The User Account Control feature that was first introduced in Windows Vista annoyed many users because most of the time they’ll be prompted with a dialog box asking for permission to continue when they install software or drivers, run regedit, and etc even if they belong to the Administrators usergroup. The UAC is designed to protect all users including administrators with full permission by preventing malware from taking over the whole system.
For example, if you try to delete a file located at the root of the drive where Windows is installed, Program Files or Windows directory using command prompt, you’ll get the “Access is denied” error. This is the same case for editing the registry. Let’s say you unknowingly ran a malware that is capable of adding itself to the Windows startup in registry. With the UAC protection turned on, the malware can only add itself to the current user (HKCU) and not to the local machine (HKLM), keeping other users on the system safe.
The get pass this limitation, you’ll have to run the program as administrator (right click on the program and select Run as administrator) and the restrictions will be lifted. Of course the malware can be programmed to request UAC elevation but that would trigger the user’s attention, unless they are the kind of user that blindly clicks on any Yes button that they see. Here are more examples. When trying to install Firefox, you will get the UAC prompt because it tries to install in Program Files. As for Google Chrome, oddly it doesn’t prompt for UAC because it installs in the current user AppData folder. Only the folders that are located under your user account will not trigger UAC. Editing the registry will also require UAC elevation. To identify if a program automatically requires UAC elevation when you run it, you will see a small shield icon appended to the bottom right of the program’s icon.
Although the UAC does provide some level of protection in Windows, there are weaknesses and also workaround to bypass UAC elevation such as using the Windows Task Scheduler, UAC Trust and UAC Pass. If you prefer to turn off the UAC, here are 3 methods to do it.
1. Disable UAC
Disable UAC is a free and portable tool at only 11.5KB in size that does only 2 things, which is disable or enable the UAC by placing a tick on a checkbox and clicking the Apply button.
TweakUAC has been around since Windows Vista and received quite a numerous amount of positive reviews. Although it requires installation, but the executable file found in Program Files folder is actually portable which can be copied and directly ran on other computers. TweakUAC has an additional feature called “quiet mode” but it only works on Vista where UAC is only disabled for administrator on the computer.
3. Manual method
It is possible to manually disable the User Account Control without using any of the two tools mentioned above. Go to Control Panel > User Accounts > Change User Account Control settings > and move the slider to the bottom towards Never notify.
Do note that a restart is required to turn off the UAC but turning back on takes effect immediately without a reboot. Turning off or disabling the Windows User Account in Windows increases the risk of the whole system being infected by virus. Make sure you run a good antivirus such as Norton Antivirus, firewall, anti keylogging software such as KeyScrambler, and behavioral detection tool such as Zemana AntiLogger.