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How can I completely disable UAC on Windows 7?

Also, I know my own benefits, but what are the risks?

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9 Answers 9

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Four methods to disable UAC in Windows 7

Method 1: Disable or Turn Off UAC (User Account Control) in Control Panel

To use Control Panel to disable UAC in Windows 7, there are several methods to access the User Account Control settings page:

  1. Go to Start Menu -> Control Panel -> User Accounts and Family Safety -> User Account.

  2. Go to Start Menu -> Control Panel -> System and Security -> Action Center.

  3. Click or right click on Flag icon in notification area (system tray), and then Open Action Center.

  4. Type “MsConfig” in Start Search to start System Configuration, then go to Tools tab, select Change UAC Settings, then click on Launch button.

Click on User Account Control settings link.

Slide the slider bar to the lowest value with description Never notify.

Click OK to make the change effective.

Restart the computer to turn off User Access Control.

Method 2: Disable UAC with Registry Editor (RegEdit)

Run Registry Editor (RegEdit) and navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Locate the following REG_DWORD value:

EnableLUA

Set the value of EnableLUA to 0.

Optional step to suppress UAC consent prompt dialog, locate the following REG_DWORD value:

ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin

Set the value of ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin to 0 (optional).

Exit from Registry Editor and restart the computer to turn off UAC.

Method 3: Turn Off UAC Using Group Policy

For Windows 7 Ultimate, Business or Enterprise edition which has Local Group Policy, or computer joined to domain and has Active Directory-based GPO, the group policy can be used to disable UAC for local computer or many computer across large networks at once.

1. Enter GPedit.msc in Start Search to run Local Group Policy editor. (Or gpmc.msc to run Group Policy Management Console for AD-based domain GPO editor).

2. Navigate to the following tree branch:

Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Options

3. Locate the following policy in the right pane:

User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode

Set its value to Elevate without prompt.

4. Locate the following policy in the right pane:

User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation

Set its value to Disabled.

5. Locate the following policy in the right pane:

User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode

Set its value to Disabled.

6. Locate the following policy in the right pane:

User Account Control: Only elevate UIAccess applications that are installed in secure locations

Set its value to Disabled.

7. Restart the computer when done.

Method 4: Using Command Prompt to Disable User Account Control

The command line option can also be used in batch script command file, i.e. .bat and .cmd files, providing greater convenient to advanced technical user. In actual, the commands,, which are also used to disable or enable UAC in Vista, are just doing the same thing as directly modifying the registry.

1. Open an elevated command prompt as administrator.

2. To disable the UAC, run the following commands:

%windir%\System32\cmd.exe /k

%windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

and optionally, the following comand to suppress all elevation consent request and notification:

%windir%\System32\cmd.exe /k

%windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Tip: To re-enable UAC, the command is:

%windir%\System32\cmd.exe /k

%windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

and to turn on prompt for consent UI:

%windir%\System32\cmd.exe /k

%windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin /t REG_DWORD /d 2 /f

Note: Disabling UAC may cause gadgets stop working in Windows 7. Users who are facing this issue may use another workaround to suppress User Account Control.

Source

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I really do not advise this, but if it is just annoying you, you can disable all UAC prompts by going to run (Windows Flag+R) and typing

C:\Windows\System32\UserAccountControlSettings.exe

Then drag the slider to the bottom.

alt text

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+1. This is exactly the way to disable UAC on Windows 7. Nobody should do it, but this is how to do it. –  Ian Boyd Dec 16 '09 at 15:07
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Tried this? How to Disable and Turn Off UAC in Windows 7

I wouldn't recommend it though, isn't it better just to accept it and know that you're more secure?

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+1 for good answer, and knowing it should be left enabled. –  mrdenny Jul 15 '09 at 17:37
    
Without UAC it is also nigh to impossible to work as a non-administrative user. –  Joey Jul 18 '09 at 18:51
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Please don't do it. It really is not that intrusive. –  miloshadzic Aug 25 '09 at 11:52
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Correct. Windows 7 has reduced a lot of the prompts and only asks during installations mainly. Disabling it completely cripples a few of the Windows 7 compatible applications. –  Diago Aug 25 '09 at 11:56
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Disabling UAC has turned into a reflex, even though it's almost never seen in Windows 7. This is the same reflex that people have when they hear Vista; they instinctively hate it, even though they've never tried it. –  alex Sep 22 '09 at 7:26
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To answer your question: There are no risks to disabling UAC, provided you run as a standard user.


You should always run as a standard user on Windows.

On Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7, you can create an account that is a standard user. The downside of this is that if you want to perform anything that requires administrative access to the computer, e.g.:

  • changing date/time
  • installing software into program files
  • editing local machine registry settings

you will have to fast-user switch to an administrator account in order to perform the operation, then switch back.

Nobody wants to actually run as a standard user all the time, so they run as an administrator full time. The risks of running as an administrator is that you can accidentally damage your Windows installation. Running malware, or a security breach, can take complete control of your computer.

UAC is the comprimise, where you are stripped of your admin privelages, unless something comes along that requires admin access. UAC temporarily grants you admin privelages, until that operation is complete.

  • Running with UAC enabled is the same as running as a standard user.
  • Running with UAC disabled is the same as running as an administrator.
  • Running as an administrator is a risk.

Note: Even with UAC disabled, ie and Chrome will still use protected mode.

UAC is a technology where you are stripped of your admin privelages, so you can't do damage. Internet Explorer and Google Chrome both take advantage of a similar feature available since Vista. They run in "protected mode"; they run with less privelages than even standard user.

Even if you disable UAC, and run as an administrator full-time, your browser will still run lower than you, to protect you from you.

Note: Firefox does not support protected mode, and will run with the same privelages as you are. i.e.:

  • Administrator, UAC enabled: runs as standard user
  • Administrator, UAC disabled: runs as administrator
  • Standard user, UAC enabled: runs as standard user
  • Stardard user, UAC disabled: runs as standard user

i don't recommend anyone disable UAC. But if you must, run as a standard user. If you cannot stand runnnig as a standard user, at least use Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. If you use Firefox as an administrator with UAC disabled, and you encounter a security vulnerability, (e.g. you used flash last year), your computer can be completely taken over.

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If you run as a standard user, then it is safe to enable the built-in Administrator account. You then use Administrator when prompted for admin credentials for protected, global configuration settings and installing/removing software to c:\program files\. –  Brian Reiter Dec 15 '09 at 22:51
    
@Brian: that assumes that UAC is enabled, and you're not running as with an administrator account yourself. With UAC disabled you will not get an elevation prompt (whether or not you're a standard user) –  Ian Boyd Dec 16 '09 at 14:59
    
Under that scenario, it makes sense to leave UAC enabled. That way, when you're logged in to your non-admin account, you can still elevate when you have to, rather than having to switch users to do administrative tasks. Properly configured, UAC essentially IS running as a limited user, and elevating when you have to. It makes a lot of sense to use it. –  nhinkle Dec 17 '09 at 3:54
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nhinkle: You are right. But if you're going to have UAC enabled, then you might as well run with an administrative account. You'll be stripped of your admin privelages; being granted them back only when you need them. The advantage then is that you only have to push "Continue", rather than entering a different set of credentials. Basically, there is NO reason to disable UAC. –  Ian Boyd Dec 18 '09 at 15:20
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Click Start, type UAC, select the control panel option that appears. Drag the slider to the bottom.

However, this is very unnecessary, and puts your computer at risk. There aren't any valid reasons in my opinion to perform this step.

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Here is one of two ways to turn off UAC in Windows 7:

  1. Access User Control Panel from
    • Start Menu
      • Control Panel
        • User Accounts and Family Safety
          • User Account
  2. Click on User Account Control settings link.
  3. Move the Slider to Never Notify
  4. Click OK to make the change effective.
  5. Reboot.
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in fact there are FOUR ways. :) –  Molly7244 Dec 15 '09 at 19:07
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I would not go about disabling UAC. It is true that UAC can be bypassed; however, this requires user interaction in the form of pressing buttons blindly or requires one to fake the signature of the program trying to bypass UAC. The latter is pretty hard to do and is usually caught by antivirus programs. UAC is excellent at blocking quite a few zero-day exploits. Furthermore, UAC is excellent in blocking rootkits.

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Jeff's post says it all, but what's the problem with turning off UAC completely?

If you have a virus scanner and a firewall, aren't you at least protected from most random crap that could happen other than user stupidity?

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The problem is related to the security of folders, for example disabling UAC completely disabled writing to the Roaming folders on your user profile, which application like Adobe Reader use for temp folders and settings when running in IE. These folders become readonly, and therefore Reader stops running correctly. It is one of many examples as developers are starting to code with UAC in mind. –  Diago Sep 22 '09 at 7:26
    
Futhermore, to get your application Windows 7/Vista certified, if you do anything in code that requires UAC to be turned off your application is immediatly rejected –  Diago Sep 22 '09 at 7:27
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protected by nhinkle May 26 '11 at 21:47

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