How to configure the UAC (User Account Control) settings in Windows 8 and 8.1

How to configure the UAC (User Account Control) settings in Windows 8 and 8.1



This article provides information on how to configure the UAC in Windows 8 and 8.1.


Table of Contents:

  1. What is UAC?
  2. UAC Settings
  3. How to configure the UAC settings

What is UAC?

The User Account Control (UAC) helps prevent any potentially harmful programs from making changes to your computer. It does this by notifying you before any changes are made to your PC that would require administrator-level permission.

This was first brought into being for the Windows Vista operating system, but it has been incorporated into Windows 8 and 8.1 much more since then.

There are several settings this control can be set to - including Off.

You'll find a description of the possible settings below, along with a guide on how to change the settings to suit what you need.

Note: You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to carry out the steps in the guide below. If you are not signed in as the Administrator, then you will never see the YES option in the User Account Control Box.


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UAC Settings

Setting Description Security Impact
Always notify me
  • You'll be notified before apps make changes to your PC or to Windows settings that require administrator permissions.
  • When you're notified, your screen will be dimmed, and you must either approve or deny the request in the UAC dialogue box before you can do anything else on your PC.
  • This is the most secure setting.
  • When you're notified, you should carefully read the contents of each dialogue box before allowing changes to be made to your PC.
  • Read the Note box below.
Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer (default)
  • You'll be notified before apps make changes to your PC that require administrator permissions.
  • You'll be notified if an app tries to make changes to a Windows setting.
  • You won't be notified if you try to make changes to Windows settings that require administrator permissions.
  • It's usually safe to allow changes to be made to Windows settings without you being notified. However, certain apps that come with Windows can have commands or data passed to them, and malicious software can take advantage of this by using these apps to install files or change settings on your PC. You should always be careful about which apps you allow to run on your PC.
Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer (don't dim my desktop)
  • You'll be notified before apps make changes to your PC that require administrator permissions.
  • You'll be notified if an app tries to make changes to a Windows setting.
  • You won't be notified if you try to make changes to Windows settings that require administrator permissions.
  • This setting is the same as "Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer," but your desktop won't get dimmed.
  • If you choose this option, other apps might be able to interfere with the visual appearance of the UAC dialogue box. This is a security risk, especially if there's malware on your PC.
Never notify me
  • You won't be notified before any changes are made to your PC. If you're signed in as an administrator, apps can make changes to your PC without your knowledge.
  • If you're signed in as a standard user, any changes that require administrator permissions will automatically be denied.
  • This is the least secure setting. When you set UAC to never notify, you open up your PC to potential security risks.
  • If you set UAC to never notify, you should be careful about which apps you run, because they'll have the same access to the PC as you do. This includes reading and making changes to protected system areas, your data, saved files, and anything else stored on the PC. Apps will also be able to communicate and transfer info to and from anything your PC connects with, including the Internet.
Note: The Always notify me setting disables the refresh and reset Windows 8 features. These features require UAC to be set to the default or a lower level to function.

DO NOT use a registry hack to completely disable UAC. If you do this in Windows 8, it will break modern apps preventing them from being able to run until EnableLUA is set back to 1 and you have restarted the computer.

Setting the EnableLUA registry DWORD to 0 (zero) will also disable Protected Mode in Internet Explorer which means that you will also not be able to use 64-bit IE10 until EnableLUA is set back to 1 and you have restarted the computer.


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How to configure the UAC Settings

  1. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click on the User Accounts icon.

    • The easiest way to get to this screen is by either moving the cursor to the bottom left-hand side of the screen and right-clicking on the start button displayed or by pressing the win+x keys together and then choosing Control Panel from the menu that appears.

UAC 1

  1. Click on the link to Change User Account Control settings.

UAC 3

  1. If a UAC prompt pops up, then click on Yes.

UAC 2

  1. Click on the slider and move it up or down to the setting you want and click on OK.

slider

  1. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

UAC 2

  1. When finished, you can close the User Accounts window.


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Article ID: SLN288442

Last Date Modified: 10/02/2019 06:21 AM


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