If you have one computer network at home or in the workplace, one of the things you need to control is which users or applications manage to change things on this system.
One way to prevent unauthorized changes is to have someone as your network administrator. However, it is not enough to have a single person who manages everything, which is where the user access control (UAC) function comes into play.
This guide explains what UAC is and how it can be disabled in Windows 10.
What is UAC?
UAC is a security feature of Windows 10 that prevents unauthorized or unintentional changes to the operating system. The feature was first part of the Windows Vista security system and has since been improved with each new version of Windows.
These changes can be initiated by users, viruses, malware or applications. But if the administrator does not approve the changes, they will not be executed.
Changes that require administrative privileges include:
Each time you run a desktop application that requires administrator permissions, the UAC will appear. You’ll also see this when you want to change important system settings that require administrator approval.
Anyone on your network can sign in to their computers using a standard user account, but all the processes they initiate will be done using the access rights granted to a standard user.
For example, any application began to be used Windows Explorer will run with standard user level permissions. This includes applications included with Windows 10 itself.
For legacy applications, which are not designed with security in mind, additional permissions are often required to run properly. More permissions are needed for actions such as installing new software and changing Windows firewall settings, as they require administrator account permissions.
If you need to run an application that requires more than the standard user rights of the account, you can restore more user groups to the token to manage applications that make system-level changes to your computers or devices.
For families, there is an option to create a dedicated child account that includes various limitations, integrated parental control, and supervision. Learn more about our Microsoft Family account and how to add a family member to your Microsoft account guides.
UAC slider levels in Windows 10 and what they mean
In Windows Vista, there were only two UAC options: On or Off. In Windows 10, however, there are four UAC levels to choose from:
- Always notify: Notifies you before users and applications make changes that require administrator permissions. It also freezes other tasks until unresponsive and is recommended if you frequently visit unknown websites or install new software.
- Notify me only when programs or applications try to make changes to my computer: Notifies you when programs try to make changes to your computer or install software. This level also freezes other tasks until you respond, but will not notify you when you do changes to Windows settings.
- Notify me only when programs or applications try to make changes to my computer (don’t stick to the desktop): Notifies you when a program attempts to make changes or install software on your computer. It does not notify you when you make changes to Windows settings and does not freeze tasks until you respond. Choose this level only if it takes a long time to darken the computer desktop.
- Never notify: Does not notify you when a program attempts to make changes, install software, or when you change Windows settings. This setup is not recommended, especially if you do not have a good security suite, as it is much simpler viruses and malware to infect your computer with UAC disabled.
How to Disable UAC in Windows 10
Note: We do not recommend disabling UAC on your computer, as this makes it easier to infect and manage malware. If there are applications that continue to enable UAC, use the Windows Task Scheduler to run these applications without administrator rights and UAC requests instead of disabling them completely.
If you still want to disable UAC, you can do so through the control panel, group policy, registry editor, or through a command line.
How to disable UAC using the control panel
- Open the control panel and select User accounts.
- Select User accounts again.
- Then select Change user account control settings.
- If you want to completely disable UAC, drag the slider to Never notify to disable UAC and then click Okay.
To re-enable UAC, drag the slider to the security level you want, and click Okay. Confirm your selection or enter your administrator password if prompted and restart your computer to keep the changes.
How to disable UAC using a command line
- To do this, type CMD in the search box and select Run as administrator.
In the Command Prompt box, enter this command and press Enter:
reg.exe ADD HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
- Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.
If you want to activate or reactivate UAC,to enterthis command:
reg.exe ADD HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesSystem /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
How to disable UAC using the Group Policy Editor
- To do this, type Policy Editor in the search box and select Edit group policy.
- Select Computer settings> Windows settings and select Security settings.
- Then select Local Policies> Security Options.
- Scroll down and double-click User Account Control: Run all administrators in administrator approval mode.
- Select Off> OK.
How to Disable UAC Using Windows Registry
You can also disable UAC using the Windows registry. However, before doing so, be sure to back up your registry to avoid system problems.
- To disable UAC using the Windows registry, right-click Home> Run, enter regedit.exe and press Enter on the keyboard.
- Follow the path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Policies System
- Then double-click the key EnableLUA and change the value data a 0.
- Save your changes and restart your computer.
Take control of your accounts
UAC makes all the difference between standard user accounts and administrator accounts. With this feature, you have basic system security that will help you save your system from malicious processes, even with a security kit in place.
Were you able to disable UAC on your computer? Share with us in the comments.