Windows 7 User Account Control (UAC) settings

User Account Control (UAC) was introduced in Windows Vista. However, it soon became an annoyance due to the number of notifications it presented to the end users.

In my opinion, the UAC in Windows 7 has been improved.  It displays fewer warnings and you have some control over the frequency of the notifications. However, even with such improvements, some users may still choose to disable it.

You can modify the User Account Control through the Control Panel.

To check out the various settings, click on the “Start” icon in the lower left of your screen. Now select “Control Panel” from the choices. Under this section, you will see “System and Safety”, click on that.

In the window displayed, look at the “Action Center” which is on the top of that window and select the text “Change User Account Control settings”.

A new window will appear with a vertical slide bar. The top of the slide provides the most alerts and is very much like the Vista version thus it will “Always Notify” you of changes occurring to the system.

The 2nd “notch” down is Windows 7 default setting. It will only pop up an alert (Notify you) when a Program tries to make changes to the computer. The desktop is dimed with a pop up alert taking center stage.

The 3rd notch from the top is the same as the 2nd one BUT it does not dim the desktop. The only difficulty I have is sometimes the alert ends up behind my other open programs and I don’t notice it until I either minimize the overlapping program(s) or I see a flashing on the bottom toolbar.

The last / bottom setting turns UAC off (“Never notify me when: …”), I don’t recommend this setting, but hey, it is a free country.

I also  feel using the methods above is the best way to choose what your UAC settings are, however (don’t you just love that word), it seems that with all things Microsoft, sometimes during an update the UAC settings get changes by the Windows Update process.

If you prefer to prevent this from possibly happening, you can turn UAC off (sorry I don’t know of a way to select other settings) by editing the registry.

DANGER WILL ROBINSON, editing the registry is playing with the DNA of your Windows installation, if you accidentally click on or edit or delete something in the registry you WILL (as in Will Robinson) have issues.
Check out my previous articles on how to backup your registry before proceeding.

If your registry and data are backed up and feel fearless, you can disable UAC through the Windows Registry:

1. Open the Windows registry by clicking on the “Start” icon, selecting the “Search Programs and files” dialog box just above the “Start” button.

2. Type in “regedit” without the quotes. Here you might get a UAC alert, approve it as needed.

3. Now navigate to “HKEY_Local_Machine \ Software \ Microsoft \  Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ System” on the left side of the new window.

4. On the right side of the screen, find and change the value of the “ConcentPromptBehaviorAdmin” key to “00000000” by double-clicking on the name.

Well, that is all for now, until we meet again, have a virus free Christmas and a Crashless New Year.

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