Privacy and Security Change User Account Control (UAC) Settings in Windows 11

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UAC_banner.png

User Account Control (UAC) helps prevent malware from damaging a PC and helps organizations deploy a better-managed desktop. With UAC, apps and tasks always run in the security context of a non-administrator account, unless an administrator specifically authorizes administrator-level access to the system. UAC can block the automatic installation of unauthorized apps and prevent inadvertent changes to system settings.

UAC allows all users to log on to their computers using a standard user account. Processes launched using a standard user token may perform tasks using access rights granted to a standard user. For instance, Windows Explorer automatically inherits standard user level permissions. Additionally, any apps that are started using Windows Explorer (for example, by double-clicking a shortcut) also run with the standard set of user permissions. Many apps, including those that are included with the operating system itself, are designed to work properly in this way.

Other apps, especially those that were not specifically designed with security settings in mind, often require additional permissions to run successfully. These types of apps are referred to as legacy apps. Additionally, actions such as installing new software and making configuration changes to the Windows Firewall, require more permissions than what is available to a standard user account.

When an app needs to run with more than standard user rights, UAC can restore additional user groups to the token. This enables the user to have explicit control of apps that are making system level changes to their computer or device.

UAC settingDescription
Always notify
  • Notify you when programs try to install software or make changes to your computer.
  • Notify you when you make changes to Windows settings.
  • Freeze other tasks until you respond.
  • Note: This option is recommended if you routinely install new software or visit unfamiliar websites.
Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer (default)
  • Notify you when programs try to install software or make changes to your computer.
  • Not notify you when you make changes to Windows settings.
  • Freeze other tasks until you respond.
  • Note: This option is recommended if you routinely install new software or visit unfamiliar websites, but you don't want to be notified when you make changes to Windows settings.
Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer (do not dim my desktop)
  • Notify you when programs try to install software or make changes to your computer.
  • Not notify you when you make changes to Windows settings.
  • Not freeze other tasks or wait for a response.
  • Note: This option is only recommended if it takes a long time to dim the desktop on your computer. Otherwise, it's recommended to choose one of the options above.
Never notify (Disable UAC)
  • Not notify you when programs try to install software or make changes to your computer.
  • Not notify you when you make changes to Windows settings.
  • Not freeze other tasks or wait for a response.
  • Note: This option isn't recommended due to security concerns.

This tutorial will show you how to change User Account Control (UAC) settings in Windows 11.


You must be signed in as an administrator to change User Account Control (UAC) settings.


Contents

  • Option One: Change User Account Control settings in Control Panel
  • Option Two: Change User Account Control settings using REG file


EXAMPLE: User Account Control prompt
UAC_prompt_for_standard_user.png
UAC_prompt_for_administrator.png






OPTION ONE

Change User Account Control Settings in Control Panel


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

2 Click/tap on the Change User Account Control settings link. (see screenshot below)

This will open the C:\Windows\System32\UserAccountControlSettings.exe file.


UAC_settings-1.png

3 Move the slider up or down to the setting for how you want to be notified by UAC, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

UAC_settings-2.png
UAC_settings-3.png
UAC_settings-4.png
UAC_settings-5.png

4 If prompted by UAC, click/tap on Yes.

5 You can now close the Control Panel if you like.





OPTION TWO

Change User Account Control settings using REG file


1 Do step 2, step 3, step 4, or step 5 below for how you want to be notified by UAC.


2 For "Always notify me"

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.

UAC_Always_Notify.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
"PromptOnSecureDesktop"=dword:00000001
"EnableLUA"=dword:00000001
"ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin"=dword:00000002

3 For "Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer (default)"

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.

UAC_Default.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
"PromptOnSecureDesktop"=dword:00000001
"EnableLUA"=dword:00000001
"ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin"=dword:00000005

4 For "Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer (don't dim my desktop)"

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.

UAC_Do-Not-Dim.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
"PromptOnSecureDesktop"=dword:00000000
"EnableLUA"=dword:00000001
"ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin"=dword:00000005

5 For "Never notify me"

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.

UAC_Never_Notify.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
"PromptOnSecureDesktop"=dword:00000000
"EnableLUA"=dword:00000001
"ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin"=dword:00000000

6 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

7 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

8 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

9 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • UAC.png
    UAC.png
    13.6 KB · Views: 10
  • UAC_Always_Notify.reg
    822 bytes · Views: 16
  • UAC_Default.reg
    822 bytes · Views: 16
  • UAC_Do-Not-Dim.reg
    822 bytes · Views: 13
  • UAC_Never_Notify.reg
    822 bytes · Views: 11
Last edited:

lexster

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I'm one of those users that completely disables UAC. I've never used it as it is irritating at the very minimum. It's not needed as I run security software that does the same thing but in a much better way.
 

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geneo

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I'm one of those users that completely disables UAC. I've never used it as it is irritating at the very minimum. It's not needed as I run security software that does the same thing but in a much better way.
Ditto. It doesn't provide any useful protection as far as I can tell. New executable? Well you probably downloaded it intending on running it and have got to decide whether you trust it or not. Based on what, mind scan? Then once you have launched it, as long as there are no immediate consequences, you will continue to do so, even if you update the executable I expect, but every time you do you have to jump through some pointless hoops. It might be useful if, on the first time you launched it, you had the choice to opt-out of UAC for that executable from then on.

Am I missing something?
 

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Superfly

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Ditto. It doesn't provide any useful protection as far as I can tell. New executable? Well you probably downloaded it intending on running it and have got to decide whether you trust it or not. Based on what, mind scan? Then once you have launched it, as long as there are no immediate consequences, you will continue to do so, even if you update the executable I expect, but every time you do you have to jump through some pointless hoops. It might be useful if, on the first time you launched it, you had the choice to opt-out of UAC for that executable from then on.

Am I missing something?
Do you have 3rd party app. that controls permissions.. like SU does on Linux?

Not being facetious.. but the point of control is malicious self-elevating processes.
 

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Devlin1888

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Ditto. It doesn't provide any useful protection as far as I can tell. New executable? Well you probably downloaded it intending on running it and have got to decide whether you trust it or not. Based on what, mind scan? Then once you have launched it, as long as there are no immediate consequences, you will continue to do so, even if you update the executable I expect, but every time you do you have to jump through some pointless hoops. It might be useful if, on the first time you launched it, you had the choice to opt-out of UAC for that executable from then on.

Am I missing something?
Same here also, 3 years or so since i turned it off and ive yet to have an issue. Saved a few thousand left clicks though id image :D
 

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Superfly

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Same here also, 3 years or so since i turned it off and ive yet to have an issue. Saved a few thousand left clicks though id image :D
Nice for you.. but from a security point of view not the way to go...this is why MS instituted all the hardware-related security stuff in Win 11.. if everybody ran as standard user and employed proper firewall and AV we would live in milk and honey Windows-land.
 

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Devlin1888

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Nice for you.. but from a security point of view not the way to go...this is why MS instituted all the hardware-related security stuff in Win 11.. if everybody ran as standard user and employed proper firewall and AV we would live in milk and honey Windows-land.
Yeah im not one of those that need to be 100% text book correct at all times and enforce it on everyone i come across when discussing a topic, Have common sense and all the nasties dont get in anyway :)
 

My Computer

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    Windows 11 Education Build 22483.1011 Developer Build
    Computer type
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    CPU
    i7 10700k@5.2
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Gaming X Z490
    Memory
    16GB Viper Steel Series 3200mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte RTX2070 Super X OC Windforce
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS TUF Gaming 3840X2160 Benq Gl2250 1920x1080
    Screen Resolution
    4K/1600/1440/1080
    Hard Drives
    M.2 - ADATA SX8200 Pro 1TB
    SSD - Samsung 860 evo
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    Corsair 650w
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    Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition
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    Razer Ornata Chroma
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    Steel Series Rival 710
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lexster

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Do you have 3rd party app.
Nope. But then again, I'm not a hapless nitwit who navigates to " IShouldNotBeHere.com" clicks on and downloads everything that shows up on my browser. Of course I also run my browser with excellent security focused extensions as well.. Then there is the security suite I run that makes microsofts efforts look like amateur-hour.

UAC is annoying crap and always has been. Full stop.
 

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geneo

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(y)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    DIY
    CPU
    10900KF, 5.1 GHz delid
    Motherboard
    Asus Maximus Hero XII Wifi
    Memory
    64GB G.skill TridentZ RGB 3200CL14 B-die @ 3600 CL16
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus ROG Strix 2070 Super A8G
    Sound Card
    Onboard Audio, Vanatoo Transparent One; Klipsch R-12SWi Sub
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Eizo CG2730, ViewSonic VP2768
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440p x 2
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 Pro 512 GB (OS), Samsung 980 1TB, Raid 0: 1TB 850 EVO + 1TB 860 EVO. Sabrent USB-C DS-SC5B docking station: 6TB WDC Black, 6TB Ironwolf Pro; 2TB WDC Black
    PSU
    750W Seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium
    Case
    Fractal Design Meshify 2
    Cooling
    EK-AIO 360 D-RGB w/Phanteks 120 T30 fans, 2x Noctua NF-A14 Chromax case
    Keyboard
    Glorious GMMK TKL - Brown mechanical
    Mouse
    Logitech G305 wireless gaming
    Internet Speed
    120 Mb/s down, 12 Mb/s up
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender, Macrium Reflect 8 ;-)
    Other Info
    Logitech C920e Webcam
  • Operating System
    Mac OS Big Sur
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple 13" Macbook Pro 2020 (m1)
    CPU
    M1
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    2560x1600
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