I am working at a company with an admin account, which means my account has full access to the system and registry. I love to run portable software with my usb drive but some of the software is automatically attached to the menu right click shell or will modify the file associations, so I have to manually "fix" it every time.

My concern is:

  1. If I want to protect a specific registry key, I can set permission to read-only, BUT I have to do it one by one (or manually). Some "heavy registry software" like a video player, can always register a lot of file associations like *.avi, *.flv, *.mp4.. etc

  2. Running software with UAC can protect some critical registry keys, BUT UAC will required a reboot to take effect which is frustrating.

  3. Running software as a standard user can protect some critical registry keys, BUT since this is my office computer, I would like to minimize making changes to system as much as possible.

  4. Running software with Sandbox or some AntiVirus registry protection program sounds great, BUT I am working with an office computer, I would like to minimize the installation of software.

Is there any other way to protect the registry from being changed by specific software? Thanks.

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  • Don't give local Administrator access, or if on a domain, prevent it that way. – Ramhound Jun 19 '15 at 2:41

You should not use the local Administrator account for your regular business.

However, you can create just a "regular" admin account so that you are able to turn on UAC.

I know that you are frustrated because UAC takes a restart to take effect, but you are better off living with UAC on permanently to handle 75% of your cases (that most programs have too many privileges) than to UAC turned off for the other 25% (Command Prompt, etc).

If you are annoyed that UAC will annoy you for every little thing, there's a slider:

UAC settings

Whenever you need more privileges, just use Run as Administrator on the program. Simple as that, and the only annoyance is just having to restart the program in question.

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