Disable Vista UAC
I'm getting popups on Vista saying Windows needs your permission to continue. Is this spyware or something I need to deal with? If it's part of Vista, can I turn this annoying 'feature' off?
Vista UAC - Annoying on Purpose
There is a fine line between feeling secure and feeling imprisoned. Some Microsoft Vista users are beginning to discover this. Vista comes with enhanced security features, but one feature in particular has been trying the patience of many.
The feature is called User Account Control or UAC for short. UAC is a feature that is enabled by default in Vista. It is a feature designed with good-intentions; it was implemented as a way to control what users can and can't do in Vista, especially changes to system settings. Vista users have noticed however, that UAC seems to pop up---well, everywhere. And many find it annoying.
Ironically, Microsoft planned it that way. Microsoft product manager David Cross recently revealed at a security conference that "The reason we put UAC into Vista was to annoy users." And this was done in the hopes that it would spur those angry users into lashing out against the third-party software vendors whose software generated the prompts. So much for good intentions - the fact remains that many of these prompts come from Vista itself, and not the third-party applications. And the constant barrage of popups leaves inexperienced users wondering which are real and which might be generated by malware. Or even worse, they might be conditioned to ALWAYS click OK to continue, without even reading the prompts.
Executing a variety of commands in Vista will prompt a user to enter in an administrator account and password. Example: trying to run a command from the command prompt, Vista gives the message, "The requested operation requires elevation." And no, seeking higher ground will not help. This is UAC in action, asking for elevated administrator rights to run the command line. (Right-clicking on the program's icon and selecting "Run As Administrator" is the way to elevate the operation, by the way.)
But more mundane tasks are also locked down. Viewing properties of a network connection, opening Device Manager, backing up and restoring files are some of the tasks which are by default, UAC protected. Even installing and uninstalling programs will produce the "Windows needs your permission to continue" popup. Invariably, UAC popups all over the place asking for administrator credentials to do the most routine tasks, would leave lots of folks wanting to turn it off all together.
How To Disable UAC in Vista
UAC can be disabled. From the Control Panel, you can click "User Accounts". There is a link there to "Turn User Account Control on or off." Following this link, allows you to uncheck the option to use UAC to help protect your computer.
So, is turning off UAC the best option? Well it depends. For a moderately savvy home user with a PC that is not shared with anyone else, has proper anti-malware software and a firewall enabled, turning off UAC should not be a problem.
But shutting off UAC will cause Windows to occasionally produce popups warning you that UAC is not enabled, and will prompt you to go to the Security Center to turn it back on. You can disable this secondary warning in the Security Center.
Here's another option that allows users to keep UAC turned on, and avoid all the annoying popups. TweakUAC is a free utility that lets you suppress the elevation prompts of UAC without turning the UAC off completely. So you can keep all the positive effects of UAC (namely running Internet Explorer in protected mode, and running programs without administrative privileges) without ever seeing those "Windows needs your permission to continue" messages.
Are you annoyed by the Vista UAC popups? Have you turned them off? Post a comment below and tell us your experience with Vista UAC...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 28 Apr 2008
|For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.|
Ubuntu Hardy Heron
The Top Twenty
What is Hulu?
Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions
Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter
Copyright © 2005
- Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Article information: AskBobRankin -- Disable Vista UAC (Posted: 28 Apr 2008)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved