How can I completely disable UAC on Windows 7?
Also, I know my own benefits, but what are the risks?
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:
Go to Start Menu -> Control Panel -> User Accounts and Family Safety -> User Account.
Go to Start Menu -> Control Panel -> System and Security -> Action Center.
Click or right click on Flag icon in notification area (system tray), and then Open Action Center.
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:
Locate the following REG_DWORD value:
Set the value of EnableLUA to 0.
Optional step to suppress UAC consent prompt dialog, locate the following REG_DWORD value:
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.
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.,
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 compromise, where you are stripped of your admin privileges, unless something comes along that requires admin access. UAC temporarily grants you admin privileges, until that operation is complete.
Note: Even with UAC disabled, IE and Chrome will still use protected mode.
UAC is a technology where you are stripped of your admin privileges, 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 privileges 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 privileges as you are. I.e.,
I don't recommend anyone disable UAC. But if you must, run as a standard user. If you cannot stand running 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.
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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