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Disable User Account Control(UAC) For Administrators Only

If you can’t stand the User Account Control prompts, but you’d still like to retain a little bit of security, you can disable it for Administrator accounts only. What we’ll be doing is actually changing Windows Vista to automatically elevate the privilege level for administrators without prompting.

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

The nice thing about doing it this way is that regular users as well as Internet Explorer still run as regular users, and would still use the normal security mechanisms.

Disable on Windows 7 or Vista Business or Ultimate

To configure this setting on Windows 7 / Vista Business and Ultimate, you can use the Local Security Policy configuration. Just type in secpol.msc into the Start menu search box and hit enter.

Now browse down to Local Policies \ Security Options
local-security-policy-uac-admins.png

Find the following in the list: “User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode” and double-click on it.

elevate-without-prompting.png

Change the setting to “Elevate without prompting”. You should be all done.

Disable for Windows 7 or Vista Home

For Windows Vista Home users, the Local Security Policy doesn’t come with the distribution, so you’ll have to use the following registry file.

Just download, extract and double-click on the registry hack file to add the information into the registry. That’s all there is to it. Update: I’ve added in another registry hack file to re-enable UAC again.

Download DisableUACforAdmin Registry Hack

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 02/19/07

Comments (57)

  1. Rosie

    THANK YOU. I have been back and forth with Incredimail for weeks now.The purchased Gold gallery was not useable.I did the turn off permission control and it knocked my incredimail back to basic useage.I put my purchased license numbers back in and have complete useage of incredimail now.Apparently this permission thing has everything gummed up.Thanks for your help in a roundabout way!!
    Rosie

  2. scott volk

    My wife switched from Bell South to Indredimail and is highly dissatisfied…however, it’s impossible to figure out how to disable so that she can have her Bell South account as her primary email!!! I wish I was a geek — can you help.

  3. charles

    the disable UAC file for admin. (vista prem) worked great, you know your stuff. thanks

  4. BrightBoy

    great info. awesome link. I think someone went a bit off topic in this link. I wish them luck.

  5. huh?

    When I dbl-clck on the extracted zip file all it does is ask what program to use to open it. What else do I need to do?

  6. Nathan

    Used the reg patch for vista home and now I have a red shield warning in my task bar. How is running the patch differnt than just turning UAC off in security settings?

    How do I get this stupid warning off?

  7. Vince

    Just go to windows security center from your control panel and click on the left where it says “Change the way security center alerts me” you then have the choice between:
    Yes, notify me and display the icon
    Don’t notify me, but display the icon
    Don’t notify me and don’t display the icon.
    Just click the last option and wola no more annoying warning in your task bar. Hope this helps. :)

  8. Greeley

    Vince. you are the man.

  9. Sharper11

    Vince, thanks alot for that tip. It helped quite a bit!

    No more stupid pop-up everytime i start my computer :)

  10. Jay

    Vince you rock. That “Don’t notify me and don’t display the icon” fix stopped me from sceaming at my computer loud obscenities at 3am waking the household and neighborhood. Vista is new to me but im an old hat at microsoft.. I’m very close to installing *NIX after installing vista. its got a lot of fun features.. but overall im very unhappy. then again ive been unhappy with every micro* product since dos 6.22. Again.. THANKS!

  11. Johny

    So, there’s no way to shut off the message just for the user control thing? Because I actually like the security center, for all it’s other functions. But it becomes quite the pest as soon as you’re not using default settings. Any way of just disabling that Windows Security Center is monitoring the UAC?

  12. Alex

    I also disabled it through Local Security Policy, however something I need to install requires it back. I went back into the LSP to activate UAC but it is greyed out and I can not activate it again.

    Does anyone have any answers?

  13. Burt

    I use FireFox web browser and every time I go to surf the web I get the pop up (user Account control) Is there a way to let this access the web without the popup? I really don’t want to turn the entire security system off. Why does IE web browser get the green light with out a popup?

    Thanks,

  14. simon (lol im 14)

    its because firefox is enabled as ‘Run as administrator’ this is why it asks for your consent. to fix this go into firefox\properties\compatibility\.. and uncheck the box saying run as administrator hope that helped you.

  15. Burt

    “simon (lol im 14)”

    Sorry it did not work.. Maybe it will work when your 15?

    Burt

  16. 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.

  17. Ddub

    Chris –> If you do it that way, it will be disabled for other users as well, correct?

  18. Alex

    As a Vista Home user, I’m happy to have got rid of the annoyance of UAC. But I’m not convinced about the patch at the top of this page which is supposed to disable UAC for Administrators only. My non-admin user can now do things that would previously have had a UAC warning. I may as well have simply disabled it myself without this patch. Has anyone been truly able to get rid of UAC for Administrators ONLY on Vista Home??

  19. Michael

    How do I turn UAC back on again once i add this registry file, I tried deleting it, but regedit could not find the entry.

  20. Vijay

    You know, Windows has spoilt users that they don’t use the command prompt and write such big article for things which can be done in single command line and without a system restart…
    Probably you may want to try “LEACfg setpromptpolicy admin 0″

  21. mulad

    LEACfg? Google returns very few references to that command, and it doesn’t appear to exist on my Windows Vista Business machine.

  22. TomatoSoup

    In my humble opinion, so long as you wear a virtual rubber, you’re pretty much safe. I have Avast, use NoScript with Firefox, and stay away from shady downloads.

  23. help me

    How do I undo the registry changes this file made? some of my programs don’t function anymore grrrrr

  24. h3rm4n

    Sorted!

  25. Sam

    Thanks so much for this.

  26. Patrick Birdsall

    As always, there’s (potentially) more to the instructions:
    I searched for “secpol.msc” – got nothing in the indexed locations. no surprise.
    I got 10 instances in my “C” drive.
    I took the most recent one and changed that one.
    Is there a (generic) simple and direct way to test if it worked?
    Will service pack installations require changing this again?

  27. Pete

    God Bless You for this. I was about to destroy this machine (almost out the window). The UAC was so annoying and disabling it caused the machine not to boot.

  28. Ed

    FYI: The “hack” is built-in to “Administrative Tools > System Configuration > Tools > [Scroll all the way down, to ] “Disable UAC”. & click “Launch”

    …and just below “Disable UAC” is “Enable UAC”… :) (as it says, both “hacks” require a reboot.

    This option executes the following: C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /k %windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

    (BTW: This is as of Vista SP1… not sure with previous releases)

  29. Matty

    cheers Ed that has worked perfectly for me. once again thanks. :)

  30. Benboy

    Hi,

    Everytime I turn off UAC (less a ‘security feature’ than a ‘bl**dy annoying feature’, if you ask me), I am instantly unable to use Firefox. I don’t like IE, so what should I do?

    I have spent the last day or so trying to sort this out, and have so far only succeeded in losing my bookmarks. Aaaargh!

  31. Supersnake

    You all are going to like what I did {:>

    After you disable UAC do this:

    1. Go to your Windows Security Center and enable “Don’t notify me but display the icon”

    2. Place your cursor in the blank space UNDERNEATH BUT NOT TOUCHING the Windows Security Center icon that is now displaying in your taskbar’s system tray. Now RIGHT click and select “Properties” to open your “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties” window and go to the next step.

    3 .Click the “Notification Area” tab
    4. Click the “Customize…” tab
    5. Click the “Windows Security Alerts” tab and a drop down menu appears to the right of the icon.
    6. Select “Hide”

    I

  32. Justarius

    Supersnake, that’s not really any different than the previous suggestions and has twice as many steps.

    As mentioned before, If you want to get rid of the annoying red tray shield and/or “UAC is disabled” NAG just do this:
    1. R.Click the annoying red shield in the tray and pick “Open Security Center”
    2. Click “Change the way Security Center Alerts me” (it’s in the left column)
    3. Pick “Don’t notify me and don’t display the icon”

  33. Justarius

    I should mention (as did Johny) that in either case you are ALSO disabling the shield/nag for other useful features such as notifying you if:
    - AntiVirus/AntiSpyware is disabled or out of date
    - Firewall is off
    - Windows Updates is turned off
    - Internet Security Settings are disable

    In Windows XP you could pick and choose WHICH of the above you wanted the tray/nag disabled for but (I don’t use Windows Firewall so I would disable the nag for JUST that and voila, no annoying red shield. But if my AntiVirus failed, there it was!). In Vista it’s all or nothing which is unbelievably stupid. Way to “improve security” Microsoft… UAC is terrible because it encourages users to blindly click “Allow” and if you want it shut off with no annoying nag you lose all of the actually USEFUL warnings?!? Smaaaaaart. It’s probably intentional to force you to accept UAC. We’re being punished for hating it. If anyone knows how to disable ONLY the UAC nag please share!

  34. Major

    Guys – all good stuff BUT… is there not a way to trust an application – so once you trust it and flag it as such.. UAC knows its safe… and runs it without a prompt.. NOW that would make sense.

    Perhaps i missed something but using Leopard is such a pleasure – then i need to work on my vista box and i just cannot understand why they did what they did – XP is also a pleasure next to Vista.

    Thx.

  35. tim

    the hack “reenableuacforadmin” does not restore password uac for admin. I changed the value to 00000001 from 00000002 in this hack and it seems to have worked correctly and my password uac for admin is working now.

    tim

  36. jeevan

    please help me i cant download anything i ant even go on msn because of the user account control

  37. jeevan bhullar

    please help me i cant download anythig i cant even go on msn because of the user account control tried so many asswords but the guy hu fied r computer forotthe password of he thing

    THank u love eevan bhullar

  38. G33k

    Thanks!

  39. Truc

    arggg I hate Vista Home!

    thanks for posting this saves me a lot of pain…

  40. Joshua

    OMG!! Thanks .. I HATE UAC . its the ford Pinto of security measures.. even the FREE linux builds all have better UAC controls!

    WTF .. is going on over at MS .. are they using this crap themselves? Or are they just too damn focused on online advertising to give a shit about the OS they are charging people for? windows 7 pfffttt! not a chance.

  41. michelle

    hi, i have a problem with my vista. i forgot the admin p.w. and now i can’t do anything to protect my pc or retrieve any of my work. is there a way to get it back or reset it? the UAC will not let me do anything.

  42. Robert Hartsook

    I tried using the secpol.msc command but it is not recognized nor can it be found on my computer. I clicked on the Disable User Account Control(UAC) For Administrators Only but I haven’t restarted as yet and I don’t know if I should or if I should recheck the control. I certainly do not like the control that Vista uses and since I’m the only user on this computer, I as the administrator feel that I should be able to move files around or delete files and it at times prevents me from doing this as I don’t have the authority. How else do I get the authority.

    Is this considered a comment or a question as if I post it on the forum I have no idea if anyone really knows the solution. RHartsook

  43. Peggy

    Hello, I have Windows Vista and it seems that I have forgotten my password (even though I wrote it down it doesn’t work – maybe I changed it or something) for my Administrators account. My son said to research this on-line and I found this site. My question is how to disable the administrators account and can I get the account back again and will I be able to assign a new password to it? I have tons of updates that I can’t get because I need the “permission” from the administrator. One searched site said I would have to re-install windows. Is that true???? Yikes!

  44. Mickey BlueEyes

    Bless you my son! This (and Vista Ultimate sometimes freezing, particularly on a right-click for up to 2 minutes!) have been the bane of my existence.

    I kid you not, after umpteen years (since MSDOS!) I have been a MS user. After 3 years with a MacBook as well, and recommending iMacs to several folk who are totally computer illiterate I can report that no-one has been able to bring OSX to its knees, not even my 84 year-old relation who thinks clicking the mouse repeatedly on anything and everything will solve his problems. He has been totally unable to crash his iMac. His PC on the other hand… brrrr… let’s not go there!

    So, I’m putting an ad on Kijiji to sell my AMD Phenom IV quad core ultimate warrior machine and I’ll buy an iMac 27″ – I can’t believe I actually said that!

  45. Daniel

    I get the following message when I attempt to run the regedit:
    Cannot import C:\Users\User
    acount\downloads\disableuacforadministrators\disableuacforadmin.reg: Not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some keys are open by system or other processes.

  46. WendyP

    Thanks! Disabling UAC on Win 7 worked, this was driving me nuts :-) Now I need to keep the connection going.. It seems to go into left field frequently.

  47. alan

    hi

  48. regin

    Thank you very much! Nice!

  49. Kay

    Please help. I accidentally changed my admin account to standard user and now I cant install software because I need administrators permission. I’ve tried to change it back to admin but its just not working. I’ve tried everything from safe mode log in to “net users administrator /active:yes” but nothing works. Please help. Thanks

  50. Erre Morceau

    If I allow NT SERVICE\ALL SERVICES to Create a token object (in Local Security Policy, would that allow all applications to elevate themselves whenever they attempted access to any resource requiring privilege?

    I’m asking because your advice for Disabling User Account Control doesn’t work–it only disables notifications. Say I’ve written a batch file in Notepad and I want to save it in a Program folder created when I ran the program’s installer As an Administrator. Doesn’t matter where I’ve set the slider–I have to go back to the Start menu, right-click on Notepad and select Run as Administrator; then re-create the batch file so I can save it where I want to.

    I know you can open Properties for most programs and set them to always run with Administrator privileges–I chose this example because there is no evident way to do so for Notepad, and I don’t want to have to do it for a hundred applications–with no guarantee their privileges always be automatically elevated when needed anyway.

    So how do I allow a process to elevate itself whenever it needs privileges to accomplish what I instruct it to do?

  51. Erre Morceau

    Okay, I’ve assigned Administrator rights to processes that want to Create a token object. Is this going to do the trick, or is it totally unrelated to what I want?

  52. Graham Allen

    Is this setting for Vista?? I am writing an article myself of UAC and how it works etc. Something I came across in Windows 2008 R2 (whch is Vista basically) is that you can do this but only for the built in administrator ACCOUNT not group. I know this is possible in 2008 R2 (Windows 7) but I can’t find it on 2008 R1 which suggests it isn’t possible in Vista also. I don’t have a Vista machine at hand however. Can anyone confirm?
    thanks,

  53. Graham Allen

    I found it…It is there, just named differently to the Win 7 one. Typical of MS!!

  54. kenni

    NONE of the suggestions WORK. I believe page administrators are on here making false comments re it works! Thanks you’re so great! Let’s use basic common sense:

    If you lost your password and are using an account that does NOT HAVE ADMINISTRATIVE rights then you CANNOT download, execute commands, run files, or ANYTHING ELSE THAT REQUIRES YOU HAVING AN ADMINISTRATOR ACCOUNT. I don’t care how many times you boot in safe mode with command prompts you will get the following error which NO ONE in ANY of these forums have addressed:

    net user administrator/active:yes
    The syntax for this command is :

    [Username [ password : *] [options]] [/DOMAIN]

    username {password : *} /ADD [options] [/DOMAIN]

    username [/DELETE] [DOMAIN]

    user name [/TIMES: {times : ALL}]

    OR I GET

    ‘System error 5 has occurred.

    Access is denied’

    I am guessing this is because UAC are VERY ACTIVE and as NON ADMINISTRATOR I haven’t found a solutoin to disable it. If I remembered my password I wouldn’t need to override the UAC nor would I need to find try to log in as the built in administrator to reset!!! Now I am beyond frustrated!!

  55. kenni

    additionally, no one has responded to the poster who received the same error i get when i try to use the disable program…

    cannot important data…blah blah blah

  56. iLucato

    Hey The Geek, thanks for the article, really useful. Now I wonder how to deactivate the annoying pop-up when moving or copying/pasting folders like from the start menu that we drag and drop icons. Any idea what is the correct “Policy” to change that?

    Thanks in advance and congratulations.
    Have a nice weekend.

  57. Jacques

    I have done all that you and the other users have suggested but I can not download anything from the net to my laptop. It shows it is downloading but it never does. It brings the busy downloading screen up. It shows it is downloading. From 0% to 100%. You can reboot. But what ever you have downloaded just dissapears. What can I do? Please help!!!

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