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This is on a domain-attached workstation on which I have local admin access. I'm not sure if our IT department set a GPO or something, but every single program I launch-- regardless of whether I double-click it, choose "Run as Administrator" from context menu, "Open" from context menu, or launching by opening an associated file-- runs as Administrator.

This is handy for some things. I like always launching PowerShell and Visual Studio as admin. But some installers that are meant to install only to my local user profile, like VS Code, are still launching as Admin. That's not good.

My UAC controls are set to "Never Notify," but changing it to any other setting above that does not change the behavior.

How can I switch this off? I only want to launch certain programs consistently as admin-- not everything.

Thanks.

Details:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • 1909 Build 18363.1082 64-bit
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  • How have you determine a process is being ran as an Administrator exactly?
    – Ramhound
    Oct 8 '20 at 19:15
  • 1
    You should talk to your active domain Administrator for assistance
    – Ramhound
    Oct 8 '20 at 19:19
  • cmd.exe and PowerShell show "Administrator: {program name}" in the title bar. Visual Studio Code installer warns not to run it as admin. Oct 8 '20 at 19:22
  • I also checked my local group policy per this answer here (superuser.com/questions/1002262/…) but everything is set to the opposite, meaning it should be prompting me for elevation. But it's not. Oct 8 '20 at 19:23
  • "My UAC controls are set to "Never Notify" <-- This will override and should be turned off
    – John
    Oct 8 '20 at 19:26
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If you are Local Admin, then you can run all programs. If they need admin credentials, OK will do it.

For UAC Controls, set for popping up and NOT Never. Never means never stop what you are doing. Go into Settings, type UAC in the search box and change the settings.

Once you do this, some programs (not all) will challenge you to start as Admin and you can say Yes (OK) or NO. If you run this way, then the app will run as admin.

If you need to run as a Standard User to see what a User can do, make a new Standard User profile and log in that way.

You cannot be a true Standard User in an Admin Account.

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  • Thanks, but I indicated in my question that changing the UAC account controls does nothing to stop this behavior. Group Policy also indicates that I should be prompted for elevation. It's my understanding that, except for the default Administrator account, all accounts are standard users that have the ability to elevate commands if they're in the Administrators group. Oct 8 '20 at 19:26
  • Once UAC is running, your Admin Account will run programs without much restraint, only stopping you to get started. As I pointed out, true Standard User experience needs a different User Account.
    – John
    Oct 8 '20 at 19:28

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