulfill it’s goal. What it has done is break my software product and cost me untold time and grief in customer support. And I’m not the only one complaining. Neosmart is publicly complaining. http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/ireboot-and-working-around-uac-limitations/

  98. Ptech

    After reading through all these, I can say, I don’t agree with a lot of the hoopla. All Vista does is create an annoying atmosphere and user experience. I have gotten more computers in of people just trying to figure out how to use them, thinking something is wrong than infections lately. They still allow crap no matter what. So there are users who can’t think for themselves, so there are users who will learn the hard way, so some users simply are not savvy, oh well, that’s life, so instead our OSs decide what’s best for us huh? You know, computing is much like real life and I say, Freedom is not Freedom, if you have to be in a shell and be controlled in order to have it. Using my PC freely, living freely, either way, I would rather take my hits than live in a plastic bubble and it’s getting no different with MS , they are creating the Vista plastic bubble. A useless one at that. I laugh as it’ll be to the point that when someone gets an infection, the only one who won’t be able to do anything about it, will BE the user. Scare tactics, don’t disable UAC, you won’t be secure… BS. What OS is secure by MS anyway? It’s just some red tape, nothing more, I hate UAC. Begone!

    **sigh**

  99. TAnno

    I agree with PTech. Get rid of the UAC or at least set it to Quiet Mode. If you have trouble doing this, try this free software called WinCleaner UAC Switch. It will let you control the uac.

  100. RonnyKronny

    Use a utility like WinCleaner UAC Switch to set the UAC to quiet mode and then you don’t need to worry about it.

  101. Twisted

    The UAC is a complete waste of all our time, microsoft admitted it not to long ago, that said it was incorporated into the OS as an annoyance. Pure simple, just to waste our time.. I say.. enough.. turn it off, an never look back.. But remember to have anti-virus / malware software installed.
    By the looks of this forum, we have all wasted more than enough time on the Useless A C … you can place what ever words you would like at the A and C position..

  102. Ter

    Being a window program developer is much worse than you guys to think about after the introduction of UAC. You know guys I have wasted a lot of time helping to fix such problem because of this…many days after I still cannot think much benefits about UAC and yet reported from my customers as well.
    I just want an environment that can save more time for me to construct some useful programs.

  103. GF

    This does not seem to work. As soon as
    type the U then the A the search says it cannot find any matches.

  104. Sam

    Hi I subscribe to your blog and I was wondering… a few days ago UAC prompts and “higher elevation needed” prompts started appearing on my computer, I double checked and I still have UAC disabled, I run about 8 different types of antispyware/antivirus so I know when settings have changed, but somehow this one slipped by me, any ideas?

  105. Sean

    The point of the UAC is to protect the average joe from downloading malicious content. If that average joe turns this feature off, you can not just say, “Your system is less secure”. Windows for many years has been less secure. This was Microsoft’s way of saying “enough of your ocmplaints about our software because you are stupid enough to keep clicking on the free iPod ads and downloading viruses”. I have used Windows since 3.1 and DOS 5.0. When viruses were first becoming more of a problem, anti-virus software became popular (I should have bought stock in these companies). Now viruses and malicious content can find it’s way on to a system if it is unprotected. In Vista (or any Windows O/S) if you disable a security feature, back up your system and make sure you Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware is up to date. I have been using Windows without an Anti-Spyware program for years. I only use them when I fix other user’s infected systems. Educate the average joe, do not just tell them this is a stupid move. And don’t think Mac and Linux are more protected than Windows. They might be more secure with their features, but it’s probably more likely that since over 80% of the market share uses Windows, virus programmers and hackers will attack those pcs. If everybody keeps pushing to buy a Mac or a PC with Linux, they will fall subject to the same issues. All it takes is a somebody with too much free time to crack the kernels. If people would educate themselves before just surfing the internet like a pubescent teenager with his older babysitter, they wouldn’t complain about slowness or unprotected systems. Also, the same complaints were made about XP when it first came out and for several years, those complaints continued until everybody was forced to use it. Now it is the most widespread O/S out there. It will happen with Vista as well. Get used to it. You will have to start using it at work and school. If you learn about it and educate yourselves now, you won’t be so terribley disappointed later.

  106. Zach

    I have question about this UAC. Even when I turned it off, I was still having a problem deleting a program from my c drive. I don’t understand why it’s asking me for permission? I am the only user on the account and the administrator? I never even saw where you could enter your password as administrator to give it permission to delete the file. What am I missing or what are steps to enter the password to give it permission to delete?

  107. Sean

    @Zach

    What exactly are you trying to delete? Some programs are probably necessary for Vista to run. I know that Vista locks down the folder structure pretty tight on the C: drive.

  108. Jason

    UAC does not make Vista more secure, and the fact that it even exists proves that Windows is still not secure, and instead of fixing the root causes of this, MS decided to warn users about the dangers of what they are doing every single time they do something. UAC is an educational control, and an annoying one at that. As pointed out in a previous comment, the average joe user who this is aimed at does not even bother to read the warnings. Apple was smart and chose BSD for it’s kernel and then built the flashy UI on top of that. MS should follow suit. Until then, if you really can’t stand Ubuntu or the many other user friendly Linux distros, purchase a Mac and forget about Windows. Or maybe the average Joe should try to learn more about the OS they are using, which is not going to happen anytime soon.

  109. arlene

    This doesnt work on my PC…..everytime I follow those steps the box to disable UAC is already unchecked, but I’m still getting those annoying messages……Someone please help!!!!!!!

    Thanks!!!!!!!

  110. jumanji

    Triel wrote:

    Because Mac and Linux are not even smart enough to build a system worth even talking about. Just look at legit security information and you will find that even Windows XP beats Mac and Linux on security. The only reason Windows is attacked more is do to the fact that it dominates the market from A to Z, and thats the bottom line.

    TRIEL ARE YOU INSANE???? I won’t comment your post, but I had a lot of fun reading that.

    How can I give permissions to netsh for standard of power user so they could change settings using my scripts without knowing admin password??

    Vista is crap…

  111. Sid

    The average user should not disable the UAC. Tests prove that the UAC can easily prevent virus and spyware infections. People need to be more concerned with security. I routinely clean virii and spyware from clients computers and have test machines that I install them on to see for myself what they do on the system. This makes it easier to clean infected systems. Although just as many of my clients computers have Vista as XP now, I have not had one call where I found a computer with Vista infected, while I get numerous calls to clean infected XP machines. I seldom get a UAC prompt because I use programs that are Vista compatible. The only reason someone would need to disable it, is if they have programs that are not fully Vista compatible installed. One of the reasons these things spread is because so many people are not properly informed about computer security. One infected machine can infect thousands of other machines. A computer getting infected because someone disables security features can affect others. This is one fact that is not stressed nearly enough.

  112. theDuke

    I recently tried installing xampp (Apache, MySql) and the installation package asked that I disable UAC or install into a directory other than the “Program Files” folder. Wonder if it’s morally right for a non-MS system to request that. Secondly, I’ve been trying to run the Techsmith Camtasia recorder and these security settings just wouldn’t let me so I’ve just decided to disable UAC at least for now. What’s an admin account without power to control. I agree with the suggestions that Windows should be put more effort into letting ordinary users use less privileged accounts instead of restricting many features on admin accounts.

  113. arianit

    hi i have in my PC vista ENTERPRISE and i have with 2 accounts how to get the pasword of the 1 account?

  114. jd2066

    @arianit: For recovering/resetting passwords see http://www.petri.co.il/forgot_administrator_password.htm

  115. Krijn Swinnen

    after the secpol.msc edits, you can run
    start-> run -> cmd [enter]
    in the dos prompt: gpupdate [enter]

    No reboot needed!

  116. xibex.com

    Nice tutorial, good job!!

  117. Delphi13

    Sheesh, all I want to do is to put one of my Delphi programs in the startup folder or in the registry so it runs automatically on start.

    Turning UAC off allows it to run with no problems but now the computers display the annoying ‘UAC is off’ message. Naturally the program does not have a signature, it’s a home grown database app but DO I need it to run on startup.

    Is there ANY way to run a home grown app from either ‘Startup’ or the registry without getting this ‘Unsigned’ message?

    We’re just making the transition to Vista and I’m under the gun to get this out to 450 users ASAP.

  118. Spacegold

    All of you techies who pontificate about UAC being good for the average joe computer user don’t have a clue. It is a nightmare for Joe Computer User who doesn’t have a techie perched on his shoulder. There is no one on the planet who benefits from UAC except the MS beholden techies who get to charge for comforting the non-techies who are tangled up in its jungle. If you want Joe Computer User to start liking Vista, you better help him shut off UAC forever. Thanks, Geek, for posting this path out of the jungle.

  119. no thanks

    Consider this – I’m logged in as administrator on my laptop (Only I ever use).
    I try to perform a file change or open certain folders.
    The OS refuses to allow me to do either very fundamental operation.

    UAC is already turned off.

    The simple truth is Vista is a dangerous mess that should be withdrawn from the marketplace.

  120. marie

    When I read Sid’s input…my first thought was….”this guys a techie”. It seems the only ones who back Vista are M$ people or techies. Spacegold you hit the nail on the head. It’s all about the money, but there is something else as well….control…not ours, M$’s control. M$ made Vista, confusing, and tiresome…hoping average joe user would give up and COMPLY. I find UAC to be absoulutely annoying and I can see how M$ would make money off the huge numbers of folks who are confused by Vista. As for the control issue…I get the definite feeling that we (the people) are little by little having our control taken away. Thank goodness for sites like this and people like you all who won’t take it lying down…I don’t need UAC, and I don’t want it. If I make a mistake, oh well, let it be on my head. But at least it was my decision. “Anyone who would sacrifice a little freedom to get a little security, deserves neither and will lose both.” A quote by Benjamin Franklin, a very wise man.

  121. Melanie

    I recently purchased a new PC preloaded with Microsoft Office 2007 Professional. If I open it with UAC on it tells me “This microsoft program is not installed for current user, run setup to install application.” DEll was not able to help me (since they preloaded the software they were to be the first contact.) They told me to uninstall and reinstall but that didn’t work either so they told me to call Microsoft. On my own, I turned off UAC and the programs run fine. Any suggestions for how I can leave UAC on and still run office?

  122. CCC

    I just bought a computer with Vista installed. I downloaded Firefox, and then installed the variosu Adobe stuff you need. One of the Adobe programs prompted this UAC warning to come up ALL THE TIME. There was no way to create an exemption. I spent half an hour trying to make it happen, and couldn’t. So I came here and learned how to disable UAC. Now I get a computer nanny warning me that I’ve disabled UAC. You what I call this? Chapter 5,223 in the never ending story titled: “Microsoft Hates Their Customers.” Look, you god damned geeks, I do not find computers fascinating, interesting, or fun. They are refrigerators, and you are not special. So will you someday quit acting like I care about you? Grrrrrrrrrr. I am waiting for the day when Japan or India or someone with some ambition puts Microsoft out of my misery.

  123. jd2066

    @CCC: I have installed many programs like Adobe and they don’t prompt all the time. I would guess there is an issue with your computer’s configuration.
    Also even if it was an issue for everyone, it’s caused by Adobe’s software not Windows UAC. UAC was designed to only prompt when Administrator access is wanted.
    It is not Microsoft’s fault that some programs ask for Administrator access when they don’t need it.

  124. Sean

    I know I have posted this before, but turning off UAC IF the computer is properly protected does not cause Vista to be infected. Turning UAC off will cause Vista to notify you that it is off. This is true of the firewall or not having an anti-virus software as well. This can be disabled in control panel the same way you disable the message for the firewall. For anyone out there that thinks turning UAC off will cause harmful repercussions to your computer with proper software, you are wrong. If you install a security suite like ESET, you will never need to have the UAC on. Just like any new device, software, furniture, car, etc. . . You have to read the manual. The term for this is RTFM. Don’t just go expecting everything to work the way you want it. Personalizing the computer is a big part of buying a new one. Do some research, find ways to work around it, read the posts (which in some of the comments after my previous one, I don’t think they have). Yeah, Microsoft sucks money from the economy, but they aren’t going away. They will be here for a very long time. Quit complaining that M$ is taking control away, learn the work arounds to disable this “control” and move on. If you don’t like M$, go buy a (it disgusts me to say this) a Mac. Or learn how to use Linux on a PC. But beware, I am sure that somebody will complain that Linux is too hard to navigate or use. Just learn how to use the software. If there is a feature you don’t like, find sites like this that tell you how to turn it off and get over it.

  125. jd2066

    @Sean: I disagree. Even with Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware (part of Anti-Malware protection) and a Firewall you still need UAC.
    Anti-Malware software can only protect against things in their database. There is still a Window of opportunity between the malware coming out and a database update coming out to protect it.
    A firewall only protects you by blocking ports like File Sharing that a Virus could get though. Should a program on your computer have a security hole in it then the Firewall software will not protect against that. With the exception of Firewalls that download database updates like Anti-Malware programs do that block those programs from accessing the internet but you still end up with the problem of a Window of opportunity where you aren’t protected from that new specific piece of malware.

    UAC prompts you every single time a program wants Administrator access. This gives you the opportunity to know that you are allowing a program to do anything it feels like on your computer and should this program just be an e-card or something then you know you shouldn’t allow it access as something odd is going on.

    The only reason people would get prompts for normal things like email software is because that software is written incorrectly to require Administrator access when it doesn’t need it.

    As for the idea that they are annoying when you change system settings offten, I don’t think that is the case. I change system settings all the time and I don’t find the prompts annoying.
    I’m glad they are protecting me from software that can damage my software.
    It’s also not that bad when you consider the fact that Linux and Mac OS X have a system very much Like UAC but it needs a root password. That is a bit annoying.

  126. Sumit Bohra

    Can anyone give me some advice, info, hack, articles or even code that can help me to solve this UAC issue in IE toolbar.

    The problem is when I loaded an internet explorer with my ie toolbar(Add-in-Express) which perform read/write operation to a text file. But since with UAC enabled, the system blocked my code to write a text file. It works if the the plugin is installed as administrator, but again fails for any other user. I even tried with windows temperory folders but its not allowing write permission to the temperory also.

    I already try signing/certificates but no luck. I can’t turn off the UAC or protected mode for security reasons.

    Trust you guys out there can help me to solve this problem.

    Thanks in Advance.

    Regards,
    -Sumit Bohra

  127. jd2066

    @Sumit Bohra: There is only one temporary folder that add-ons in Protected Mode can write too. See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms537312.aspx for more information on Protected Mode APIs including one to get the path to that folder (You need to use it to get the the location as the location can vary depending on the current user, the language of the Windows version and some other factors).

    In Internet Explorer 8 (Currently in beta), there are Protected Mode APIs to register a broker process (Note: This API needs to be called outside of Protected Mode for security reasons) that can be launched by Internet Explorer 8′s broker APIs from Protected Mode to do things that need more user access then the one temporary folder.

  128. Jim Myers

    When trying to download a program from the internet or from a CD I always get a “user account control’ popup that requires an Adminstrator Password. There is no cursor to use in order to type anything in and the only highlighted button is “cancel”. In addition, as far as I know I never entered a password.
    I have Vista Home Premium.

  129. Quinn

    It is super annoying. I have parental controls on mine, and I have to get my parents to enter it in every time I just want to install something.

  130. jamsie555

    how do you disable the warning saying that uac is disabled?

  131. JimJoe

    I think Microsoft is losing it. I have worked on computers for over 20 years. UAC is not needed for admins. I don’t need a computer’s permission to install anything. There could be a safety feature to ask me if I want to put it in the directory (folder) I am attempting to save it to. If that folder is the system folder, otherwise no. Windows Vista is the only system that treats admins this way. The places I have worked that used other systems, the owner would have been on the phone to Microsoft demanding the uac be removed for admins.

    I have added the reg entry, the computer tried to prevent me from moving a plain text from one directory to another one. Simply unacceptable blockage to doing anything.

    I totally believe the admin should decide what is safe or not. If they crash their hard drive, they will learn. But I don’t need a computer program nagging me. My mother came to me for computer help. I don’t need ‘Mommy Vista’ stopping me from using my own computer.

  132. Mike

    I have a problem is now I get a error pop-up every time I start my computer saying

    “error loading winyom32.rom

    The specified module could not be found.”

    Can anyone tell me why I get that message, and how I can disable the UAC without getting that error message?

    As when I reenable uac I no longer get the message…

  133. Maanoj Rakhit

    Thanks. I thought of trying this idea on Win XP Pro but couldn’t. Is there a way?

  134. dgax

    I think that we are missing the point of the UAC. It’s Microsofts security “quick fix,” at the expense of its users. Unlike UNIX OS’s were the onus is on the user to lock down the OS, Microsoft’s philosophy is to completely take that away from the user, which also promotes more software purchases in the way of security.

  135. Sonic260

    I really don’t mind the UAC, but it is very annoying. Isn’t there a way to turn it off for SPECIFIC programs only?

  136. jaadhw

    we have vista ultimate and someone did this on our laptop to make it faster. he did this while under the administrator log on, for some reason the administrator password has changed or is locked because its not accepting the correct password anymore. ive tried using the propmpt program by typing in net user etc but when i go to change teh administrator password it comes up with error messege 5. any hints on how to get my old admin password back without erasing the c drive?

  137. MARK

    I have Vista Ultimate. Some how I have an Admin account, ok fine, but i also have in my root directory 2 or three other users with my same name, and also when i boot up system it goes to the admin (main) and i have to log out, then back in under my name. Had installed for 2 yrs now, am i just completly screwed and need to reformat after all these years to just have one user, please help! My name has all the admin honors, but is it also possible to combine these user into one?

  138. ZQu

    But is it possible to turn off UAC when you have not got the permission to do it? If yes, then how?

  139. WrayKS1

    IMHO if you’re smart enough to know when a program might possibly infect your computer system then by all means turn off UAC.

    If you’re not smart enough or you share a computer with other users that aren’t that smart, then you risk compromising your system. In theory, if a program has been properly written and signed by the vendor, you should never get the prompt (if the local policy is default), so the only programs that would get this are unknown programs. Those are the risky ones. What exactly do you know about them and will they in 6 months run some code they never ran before?

    That said, there should be a way to turn off UAC on a program by program basis, based on long experience with the program.

    The only way that I can imagine would be secure is get an individual security certificate from Verisign etc (or a self generated one for the local computer), then sign the programs so that they are trusted by you. As long as the programs aren’t changed in any way you might be able to run the same program without a UAC prompt. In theory this is the way to do it, and if I were an originator of a program this is the way you’re supposed to do it with a company code signing certificate, but I have not investigated if this is either practical or possible for an existing program. It would depend on whether the OS required a code signing certificate or accepted an individual certificate. For instance you can enable macros in Word, Excel etc by signing them with a personal certificate locally generated, and you never get prompted again when the macro runs. Signed programs are allowed to run, so it should be possible. If I had the time, I’d work on this idea, but I don’t. Take it away gurus.

  140. Afellowamerican

    Why is it such a big deal to clic something that asks you if you really want to run this program. Does it really put you that much out of the way? I’d say most likely no, don’t bash microsoft because of a nifty little security implement they put in. We wonder why other countries think us Americans are lazy, just look at yourselves, your whining about having to do one extra click. It’s the same as whining about having to park the car one further spot away.

  141. Farmgirl Susan

    THANK YOU! :)

  142. geohazard

    Afellowamerican, I think you have no idea how big the problem is. It’s not just the extra clicks– it’s the fact that we can’t install software properly with the UAC, and that programs won’t run properly with the UAC, even if you run them as administrator. I’ve had Vista for 1.5 years now, I have 4 computer programs that won’t run because of the UAC, and I’ve yet had the UAC ask me about running something that I DIDN’T ask it to do. If I physically clicked or typed something, and I am the Administrator, by golly, that’s what I want it to do. Thus far, I fail to see the alleged benefits of the UAC.

  143. geohazard

    I just realized one of the sentences was unclear: I meant to write: I’ve yet to have the UAC ask me about running something that I DIDN’T ask it to do.

  144. kjhlkjh

    As a computer professional who has worked in the field for 10+ years, I find it completely mind-boggling to see other computer professionals talking about the “merits of UAC for regular users”. UAC doesn’t help ANYBODY. It’s a complete and utter waste of everybody’s time. For the high power user that knows how to run his computer in the first place, it’s a constant annoyance. For the beginner, it desensitizes them to warnings and security prompts by prompting them incessantly about things that simply do not matter. UAC does not work for the same reason that software firewalls do not work — The pros don’t need it, and the beginners don’t know how to answer the questions properly anyhow. Security that depends on user input is not secure. Get yourself a hardware firewall (router) and a good antivirus/antispyware program. Keep it up to date, and stay off questionable sites. Don’t open spam, disable your preview pane in your e-mail program… these are all good ways to reduce problems, but UAC is and always will be a joke. I keep mine disabled.

  145. Ivan

    I completely and utterly agree with everyone here who has called the UAC a joke. I have disabled mine for the following reason: Besides the annoyance, it allows a standard user to open mmc, regedit, services, et. al. without ANY prompt and an administrator can’t even look at the UAC setting without confirming credentials!!! Why does an administrator have to confirm credentials to open a regedit or mmc session while a standard user gets no prompt?!?!?

    BTW, I have Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP1 *ONLY* because Dell did not give me any other option. Another brilliant POS version of Microsnot Winblows.

  146. lisa

    Those notifications are friggin’ ANNOYING. I just turned mine off. Thank you!

  147. Microsuck

    Putting the slider does not disable it completely. It just says do not notify me. I am having issues with programs not performing correctly until I select ‘run as administrator’. I am already an administrator and my slider is at the bottom.

    What we need is the ability to disable it COMPLETELY, not make it silent.

  148. Gonz0

    …and Linux users don’t have to think about security or deal with nagging popups that remind the user just how insecure their operating system really is.

  149. ktm1

    I just bought a new notebook with vista home edition pre-installed and followed these instructions to stop UAC.

    When the notebook rebooted after turning off UAC, a lot of important services had also been automatically disabled by Vista. This included ones necessary for the wifi to work, my McAfee scanner to automatically start, etc. Even the appearance had changed because services allowing the standard vista theme had been disabled.

    I tried to just turn UAC and the Security Center back on, to reverse the change – after the reboot, all the services remained disabled but now I got the annoying UAC nag every time I tried to do something as well.

    I ended up having to manually enable all the services that had been disabled, trying to figure out which ones should be automatic, which ones had to be started (not just made automatic and then come on with the reboot), which ones were dependant on other ones so that they could be started in the correct sequence.

    Maybe this is a “feature” from Microsoft so that normal users can’t hurt themselves by being online with UAC disabled, and maybe this is specific to new releases of Vista Home (everyone else on this thread seemed happy with the instructions), but it was damned annoying whatever it was.

  150. Justin

    The fact of the matter is there are a few points which illustrate why UAC is bad:

    -”Average users” end up just clicking Allow/Continue all the time anyway, which defeats the purpose when something bad comes along

    -If your system is already compromised (the only way an unauthorized program would even get to the point of asking you to allow or continue, then there’s probably already a loss of security integrity on the system. Yes this may prevent it from getting worse, but I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable until formatting/reinstalling. This from a user who installed Vista SP2 and disabled UAC and Windows Defender on Day 1 and have never had a security problem on my PC.

  151. sepecat

    For those who wonder why UAC came about for Windows when nothing similar is required for OSX/Linux:

    Those two OSes have the benefit of inheriting the UNIX-style security model from their inception, where all but a select few programs are designed to run within the security confines of the user who launched them. The first versions of Windows didn’t support running processes in a separate ‘user space’ which didn’t have direct access to hardware and other resources.

    Since MS usually puts a big effort into backwards compatibility so people can still use the large existing software base when they upgrade, no attempt was made to block programs from elevating their permissions if needed (later versions allow enforcing this via policies like Hayu mentioned). In turn, most developers didn’t feel the need to code their apps without requiring elevated access.

    So, UAC comes along and many more programs trigger it than they should, because they’re not coded properly. Such a program in OSX/Linux flat out wouldn’t run unless you’re a super-user because no such elevation mechanism exists. This should change over the next few years- MS might decide to run old apps (or maybe all apps) in a complete VM sandbox (parts of the machine are already virtualized for all processes) since we’re at the point where even the lowliest hardware can handle it. I’m guessing this is what happens when you run a Classic MacOS program in OSX, for example.

    Hope that’s been of interest to some!

  152. sepecat

    Oops, my comment about no privilege elevation existing for OSX/Linux isn’t accurate- you’re just much less likely to run into it. That would be /etc/sudoers :)

  153. Dead End Both Ways

    We have been writing an application for windows Vista and runs nicely on anything pre vista. On Vista, the program cannot read or write from its own folders. We have done everything thats suggestd by MS including adding manifests etc. It just wont work. Anyone who can point us to anywhere for a surefire solution, please help. This is getting annoying. For now we have no choice to ask ppl to turn off UAC. We could do it ourselved by reg fix but we are not keen on that. Thanks in advance. BIG THANKS TO MS for confusing and useless info.

  154. Grady

    If Microsoft wanted UAC to be more effective, they could have done like most firewalls do. Ask you once to approve a program, take a checksum, then ignore that file name with that checksum. That would cause users far less grief, and make them suspicious if they were asked about the same file again. But no, they ask you about the same file over and over again, until you just click yes every time without looking. I bought a copy of XP for a computer that came with Vista a year or so ago, after a couple of days of frustration of trying to get MySQL working. Now I am about to turn off UAC on a new computer with Vista for the same reason. UAC makes Vista more secure? I don’t think so, if it annoys you daily so much you have to turn off UAC. I have been searching the web for solutions but all I find are other people with my same frustrations. I recently installed Apache, PHP, and MySQL in Linux, which is more secure than Windows, with no frustration.

  155. Ed K

    I just bought a new computer with Windows 7. I copied all of my important files from my old computer running Windows XP to external eSata drives. I connected these drives to my new computer thinking that my data would now be available on the new computer. Unfortunately, half of the files can not be read, copied, or deleted. I set the security level to ‘never notify’, but this did not help. Even when logged on as an admin user, I get the message “You do no have permission to view or edit this object’s permission settings” from the Properties menu. This also makes my eSata drives useless, since I cannot even free up space on them. This is more than annoying; it has effectively destroyed my external hard drives.

  156. Ed

    Ed,

    If you change the share settings on that ext drive just like your going to share it on a network, you can get around that. Be sure and check the boxes in the permission tab for full control, delete, etc.

    I had to do this for a customer who’s drive we put in an external enclosure after a laptop died. It wouldnt allow him access to the files until i shared it w/full access.

  157. nitin gupta

    Hi,
    PLEASE HELP ME WITH WINDOWS 7 ISSUE :
    As an administrator, I have disabled many services on my computer. Now want to start some services but now windows not even allowing to open services, UAC or anything in the control panel. Almost every setting is disabled, Please help me to how to enable services on my computer.In adminstrative tools, all tools are disabled .

  158. Tere

    Ed M, you do realize that most users just want a computer for fun not to worry about security issues right? there should be a simpler less annoying way than UAC, i mean im sure most people when they see that annoying “comtinue” button just press the stupid thing without even caring whats accessing their computer just to get it to go away. that thing comes out everytime you do anything on your computer, its actually more of a security risk because most people click on continue without checking, and i dont blame them…

  159. Pete

    nitin gupta, i would say repair the OS from the disk or reinstall I have no idea how you managed that.

  160. jay

    Hi,

    I have a laptop with Windows 7. I get the UAC screen in certain programs only. I do not get the UAc screen in Quick Books, quicken, excel, etc. any clue?

  161. jim

    In all of the above, you sure got one thingy right….PC are the most annoying thingy I ever ran into….it has even screwed up the signal from the modem to the next room….Thats right I cannot get the Net

    My objection to all of the above is it doesn’t agree with reality….Is there a way to remove Parental Controls from my computer? I doubt it too…OK So it has to be clicked off….

  162. Sylvia

    I love UAC in Win 7. It has alerted me several times to things happening in the background that I never would have known about otherwise. Also, note that you can use secpol.msc to elevate without a prompt without rebooting.

  163. Darcy

    UAC sucks, period. Their are other programs that are alot more effective and convenient that can do the exact thing UAC does and more….without all the bs. Tere is entirely right when saying their should be a less annoying way to protect your computers security. There is (zone alarm and a learning script blocker for example). Microsoft creating this technological abortion is plain outrageous. Its not good for the average user because its annoying and overbearing. Their have been various online polls of the average users opinion of UAC..the majority of them negative. As people have mentioned..it encourages a “click to get this friggin message away” mentality..negating any so called “security awareness” that Microsoft continually gets criticized on. UAC is completely useless to a more advanced computer user (power user, admin, etc) because of the lack of flexibility and ease of use options to make adjustments. There is much better software out their. Quite frankly, Microsoft fails in terms of security(on multiple fronts). Its surprising how badly they fail considering how innovative they can be on other issues. Do yourself a favor and turn off UAC and get some better software (there’s even better free software…).

    ~end rant

  164. Jd

    @Dead End Both Ways

    If you were writing a program “for Vista” but it only works properly on “pre-Vista,” then *you* fail because *you* didn’t really write it “for Vista.”

    It’s really not that difficult of a concept: programs go in %ProgramFiles%, settings go in %UserProfile% or HKCU and data goes in%UserProfile%.

    If you wrote the program “for Vista” it would work – but you didn’t. It sounds like you wrote the program while logged in as an administrator on a Windows XP machine, or on a Windows Vista machine with UAC turned off. Nice job. You fail.

    Next time try writing your program with good coding practices in mind. It’s crap software like yours that is the real problem – and the reason why misguided people bitch about how Windows doesn’t run things without annoying the hell out of them. People should be bitching at people like you that write crap software.

    @nitin gupta

    It’s not a Windows 7 problem it’s a user (and in this case: you, sir) problem. I love how people point blame at everyone (especially Microsoft) when they themselves create problems.

    @Darcy

    Sorry, but it’s *you* that fail. You’re misguided and your rant is a bunch of words without meaning.

    First, ignorance is not an excuse: If a user “click[s] to get this friggin message away” then they may as well suffer the same fate as someone that signs their name on documents they haven’t read or don’t understand.

    People need to take responsibility; they need to understand that a computer is a powerful and complex tool, not an appliance.

    Second, UAC is not a security feature, it is a convenience feature. UAC allows you to elevate without having to manually logon as an administrator. Those who logged-in to their Windows 2000 or Windows XP machines as standard users (as they should) would either need to logon as an administrative user or use the RunAs command – UAC simplifies this by prompting and conditionally elevating the task.

    Third, put blame where it belongs – not all on Microsoft. Since Windows NT (mid 1990′s), Microsoft published best practices that included things like “you should run things as a standard user unless you need to do something administrative.” (paraphrased).

    Microsoft published these same best practices with the consumer version of Windows beginning with Windows XP Home and MCE – because the consumer version now belonged to the same “NT family” and supported running processes as different users.

    PC manufacturers largely ignored these best practices and shipped PCs with the desktop being logged-in automatically as an administrator. Users could do whatever they wanted and it probably kept support calls lower for the PC manufacturers, but it also allowed all the malware the user came across to do whatever it wanted.

    Developers – and especially consumer “programmers” also largely ignored these best practices. They used their unrestricted desktops (which they bought from the above PC manufacturers) to write programs. These programs, being written while logged in as an administrator, had no problems doing anything the developer or consumer “programmer” could imagine because they had unrestricted access to the machine.

    Once these programs were deployed to places that “ran” as a standard user, the programs would often break. Instead of fixing their programs, however, most recommended or “required” that the program be run as an administrator. Even in legitimate cases for running a program as an administrator, many found it easier to use an administrator account on their desktop instead of teaching users how to use RunAs (which would prompt for username and password).

    Thus the developers encouraged PC manufacturers to carry on shipping PCs that defaulted to an administrator account and PC manufacturers encouraged (bad) developers and consumer programmers to continue writing programs that, for the most part, accidentally required administrative privileges.

    Don’t point blame at Microsoft for problems that aren’t really theirs. Security holes in their products is their fault, the UAC “problem” isn’t – but to the many misguided people, it is.

  165. Dave

    Hi- I am unfortunately running Vista. I recently was prompted to download Adobe Flash Player 10. Once I had done that videos on youtube are very slow to play. Or they don’t play at all?

    Does anyone out there know how I could rectify this problem?

  166. Jack

    I belive UAC has nothing to do with security, it’s just something for Microsoft to boast about security.

  167. ......

    UM I KNOW ITS OFF THE POINT BUT… CAN ANYBODY TELL ME HOW TO INSTALL CAESAR 3 ON WINDOWS VISTA???

  168. George

    well turning off the UAC is easier said then done with my CPU. As normal i go to user accounts then to turn UAC on or off. Next is the UAC comes up again and i click continue, but thats all that happens, it will not go any further than that!!!! Please Help..

  169. Strider

    @JD Who seems very sure of himself.

    People on here range from computer experts to complete numpties and none of them mind admitting it when they arent that computer literate – so dont bash them for it, its rude, unpleasant and unfair.

    If you are going to come out with statements like:

    “Second, UAC is not a security feature, it is a convenience feature. UAC allows you to elevate without having to manually logon as an administrator. Those who logged-in to their Windows 2000 or Windows XP machines as standard users (as they should) would either need to logon as an administrative user or use the RunAs command – UAC simplifies this by prompting and conditionally elevating the task.”

    Then people like me will examine what you said:

    “UAC is not a security feature”:

    How can you possibly say otherwise? temporarily logging on as adminstrator is not a security feature? Thats like saying the remote keyfob for my car is not a security feature.

    “It is a convenience feature”:

    Clearly it isnt that convenient hence the internet wouldnt be full of people complaining how they are inconvenienced by it – and you would not have written a response. It is a downright pain in the butt – even for administrators sorry to piss on your fireworks but thats the reality.

    I am an ADMINISTRATOR – and as such if UAC is switched ON I am still prompted just to leave my seat to make a cup of tea. So ….. it “allows you to elevate without being logged on as administrator”, well I am logged on as administrator (the only administrator) so by logical deduction based on your statement it should not be prompting me should it. But it does.

    UAC is microsofts attempt to emulate the very strict and successful design of the user and group permission frameworks on linux/unix based systems, UAC is roughly the equivalent of sudo. However linux/unix based systems will not expect the root user to verify itself – with great power comes great responsibility – and yes as an administrator I can completely destroy my system if I want to and that is exactly what an administrator should have the power to do, its my machine, I am god in its eyes and I will do with it as I damn well please thank you.

    On several occasions with UAC switched on I have run software and or un/installers that heve left behind folders and resources which cannot be deleted because apparently I do not have permissions to delete the items in question – bearing in mind I am the administrator. The Zend CE Server installer will not complete – at all on vista because of UAC – even when it is switched off and I am logged on as administrator, tell me that is OK……Sure the software developers didnt take into account the mess microflop have made with the UAC system, and they shouldnt have to – linux and mac developers dont have to, dont push the faults of the lord back on his peasants. Besides, if developers now have to add 4 weeks to thier project to develop around this poorly implemented but great idea then everyones software is going to start costing more. If your water supplier gave you dirty water and you had to filter it yourself – that would be your fault right?

    The biggest fault with the whole concept, and probably why it still prompts me (if I switch it on) as administrator; is that while it is a justifiable inconvenience for an average low privelege user the whole idea is bunk from the word go because the first account you ever create (and usually the last for most home computers) when you first install vista is and administrator anyway, thereby defeating the point entirely from the word go. Vista doesnt say to you ok install is finished, now create an account for your normal day to day use – it just carries on. Totally pointless fromt the word go.

    I will quote you:

    “Don’t point blame at Microsoft for problems that aren’t really theirs. Security holes in their products is their fault, the UAC β€œproblem” isn’t – but to the many misguided people, it is.”

    IT IS Microsoft’s fault, they built the feature with the best of intentions but it just pissed people off – try to deny it … theres a lot of pissed off people out there for it all to be thier fault. Its a great concept (that they stole from elsewhere like most of thier stuff) but it only works in the model circumstances they envisaged. So I have to disagree, if people are misguided as you put it then who guided them?

    The problem I feel, like with many M$ products is that they are designed around the idea that the user is far too stupid to make the decisions for themselves, need help with everything – sometimes admittedlly yes they are – then it is thier fault for being stupid. For anyone else with more than a few years experience with a computer this starts to become tiresome – almost insulting. Start writing a letter in word and if you havent switched it off already a little paperclip will come and ask you whether you need help to write your letter, the classic example: You Mr User are too stupid to write a letter you need some help from an animated sprite.

    Your loyalty is misguided – your fellow users are your friends not the software giant. If your so knowlegable then help them, dont slate them.

  170. ......

    i dont need help anymore ive done it!

  171. marane70

    Hello!!! I have a problem with the User Account Control settins on my machine!! I can not do anything!!! It is driving me crazy because i can not copy anything to my c disk, i cant download anything, cant install anything….. i cant change my account settings, cant create a new account, cant disable the UAC….. I really dont know what to do…….. I have the microsoft icon on almost all the security warnings on my computer and if there is this icon, it means that i cant even click on that option… I am the administrator of this computer…. and this problem started when i tried to create a new account for another person and I change the permission that this user had… but it seems that i changed them for that user and for me too!!!!
    What can I do????????? please help me!!

  172. Rathgar

    I have just installed win 7 so its going to take me a few days to learn its ins and outs never having used vista thank god, i have to get use to everything not being where it should be. After just using it for a few minuts it was driving me mad having it pop up its File Access Denied window every time i just wanted to move a file or rename a file it seems you cant make a move without it wanting admin premission to do it even if you are a admin, and turning UAC off seems to be the only way i have found so far to get rid of this after doing a search. So being I will agree UAC seems to be a complete waste of time and another of MS failures and JD i think you are a moron and most likely work for MS

  173. Jd

    @Strider

    Thanks for your comments.

    I understand that the skillset of the users here are greatly varied; perhaps I failed to make it clear that my comments were directed at certain individuals that presented themselves as not being among the general user base. My responses to them were perhaps rude and unpleasant, but not unfair.

    You asked how I could say that UAC is not a security feature and correlated the use of your car’s key fob. Continuing that metaphore, I would say that unlocking and locking your car via the key fob is a convenience feature not a security feature – the locking mechanism is. Being able to unlock (or lock) one or more doors at a time without needing to insert your key or manipulate the mechanism itself highlights how the key fob is a convenience feature; the key fob is not required for the security feature itself to work.

    I understand a lot of people complain about UAC and I can see how people may consider UAC to be inconvenient. I still consider it a convenience feature because the user can be prompted to authorize elevation instead of being told to manually switch to a privilaged context.

    In response to your “I am an ADMINISTRATOR” statement – it’s a misnomer; your user account simply belongs to the Administrators group. With UAC turned on your user context is unprivilaged until a member of the Adminstrators group (you) authorize an elevation of privilages. Your account, however, is not the same as the Adminstrator account (which is disabled by default).

    Similar problems exist in NT-based systems when running processes using Administrator as with root on *nix systems. If a program is installed as Administrator and it improperly reads and writes to HKLM instead of HKCU or stores settings in %ProgramFiles%, then non-privilaged users will be unable to properly use that program. UAC blends file system and registry virtualization with authorized elevation to help address these types of issues. The issues are complex, and I think my original statement that computers are complex tools and not appliances reflects that appropriately.

    I don’t agree with your 4 weeks comment. If it takes 4 weeks extra to write your code properly, then that’s what it takes. But if you use constants and properly abstract your code, it shouldn’t take more than one day to refactor it to properly using HKCU, %ProgramFiles%, %UserProfile%, %AppData% etc instead of bad decisions like referencing HKLM, hardcoding and/or writing to “C:\Program Files” or %AppDir%.

    Example:

    [Bad] MyAwesomeApp 1.0 saves settings in %AppDir%\settings.ini (C:\Program Files\MyAwesomeApp\settings.ini). Effect: Non-privilaged users cannot write/save settings here.

    [Good] MyAwesomeApp 1.0 saves settings in %UserProfile%\MyAwesomeApp.ini (C:\Users\Jd\MyAwesomeApp.ini). Effect: Non-privilaged users can write/save settings.

    [Better] MyAwesomeApp 1.0 saves settings in %AppData%\MyCompany\MyAwesomeApp\settings.ini. Effect: Non-privalaged users can write/save settings.

    The same holds true for HKLM vs HKCU and applications that assume C:\ etc. This is the root cause of the problem, not UAC.

    I’m not trying to slam users – I am slamming bad “programmers” such as the first person I addressed in my comments. And yes, I did it publically because I think users can become educated and start demanding that “programmers” out there fix their crappy code.

    A personal note: I feel that anyone that writes “M$” is biased against them and is not keeping an open mind. M$ is a derogatory label and its use doesn’t promote one to have an open mind if their language reflects that their mind is already made up. I hope I am wrong here.

    Please re-read my original comments as I think you may have taken a defensive stance without needing to.

    PS: Wikipedia’s article on UAC is a pretty accurate and fair summary

    Am I the only one who sees beyond the flame war with UAC?

  174. Crow

    U.A.C. Is nothing but a bunch crap for anyone that really knows a computer.
    U.A.C. was designed to prevent idiots from screwing up their system.

  175. Bobby

    I agree with JD’s comment. Many many XP users abuses the admin account and perhaps many many destroyed their computers in the process by modifying or deleting critical files and making XP very much less secured.

    Administrator was meant to be an emergency account, used for salvaging the computer when all else failed. Far more often, however, it ended up being used as the standard administrative account, thereby violating several principles of security.

    You know what really interest me especially seeing the older comments is seeing how many of them had malware infection and how many of them were due to disabling the UAC altogether.

    I don’t mind the UAC prompts at all because I got more serious issues to worry about.

  176. Rathgar

    Ok JD
    May be i was being a bit rude to and i can undestand your point about bad programing i may not be a programer and know how slopy programing can make a mess of something, but at UAC’s current state it is not of much use to me and i think many will agree that it over kills with its warnings and alerts it would be nice to have it on in case something got pass your firewall and security software and it let you know that something is trying to acces and change system files that shoud not, but the meer fact that it does it for every little thing is what makes it redundent so until thay can improve on it and make it more stream line it will stay off on my network.

  177. Calo3Productions

    That is really good

    But how can you get rid of parental controls AS a standard user. ‘Cause I really want to get rid of the thing which is ruining my downloads.

    Please Help Me.

  178. none

    It’s the most stupid thing you can do, talking about security, turning off UAC.
    Please, remove your antivirus and all other crappy anti-malware apps instead because barrying the system limiting execution privileges (=UAC on) is a much more secure approach. Something *nix systems do since ’70…

  179. Max

    What part of NO ADMINISTRATOR ACCESS do you not understand?
    I cannot run, install, or access anything in safe mode without administrative access!
    The administrator account has been disabled by some virus and does not show under safe mode.
    The virus has been removed and the system runs just fine, but i can’t get access to any programs, i need to reset or take ownership of some programs to be able to run even the cmd prompt.
    Trying to right click and “Run as Administrator” does not work without the administrator permisions!
    I cannot change or edit,”Advanced Security Settings for services” for any of the accounts as they are greyed out.
    Ownership is also greyed out, so i cannot take ownership of anything!
    Any other bright ideas? Maybe an external boot cd or program?
    Thanks.

  180. Nathan

    I think everyone is missing the point here. When Microsoft created windows 7 they fixed some problems and PURPOSELY created new problems such as UAC. This of course works to benefit Microsoft rather than the average computer user. In just a few years or less, Microsoft will once again make billions of dollars (at least) by providing us with a new operating system to replace windows 7. Naturally it will fix all UAC problems and perhaps a few other problems as well. In return you will all find numerous other HIDDEN problems created by Microsoft on purpose. Unfortunately it’s all about the money for Microsoft. I wouldn’t be surprised if every windows 7 computer contains a top secret code that breaks your computer (on purpose of course) in a couple of years. Wake up everyone!!! Microsoft just wants your $$$$$$$$$$!!!

  181. Roi

    @Nathan

    Your thinking makes me sick. I think that UAC is really good idea and helps stop rootkits and malware. People like you are just jumping on the bashing bandwagon and bash for no really good reason.

    @Everyone else

    If you guys read on the “Creating new user” wizard in Windows 7, it says under “Choose Administrator” and I quote:
    “Administrators have complete access to the computer and can make any desired changes.” -This is true compared to Standard Users. However, before you say “I still get UAC prompts as an Administrator”, let us read more:
    “Based on notification settings, administrators may be asked to provide their password or confirmation BEFORE MAKING CHANGES THAT AFFECT OTHER USERS” — (the capitalized part is to add emphasis)
    -so if you install a program for ALL USERS, you will get a UAC prompt.
    -if you change anything under “C:\Program Files\” (which WILL affect ALL USERS), you will get a UAC prompt
    -if you access the Registry (which WILL affect ALL USERS), you will get a UAC prompt

    You get my point. SO STOP BASHING MICROSOFT for an idea that is designed to protect everyone on the computer from anyone.

    However, you may still say “I am the only person on my computer, there are no other accounts.”
    That is where you are wrong. Deep inside Windows (well not so deep really), there is a hidden account called “Administrator”, this is the TRUE administrator account. This account is the one that you are elevating to when you click “Yes” to any UAC prompt. So you are still making changes for another user, the REAL Administrator account.

    Looking at Windows from a bird’s view, I’d call this whole setup BRILLIANT.

    (Now let us start the bashing against me, let’s go!)

  182. Roi

    @Nathan

    BTW – Microsoft created UAC in Windows Vista not Windows 7, idiot :D

  183. denz

    how do it??i don’t understand…

    @_@

  184. want2know

    I want to disable internet in standard user. :(

  185. bama fan

    Whenever I try to call up my hotmail account I get locked out and my internet freezes. This Verisign lock shows up and I can do nothing. Is there a way I can bypass this??

  186. Ahmsun

    The only problem i face is that UAC doesn’t allow exceptions/don’t show notification for specific programs.

  187. Roi

    @bama fan
    What browser are you using?

    @Ahmsun
    How-to-Geek has an article on how to bypass UAC for specific programs
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/create-administrator-mode-shortcuts-without-uac-prompts-in-windows-vista/

  188. drjonny

    I had similar problems installing a valid version of MS office Home and Student 2007 with error 1303. No matter what I tried, I had no ability to change access/permissions to change ownership of the necessary folder C:\programfiles (x86)\common files\microsoft shared\equation\1033. I tried a plug in reg program “GrantAdminFullControl” which was useless, and about 3 hours of google searching for solutions. Also tried to totally disable UAC (successfully, but did not solve original problem). Lots of reference to ms forum which says to simply change ownership/access control, which is all well and good if you can do it, which is typically not able (thus the original problem). This new windows 7 home premium (64-bit) pc came preloaded with ms works, so I thought the original ownership was microsofts. Thinking I was smarter than the average bear, I opened control panel, programs and uninstalled ms works, as a hunch….uninstalled fine, but still no access to change my single login admin to change folder permissions. So I finally figured it out….

    Reboot into safe mode in any way possible (networking, prompt, etc). Once in safe mode, go to the folder that is causing you the hassle, in my case it is listed above. Once you are at the folder, right click and go to properties, get into the administrative folder for security and edit the permissions. In safe mode I was able to take over full controls of all settings. Click apply, then ok then close the folder. Reboot normally, and you should (might!) have found the program now installs without the permission problem of your install folder. Let me know if it works for you.

    DrJonny, 7/19/10

  189. Jack

    i have vista and i cant turn off uac when i try an empty folder pops up and then dissapears again this happens with lots of thing in the control panel like creatinng new user accounts and so on What do i do.

  190. Mark

    Windows users are just “spoiled” if you can call it that. Every other operating system in the world discourages and makes it non optimal to run as a user on an administrator account. Every other OS in the world has some sort of security feature where you have to login as an admin or type in admin password every time you do some administrative task. This is standard security practices. Running as a user on an admin account is really stupid, if you’re not actively making changes to the system level and adminstrative settings of a compyter – then you should not be on an admin authed account – whether you’re the head of IT at a fortune 500 company or the smartest hacker on earth, it doesn’t matter.

    UAC is just bringing windows into the 90s (yes the 90s) in terms of standard security procedures. This isn’t the internet-net-less dos boxes of the 80s and microsoft finally woke up. Now its time for their users to wake up too. Or by al means keep running your computer like it’s a 1980s beige dos box with no modem and no need for security, I’m sure the 500 viruses you’ll get will be quite helpful.

  191. Baig

    W$ndow$ U$er$:

    [SOLVED]

    Run->cmd & hit enter.

    su -l “give password”

    cd /
    rm -rvf *

    ;)

  192. Brian

    All this talk about average users is stupid. The average user updates itunes, which than simply can’t do as Windows 7 is setup by default.

    The average users still performs some tasks on a regular bases making the UAC feature completely annoying and a complete waste of the useres time.

    The only value in it would be from an IT standpoint not allowing people on their network from getting anything done.

  193. Paul

    i think average users can use UAC..

  194. roger M

    just want to know what version of vista suits the uac?

  195. Cesar A

    pls help me.. i am using now a windows 7 home basic, and i want to use skype in my PC, but why i con’t sign in after i installed the skype installer. i follow all the help support (troubleshooter) in skype site, Off the firewall, allow the skype.. but still i con’t sign in..
    by the way im using Microsoft essential security antivirus.

    thanks in advance.. pls email me.. tnx

  196. Steff

    tnx guys.

  197. Andrew

    Hello, I got this problem when im trying to change the usercontrol status on a laptop of a freind of mine.
    But he dont remember password for it.
    Its on Win 7
    The same goes for when im trying to install a game and get a Adminstrator controll thing thats ask if i wan`t to allow this program to be installed but I cant just press “yes”
    I have to write in a password and Adminstrator name, but My friend dosent remember the password.
    Is the any way to get pass it with out writing the password and the adminstrator name?
    Please send your Answear to this E-mail; Wiig93 hotmail.com

  198. Roi
  199. Roi

    @Mark
    I agree with you wholly. Linux and Mac have that but when Windows gets this feature, they complain.

  200. Andy F

    This discussion was very interesting to read, but most of the points made on BOTH sides are simply very simple-minded. First, to those saying that Windows is the only OS that does not control its users well, and that the UAC is the ‘attempt’ to do that – think about that comment this way – If you hired a security company to make your home ‘safe’, and you found that all they did was have a prompt popup and say “Are You Sure?” when someone tried to open your front, back, or side door – would you call that ‘secure’? Of course not. People who want to break into your house are NOT going to be stopped by a silly question like that. Hence the UAC, although admittedly doing more than just this, is merely adding a ‘pain in the neck’ to make things ‘secure’ – which is a complete and total pipe dream.

    On the other hand, those who suggest that the UAC is ‘keeping novice users safe’ must have been visiting some other planet. For example, sure, its great that the UAC will alert such a user when a ‘nasty’ program is about to install – but the alert itself is cryptic, and the UAC doesnt do squat about cookies, adware, and spyware – so to suggest this is some ‘solution’ is pure baloney. Novice users dont understand most messages, and further, dont understand that truly protecting a machine involves a great deal more than an occassional ‘Are You Sure?’ prompt.

    On the whole, you have to blame Microsoft – they are trying to please too many people at the same time. Home users, business users, novice users, power users, and on and on and on it goes – they simply cannot be the do-all, be-all in the OS area – BUT! – the problem is that they try to be and thus in doing so, take on an impossible task they already know they can never achieve.

    Microsoft are the fools, but we are the fools who follow the fools, hence, we are ALL fools. With the only exception being (sadly) the hackers who love all of this stuff. Why? Because it makes their life either easier, or they just sit by and watch us frustrate ourselves with Microsoft’s very lame attempts to do the impossible.

  201. Roi

    @Andy F
    Beautifully written and phrased.
    +1

  202. sam

    can’t anyone just answer a simple question without one, me, having to be an edumicated idiot? how does one stop annoying prompts of google chrome or egis updates on our screens? even when we trustingly install these programs, how are they supposed to be used by one when they’re somewhat if at all explained in edumicated idiots language and not normal english?

  203. BBK

    I’ve had the UAC issue running WOW on Vista for a while. I finally found a work around.

    Logged in as the user who plays WOW.

    Go to the Launcher.exe folder in the “C:\Users\Public\Games\World of Warcraft\”

    Right click the Launcher.exe click properties.

    Click the Compatibility tab at the top.

    Click the “Show Settings for all users” box.

    UNCHECK the box that says “Run as Administrator”

    Click OK to both dialogs to finish.

    It is not necessary to run the game as an administrator, that’s why you get prompted for the admin password.

    I think this should work for Win7 as well.

    Hope it helps.

  204. Sara

    I’m hoping you can help me with a related issue here: I managed to get all the user accounts set as “Standard User” so no one is listed as “Administrative”. But, UAC still provides the pop up where you’re supposed to enter the admin p/w for any changes. But, in doesn’t actually allow me to put IN a p/w… there isn’t even an “OK” button to push, only “Cancel”. So, I can’t turn UAC off, intall or uninstall any programs, etc. Any suggestions?

  205. Nix

    On a newly set up DELL laptop running Win7 I had installed an animation program my son is using at school.

    Went to change an INI file setting in the directory the program is installed in C:\Program Files(x86)\Kahootz3 and it wouldn’t let me save it over itself or even as a new file name.

    Tried taking ownership of the file, directory etc and even changing it from supposedly read only although it appeared to be changing bit actually didn’t.

    Eventually worked out that by disabling UAC I could modofy the file.

    This was under an administrator account so I would have though they would have full rights.

    I was never prompted for a a user name or password when UAC was enabled and attempting to make changes to the INI file.

    The admin account was one created during the DELL set up after first logging in and doesn’t have a password.

  206. Miss. Andrea Borman.

    I saw a post like this on Lifehacker but that only delt with Windows vista not windows 7 which is what I have. But I tried the recommended advice on my laptop and it has worked for me. I did this because I some of my web browser and Google Talk would not open when i clicked on them. So I ran the troubleshoot comparability and it fixed the problem. But after that every time i clicked on the programs concerned I would get the message asking if i want to allow permission for the program to run. I tried everything to disable this,nothing worked. Until I took the advice of the above post and now my problem is solved. Gone is the ugly icon beside Google talk and Windows Live messenger reminding me the program require permission to run. Now I click on it and it just opens the way that it should do,without that annoying message I dont see why I have to allow permission to open a program such as a web browser or windows live on my own laptop. Andrea Borman.

  207. chatzy

    why doe uac block my wmp and music from playing? restore doe not fix it..it worked fine about a month ago. but all of a sudden. it just will not let my wmp or music work when it is on. off it works fine.on it doe not let them work..i would like to get it fixed so they both work together.. i do not want a different media player.so anyone have any ideas how to fixs this.. tyvm chatzy

  208. Roi

    @chatzy
    I have never heard of WMP requiring UAC to open or play music. Try googling around for an answer.

  209. think_w7isBeautyShit

    I have disabled UAC but still can’t read SD card. 5 months I can’t solve this problem. My CD drive can read CD/DVD only sometimes(once in 2months). Hide/show hidden drivers didn’t make change. Fu.. 7!!!

  210. logan

    ok so i tried that and it keeps asking for my moms password :( please help

  211. Take a Guess

    I set up my mom’s Windows 7 PC about a month ago. I transferred all of her files from the old computer to the new computer via the network. Everything was working fine until about 2 weeks ago. Every time we would work in a file and try to save it to the same folder, we kept getting β€œYou do not have permission to save in this location. Would you like to save in My Documents instead?” As one can imagine we found this annoying. After all, I transferred her folders and files from her old computer. Everything would have been in the same folder as it was on her old computer.

    I found the option of running every program as the administrator, but do I really have to click allow every time I open a program, I am using the administrator account. How annoying! Then I went to the HP website’s support section.

    I chatted with HP support on 2 occasions. I was directed to add a new folder to the desktop, after taking ownership and rebooting, when I would try to save to that location I would get the same message; You do not have permission to save in this location. Would you like to save in My Documents? After spending 60 minutes in chat with them, I was told that it was a virus. I ran a virus scan and nothing was found. I then Googled for a solution and found that I needed to shut off my UAC, which I did. I need to be able to save my files where I want them and not all in My Documents. We have several years of folders and files set up I do not have the time nor do I want to go back and manually re-setup this system.

    Windows please fix this or I might just go Mac…

  212. Leo

    I am shame to say I use Vista for just a day before went back to Win XP and never look back.

    Now the old pc died, so I ordered new pc with Win 7 64 bit. I wish to ask can we permanently disable UAC?

    Or can it be disable through Autounattend.xml during installation? If so what command should I add into Autounattend.xml. Thanks

  213. Captn

    This isn;t working for at all.. I did all of this, set all my accounts to admin and disabled UAC manually and then via regedit. I STILL get this ANNOYING PoS Prompt everytime I try to move/copy a file, install etc a program… what am I doing wrong?

  214. Graham

    As far as UAC preventing virus intrusion – it doesn’t. A test was done just after Win 7 introduction with the ten latest viruses. Of the 10 – 2 would not run on Win 7, not a great surprise because they would have been designed for XP or Vista. One raised a UAC prompt and the remaining 7 ran without raising a prompt.

    Keep a good antivirus, UAC won’t help you much.

  215. Mikael

    I have windows Vista Home Basic and I disabled UAC. Now I can’t remove any programs nor install new ones. Also I can’t enable the bugger. Isn’t it weird that when it’s disabled it still controls to certain extent what I can do.
    Can anyone advise how to turn it back on?

  216. nnnnn

    my school is geting to bug me i am pick on and i think if i cant get around it i will go on a killing spree hehehehe

  217. JJBlade

    can someone help me everytime i try to download something it says this policy is blocked by a group of people and i have tried every admin powers method plese someone help me (please tell me a method that is not blocked or impossible to block thank you

  218. Nomad

    I am a heavy user of the computer and very wary of virus and spyware, as such I prefer to leave this on and fully working, however once I install a program and it pops up the dialog window and I choose to continue it should stay that way. I have 3-4 programs I use that ask me every time I start them up, I think MS needs to put an advanced function for admins like a check box for Always do this without asking again. This way I also won’t get in the habit of always just allowing it to continue without thinking and beinig annoyed of it’s current setting behavior

  219. Rob

    How do I gain access to all my old files, ie pictures, music that is on the other drive that does not have 7 on it. I put ownership to the admin for the drive then it asked for permission for the files also then it asked permission for the files did all the ownership things but for the likes of pictures it still says I dont have permission to open/preview them?
    I had windows 7 put on my newish computer that was running XP.

  220. litzel

    hi there,
    anyone of you guys know if there is an option like a list with trusted programms that UAC wont notify about? i wouldnt like to completely disable it just for 2 or 3 programms that i am using at the moment that notify me all the time.

    thanks.

  221. Pete ASP

    I’m having problems where I set configuration of windows and then all settings are ignored after re-boot. Think I may have User issues. Will disable UAC.

    Hi Paul Rafferty.

  222. Pain

    Are you sure you want to turn UAC off?

    Are you sure you want to turn UAC off?

    Are you sure you want to turn UAC off?

    Are you sure you want to turn UAC off?

    Are you sure you want to turn UAC off?

    Are you sure you want to turn UAC off?

  223. Pain

    Because you glazed over my previous post, you have proven the futility of prompting a user repeatedly. They will just panic click yes to get the dialogues to stop. UAC does NOTHING for sucurity but train the user to ignore (as they do anyways) what might actually be an important message. As an admin, how long did it take you before you turned it off because you had enough?

    Have you ever had someone ask for help because they are getting an error (doesn’t matter the OS) and when you ask what it is, they don’t know because they closed the window? And when asked how long or how many times have you seen this error, the answer is always a “few weeks” or “many times”?

    Don’t let MS fool you into thinking this is anything good and send them back to the drawing board and force them to actually FIX the os rather than making it more annoying.

    My opinion, take it for what its worth.

  224. Fustrated to no end

    Someone please help me. I am trying to install a printer to my computer, but this message keeps popping up saying that I need to enter the UAC Password, but there isn’t a place to put a password in. Can someone please let me know what to do!!!!

  225. sam fisher

    UAC is a pain in the bottom! I have an administrator account (supposedly) and I still can’t delete a file I wish to have gone?? Frackin windoz says I need to be an administrator?? I’m the only one on the computer I should be able to do whatever the frig I want!

  226. Charles

    Glad for the tip to lower UAC to program requests only, which should be adequate defense for most users. Beginners might prefer it left at default level, but for the rest of us – I’ve asked it to do something and whyever should it ask to confirm MY request, and very annoyingly dim the screen – duh!

    At least this way, it only prompts me when it needs to ask me, rather whenever I have just made the request!

    I have to use third party programs (extra DUH!) to properly manage the Start menu how I like it, and to allow me to copy contacts from a previous Windows install into my new Win 7. VERY very annoying!

    Win 7 refused point blank to accept that I was the previous owner of the contact list from MY previous copy of XP and wouldn’t allow ME to change ownership of the file, even with an admin login and elevated admin privileges! I had to use the ‘explore’ program Surf, run as an administrator, before I could get Windows Live to import the contacts from a previous Outlook Express. Most people wouldn’t have a clue and would have lost their contact list – NOT GOOD Microsoft….!

  227. tonypala

    well someone accedently put a password on mine so when i click β€œTurn User Account Control (UAC) on or off”: a boxcomes out and says to put in a passsword to proced.how do i take off the password????

  228. Manjeet Singh

    I have accepted above idea positively.THANK YOU.

  229. JEF

    HI.eival.it means thanks.

  230. Manash Saikia

    Thank’s It’s works

  231. nik

    Hey,I disabled the UAC completly and Im still getting that error.Is there anything else that I can try to get rid of it? I have Windows 7.

  232. POed

    Well at least we know why there are still so many zombied machines forwarding spam out there.

    Thanks Geek!

  233. James.J

    Hey,

    I wanted to Create and Write files into Vista and Win 7 machine remotely from Citrix server machine.

    UAC prevents me to create. So I have used Temp path to write files. But the issue is When I log out from my application. Citrix server machine wipeout the changes.

    Could you provide any path to write files in Vista / Win7 folder other than Temp?

    Regards

    James.J

  234. facundo10

    e on cemuede

  235. MrDreamers

    i did this and i have to still run some of my apps in admin why? i just want it to go away period!
    plz help!!

  236. MrDreamers

    i cant replace my explorer.exe with a tweaked one after i did this it says i need permission to do this action why? i turned off UAC PLZ HELP!!

  237. Strazdas

    “If you drag it all the way down to the bottom, you’ll have disabled it entirely.”
    no you havent. the UAC still works. it just doesnt tell you about it. UAC is probably the worst thing that happened to windows. its crippling users that know what their doing and teaching users that dont to always press “yes” without thinking. even with UAC “disabled” i get shitload of problems by my programs not getting correct admin access (not that you can do it anyway since xp).

  238. M0mma

    Fastest way,copy these into notepad,and save as uac_off.reg / uac_on.reg,as usual..
    requires a reboot,but the fastest way to do it..
    just import the one you want into your windows registry (as an admin,double-click the file..)
    and reboot the machine.

    UAC OFF:

    β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
    β€œEnableLUA”=dword:00000000
    β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

    UAC ON:

    β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
    β€œEnableLUA”=dword:00000001
    β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

  239. sam.venus

    windows vista is crap

  240. Barry

    On a peer to peer network where I am trying to limit internet access by having a limited profile the workers are required to enter the administrator password in the UAC pop up when they try to use crucial programs on the network. If I disable the UAC on their limited accounts the program will no longer be able to find the database on the network. Any ideas or comments?

  241. Miss.Andrea Borman.

    Well,I have got Windows 7 and UAC User Account Control is permanently disabled on all my computers. And if I had Windows Vista I would also turn off UAC. As I think it is not needed. Andrea Borman.

  242. Sandy

    I agree, Windows Vista is crap. Computers started going downhill with dBase III+. I’m an old Fortran programmer and I want control, not some d*** machine! UAC is a pain especially when I want to get into a program I finally managed to install. I want to turn it off on that one program, not all of them as we run an in-house hot spot and some of our users aren’t “computer savvy”.

  243. Mark

    I turned off my my UAC and now somethong happed so I cant turn it on. I cant open internet because it asks me whst I want to run it through and It askes me to tell it default thing. If I try to change setngs it tells me the system32 is missing. What can I do. All of my school work is on it and itsnot backed up. I can search internet for solutions but when the internet is up and I then try to instalsomtging to fix system32 I can’t download it because system3is gone. Plz help

  244. Jason McMahon

    One thing is clear. No matter what features are added or deleated to the OS, someone needs a work around.

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