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I'm looking for a way to force any program on Windows 7 to run with no admin privileges. If the program actually needs admin privileges, it may throw errors or crash. This is acceptable.

What I'm specifically looking to prevent is programs that ask for admin privileges to run but actually would run fine in normal privilege mode.

I scoured the Internet with over 20 searches and all I found was inconclusive garbage about program manifests (and absolutely no help or instructions on how to change the manifest to remove admin privilege requests).

So here are the rules for answers in this question:

  • Solution must remove the UAC "shield" marker from the program icon.
  • The program must not attempt to gain elevated privileges for any reason.
  • No disabling or attempting to circumvent UAC.
  • If a program with the admin privilege requests removed needs to do anything that requires admin privileges, it is allowed to crash or throw an error. I would rather have a program crash or throw errors than to give the program elevated privileges that it doesn't need.

As a side note I would like to say that Windows Vista/7 UAC is defective by design and doesn't promote safer computer use, because it is too restrictive for a normal user account and programs are allowed to request admin privileges even if those aren't needed. This only encourages average/non-advanced users to do stupid stuff like running everything as administrator or disabling UAC which puts their computers at even more risk.

The proper solution would be a complete rework of UAC "admin privileges" definition defining "admin privileged" as being only stuff that can actually damage your computer, such as boot sector changes, BIOS changes, operating system/Windows folder changes, startup program changes, etc. There is no valid reason for demanding admin privileges just so something can be added to Program Files.

I much prefer the Linux approach where you run a program, and if it crashes or breaks, then run it with sudo.


NOTE: I already found this Force a program to run *without* administrator privileges or UAC?

and none of the solutions were useful. That question just turned into unconclusive chatter and inaccurate/incorrect "solutions".

  • Hmmmm....haven't played with this sort of stuff for a year or so, but seems like a resource editor might help (they can edit manifests in a program). Try ResEdit (great program but beware, it will probably want to install adware; don't let it!) – BenjiWiebe Dec 26 '14 at 3:59
  • open a bounty (superuser.com/help/bounty) to the other question if you think it was not answered correctly. – magicandre1981 Dec 26 '14 at 7:32

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