User account control is a part of Windows and prevents programs from changing your system. In this document, I will talk about why you would change its behavior and how to do it.
Table of Contents
Most people refer to this as UAC and I will do the same. It is part of the Windows security system and it protects users from malicious apps. We can change its behavior to add more security or make your system less secure.
Since malware has become so prevalent, Windows felt the need to introduce this program into its operating system full time. It is certainly not a bad idea, and it makes you look at what is making changes in your system.
These are the different settings which you can adjust. They each have a different level of access control. The different levels are:
Don’t notify when I make changes to Windows
Notify me only when apps try to make changes
These are pretty self explanatory so I won’t bore you by going into detail. The purpose of this document is how these settings can be changed for standard users. There are certain situations where a user needs a bit more access to an app in order to do their job.
Note For Admin Users
Admin users will do everything with little trouble. They can browse anywhere, install programs, and make any changes they like. For example, if I make a system setting change, I will just get a “yes or no” prompt. I will not get asked to enter my admin credentials. It is not much protection, so make sure you are careful while running as an admin.
Security Policy App
We can open this by running the secpol program on your machine. You can search for it easily by its name. Once open, go to:
Double Click “User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for standard users”
Then choose the setting you want that is available
You should restart after making system changes.
You can make the same changes in the control panel. For some, this might be easier. Here are the steps to do it there:
Open “Control Panel”
Select “User Accounts”
Select “User Accounts again”
Select “Change User Account Control Settings”
Now just use the slider to make the changes you want. Even though it is not intuitive, I have seen the changes you make on your admin account affect the rest of the machine’s users. I can find nowhere in the machine where it says this, but I have seen this behavior. So, do your own testing and see if this method works for you.
Problems With UAC
If you change your UAC setting but it keeps changing back, make sure you are changing it while you're logged in as an admin. That is the typical reason a change does not keep after reboots.
Using PowerShell For UAC
You can use PowerShell to get certain information about UAC from your system. First, see if it is enabled.
Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System -Name EnableLUA
You can also disable UAC. This is not recommended in most situations, however. If you do it, make sure and change it back.
New-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system -Name EnableLUA -PropertyType DWord -Value 0 -Force
This will be active after a restart.
In this document, I introduced UAC and what we could do with it. Then we talked about its different security levels. Afterwards, I went through the various ways of interacting with UAC. For example, I showed how you could change the values when you need to. Last, I also showed you a way to disable it entirely using PowerShell.