Disabling UAC

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 20 June 2006 / Last Updated on 20 June 2006]

How to disable the UAC feature in Vista.

Are you tired of those User Account Control (UAC) prompts that appear whenever you're trying to run some admin tool on your Vista computer? They appear even if you're user account is a member of the Administrators group on your machine. That's because Protected Admins (PAs) normally run with the privileges of a standard user on Vista, which means to perform some administrative task or use an admin tool you have to first elevate your privileges to admin level, which is what the UAC prompt is designed to do.

Well, UAC is there for a reason--if your computer got infected by some malware and this malware tried to run an admin tool, the UAC prompt would appear to warn you that someone (you? malware?) is trying to run a tool designed only for administrators. And a UAC prompt when you don't expect it would be a sure sign that something's gotten into your machine's innards.

Still, some users (especially sysadmins) are likely to find these UAC prompts annoying at best, so here's how to disable UAC on your machine:

1. Open Administrative Tools in Control Panel

2. Double-click on System Configuration

3. Click Continue to accept the UAC prompt

4. Select the Tools tab

5. Scroll down and select Disable UAC

6. Click Launch

7. Reboot your machine

Note that you may not be able to disable UAC if Group Policy configured for enforcing UAC on your computers.

Cheers, Mitch Tulloch, MVP

Note: This tip is based on a pre-release version of Windows Vista and may not reflect functionality in the final product.

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see www.mtit.com .

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