UAC or User Account Control is a feature provided by windows which helps you to control your computer programs. It works by notifying when a program requires Administrator level permissions and prevents harmful programs from making any changes to your computer. Windows 7 makes it very easy to control the level of permissions or even disabling the UAC.
For example, if you are doing a task such as watching movies, listening to music etc., windows 7 labels you as a standard user. But when you open a program which requires administrator-level permission (like changing any windows setting or opening any application which uses administrator level windows files or settings), UAC enables automatically and notifies you for the changes. If you are logged in as administrator you have the privilege to select ‘yes’ to start program, else you need to log on as the administrator.
(UAC notification window asking permission to provide administrator-level permission to application)
Steps for disabling User account Control in Windows 7
- Log in as administrator on your windows 7 computer.
- From the start menu search for “Change User Account Control settings” or simply “UAC”.
- After clicking on the UAC settings, you will see a UAC settings dialog box with a slider up and down.
- The UAC is set to default to “Notify me only when applications try to make changes to my computer”.
- To completely disable the UAC, drag the slider to the bottom (Choose “Never Notify”).
- When you click on OK, a dialogue box will appear asking for permissions to change the settings. After clicking on YES, you will be asked to login as administrator-level before you make any changes.
Finally your User Account Control settings are disabled.
NOTE- It is not recommended to fully disable your UAC settings, as many harmful programs can gain control over your administrator-level and can harm your computer. This can lead to many security flaws and can keep your privacy at stake.
To overcome this issue, instead of disabling the UAC completely, you can have other options to look into:
- Always Notify – the uppermost option in the slider. In this setting you will be notified (When you start any program you will get a pop up requesting access) before any application or windows makes changes that require administrator level access, as well as your screen will be dimmed, and it will revert back when you approve or deny the request. This setting has most secure security impact.
- Notify me only when applications try to make changes – this is the default setting in which, you will be notified before applications makes changes that require administrator level access. Moreover you won’t get any notification if any windows program attempts to make changes. The security impact is safe. However you should be very careful before approving any request.
- Notify me only when applications try to make changes (without dimming) – This setting is same as the previous one but the dimming of screen is disabled here. Dimming of screen depicts a security level which helps to protect your system from any external application trying to alter the appearance of the UAC dialog box. The security impact is less when compared to previous one.
- Never notify – This is the least secured settings in which the system won’t notify any changes made by application or any other windows program. If you’re signed in using a standard user account, any changes which require administrator permissions will be given without user’s permission.
Let’s take an example, assume that you have enabled UAC feature. While downloading files from any malicious website, a 3rd party application is automatically installed in your system. When this malicious application tries to automatically run itself, UAC will ask the user for permission to let the application make any changes to your system. On the other hand if you have disabled the UAC feature, the malicious application will automatically install itself without your permission and can potentially harm your system.
Let’s look at some of the Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ’s) –
- What if I am connected through LAN and the administrative control lies with the main server? Do I need to get UAC permission from the server to make changes to any of the applications?
Answer: No, the administrator-level permissions are limited to local computer only. You have separate administrator account on your local computer. This administrator account will be used to grant access to changes done by application.
- If I am using a guest/local account, do I need to logon as administrator account to allow the access?
Answer: No, on your guest/local account when UAC dialog box is prompted, it will ask you to enter the administrator password, so you don’t need to logoff your current account.
- What if I am connected through LAN and the main server has been granted all access. Will any changes to my applications be reflected in the main server?
Answer: No, if you allow UAC to change any permission, it will not reflect back to main server in any form.
If you find this useful, do share it with your friends to help them get a deep insight of the User Account Control which acts as a firewall to protect you from harmful applications. If you have any queries regarding this tutorial, please feel free to comment below.