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I'm on an administrator account on Windows 8. I have UAC disabled. Still, when I go to install certain programs, it fails and rolls back because it needs administrative privileges. Why?

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UAC is enabled. Check out the wording on the slider bar: "Do not notify". This does not say "Disable UAC". – Jan 20 '13 at 6:55

You're part of the administrators group but you're not running elevated.

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I've seen this too - some actions that require administrator privileges proceed without issue and others fail because of this same issue. If UAC is off shouldn't elevation happen transparently? – Matt Jan 20 '13 at 3:20
@Matt: That would be broken behavior. Turning off UAC is like a gun without a safety, not like a gun that shoots every time someone gets in your way. – David Schwartz Jan 20 '13 at 4:56
A good and answer and a stylish analogy. – Guy Thomas Jan 20 '13 at 10:50
@DavidSchwartz - Why do some actions that require admin privs proceed without prompt while others do, and yet still others just fail - all of this while I am logged on as admin? – Matt Jan 21 '13 at 14:44
@Matt: If I knew some of the specific actions you're talking about, I could give you a more detailed answer. But the basic idea is that having administrative powers would be a bad thing if they were invoked even when you didn't want them to be. – David Schwartz Jan 21 '13 at 18:30

If you moved the UAC slider to the bottom, the UAC is still active!

This is a change to Win8. This is done because the Windows Store Apps require an active UAC.

If you don't use the apps, use regedit to change the value EnableLUA from 1 to 0.

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Or just be aware of the behaviour of UAC. It's not that hard to work with. – Jan 20 '13 at 6:56 yes, I always run with UAC and the highest level. If he wants to ruin his Windows he can do it. – magicandre1981 Jan 20 '13 at 7:02
That registry key is located where? – Craig Jan 20 '13 at 10:59
is the search in regedit.exe broken? Here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System – magicandre1981 Jan 20 '13 at 12:55

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