Disable User Account Control (UAC) only for Administrators

Posted in Windows Vista by Steve Sinchak

I'm sure you are well aware now of the advantages and disadvantages of UAC. It is great for non-admin users because it protects their computer from themselves.  For advanced users, it can be a much different story causing many annoying authorization pop-ups. This is most common when you are doing a lot of activities that require admin rights such as installing applications and configuring Windows Vista after a fresh install.  There is one practical solution to this issue that will help you with the UAC pop-ups if they annoy you and still benefit from the security of UAC.

This can be achieved by adjusting the local security policy to essentially disable UAC for administrators while leaving it enabled for low rights users.  When you are using your PC for normal day-to-day use, log in with your low rights account.  If you need to install a bunch of applications and make major system configuration changes then log in with your admin account.  With fast user switching in Windows Vista you can easily switch between your accounts with little effort.

Follow these steps to disable UAC only for administrators:

  1. Click on the Start button and type in secpol.msc and hit Enter.
  2. Expand Local Policies and then Security Options.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and locate "User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode".
  4. Right click on this setting and select Properties.
  5. Set the value to Elevate without prompting.
  6. Reboot.
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