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Disabling User Account Control on Vista

You might not realize it, but if you work at OSR you often get to here Peter read his pontifications aloud (whether you want to or not).  So it was in a session this afternoon, when he was holding forth mightily about the User Account Controls (UAC) dialog always popping up on Windows Vista, and how he couldn't figure out how to get it to stop.

"Oye, cabron," I started,  "You wanna disable all that UAC stuff?"

After making him beg me for a while, I told him how to do it.  In summary here's what you do:

  • Start an elevated command prompt window, and from that window run secpol.msc.

  • Find all the policies that start with "User Account Control" (there are only, like, six of them) and set them to either no prompt or disabled.

That's all there is to it.  You'll never need to "run elevated" and you'll never be bothered by those pop-ups again.

Of course, I let him think I used some super-secret inside knowledge that I picked-up in the halls in Redmond.  But, actually, I learned this in a blog by some dudes on the UAC team: http://blogs.msdn.com/uac/archive/2006/01/22/516066.aspx.  The blog explains each of the options, in case you want to be a bit more subtle (and secure) than taking the sledgehammer approach and shutting everything off.

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"Disabling UAC on Windows"
Thanks very much.

I have been testing device driver compatibility with Vista builds for several weeks now, and was getting very tired of the constant nagging.

Every time I installed a test application, or wished to run Device Manager, even to display the WDK help (?!) I had to respond to one of these approval dialogs.

Note: Some of the options have changed slightly by Vista build 5365, but the basic idea is the same.

03-May-06, Charles Hanes

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