Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How does Windows 7 know to add the UAC shield to some shortcuts? I used to have to tell the program to run as an administrator. But now that same shortcut has the yellow and blue UAC shield icon on it.

How does it know to run my program as an administrator? Is there some registry key?

alt text

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are a few ways it can know. Generally it will put the UAC icon there anytime clicking the icon will result in a UAC prompt confirmation. However, you may not always see it because after a recent change, the icon cache won't immediately be updated.

The ways it knowns:

  1. It knows because you modify the shortcut, or the application compatibility properties,or
  2. because the application has alerted the OS that it requires admin priviledge.

What you are probably seeing... In the shortcut properties "advanced..." button dialog, choosing run as administrator will make the sheild appear (after your icon cache is refreshed.) The same thing with "run as administrator" setting on the compatibility tab. (again, after the icon cache is refreshed.) How to force a refresh of your icon cache in windows 7, you ask? I'm not sure... a reboot should do it.)

Windows can also know to put the UAC icon there to begin with because an app that is "ready" for (is programmed to behave well with) UAC, can let the OS know that it needs admin permissions, this can be done through a "manifest" that is embeded into the exe.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the answer Dano! – JimDel Oct 29 '09 at 0:12

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.