How-To Geek

Disable Ease of Access Button on Vista Logon Screen

Ever wondered what that little button in the lower left-hand corner of the Windows Vista logon screen is? If you’ve clicked on it, you know that it’s the Ease of Access button, useful for people with disabilities (or if your keyboard breaks)

The problem is that anybody can walk up to your computer and change the options even though your computer is locked. So that’s why we want to disable it.

How to Mess with Somebody’s Locked Computer


When you click the button, you’ll normally see this dialog window, which somebody can use to annoy you if they felt like it by turning on some of the different options without you realizing.


If you want to mess with somebody, just check the High Contrast option… they’ll think something went wrong with their computer when they see this screen:


Disable Ease of Access Button

Unfortunately, we can’t remove the button, but we can make it disabled so nobody can actually use it. Download and unzip the software, and then right-click on the setup file and choose Run as Administrator.


Choosing to run it as administrator is such an important step that the software will remind you regardless.


You’ll finally get to the screen where you can click the Disable button to make the button not work anymore. If you wanted to re-enable it, just run the setup again and click the Enable button.


And now you’ll get this message anytime you click on the Ease of Access button.


Download Ease of Access Disabler from

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 09/10/07

Comments (25)

  1. Nick Lowe

    For a better solution, in an elevated command prompt/batch file run:

    takeown /f %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /reset
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /inheritance:r
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /grant “Administrators�:f
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /grant “NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller�:f
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /grant “Users�:r
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /grant “System�:r



  2. Nick Lowe

    Improved to leave permissions in a better state:

    takeown /f %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /reset
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /inheritance:r
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /grant Administrators:f /grant “NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller�:f System:r /grant Users:r
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /setowner “NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller�
    icacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /remove:g Administrators /grant Administrators:rx

  3. Nick Lowe

    This “solutionâ€? is fundementally flawed as it substitutes Utilman.exe for it’s own executable.

    Were a future Windows Update/Service Pack to overwrite it’s substituted executable, Ease of Access will become available again.

    -And- any Windows Update/Service Pack that relies on the original Microsoft binary being present to perform a differential “delta� update will fail to apply.

  4. Rov

    Damn! i love that there are more nerds xD :P

  5. Tino

    I would never install a tool that replaces Utilman.exe because it could easily give you administrator access to your machine. (Who tells me the tool hasn’t some sort of shortcut key that starts cmd.exe?)
    Furthermore, you could change the permissions of the file, but when someone replaces the Utilman.exe with something else (presumably by booting into a linux distro from CD and mounting the drive), the permissions would/could be reset as well.

    To me, it seems like Micrsoft will have to make sure that utilman.exe cannot be replaced.

  6. Manzi

    I’d like to disable the “Ease of Access” button by regedit.
    Anyone knows how can i make it possible?

  7. Gemini

    This process no longer seems to work on Vista SP1. The Utilman.exe file permissions are too low to allow changes, and you cannot alter the permissions, even with an Administrator account.

  8. najkiie

    the download link doesnt work :( can u provide us with another one?

  9. Dom

    Link doesnt work, id like to use this but cant get it.

    Any help thx


    Just run

    cacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /C /D Everyone

    in a Administrator runned cmd window, and it won’t be able to start in the logon screen anymore.
    (if you have a other Windows language then English, replace ‘Everyone’ into the translated everyone group)

  11. 13torricelli13

    on ease of access I hit high contrast. will that clear once i have disabled ease of access???

  12. SixtiesZeitgeist

    The link is dead for the actual Wilcox download; try, instead,


  13. Brazilianboiii

    The file is not found, it doesn’t exist anymore.

  14. Tina Marie Sessums

    I can’t get rid of this black screen. It is driving me crazy. I’m gonna try disabling it and see if that works. If not, then I have a real problem with this program

  15. Tina Marie Sessums

    The site to download the disabler no longer exists. What else do u got 4 me? Ease of access sucks. I guess if we all complain to Vista, we might get them to remove it. It’s a major nusence.

  16. David

    They removed the page now i can’t download the disabler

  17. Tina Marie Sessums

    why does everything have to be so compicated??? just do this… go to your controle panel and click on personalization. a page will pop up, it will say window color and appearance. click on that. click on window vista basic. click apply then once it is finished click on okay. then you are done!!!

  18. Wayne
  19. Lu-Tze

    Just in case people run into errors using Nick Lowe’s ICACLS commands: after copy-pasting the lines into your command prompt window, replace the funky double quote by a regular one, and replace ďż˝? by another double quote.

  20. Pam

    Thanks so very much I was thinking that I really screwed up this time. Tina Marie thxs for the info

  21. Ben

    2 command is all you need to do to disable this… after you run command prompt as administrator…

    takeown /f %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe
    cacls %windir%\system32\Utilman.exe /C /D Everyone

  22. Big Iah

    Thanks so very much BEN its works but can’t remove the button

  23. humaira

    the bloody ease of acess turned off ma laptop and wont let me turn it on!!!!! how do i turn it back on!!!!!



  25. Kathy

    Where do i get the disable software. I hate this ease of access program. It keeps popping up and not allowing me to login to my computer and it is not uninstallable. When I go into programs it does not popup with admin rights. Thanks.

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