I turned off UAC (User Account Control) on my computer long ago, but I still see it pop up on client computers pretty regularly. It’s only still there because people have gotten used to being forced to click on it, and they don’t know how to turn it off.
Take a look at the image above. If you have Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8, this image will pop up on your screen whenever you click on something that could make changes to your computer. This includes installation of any program, and sometimes just running a program will cause the warning to appear.
What is the purpose of UAC? It was introduced with Windows Vista as an added security measure. Theoretically, if some program starts up that could make some changes to your computer, this warning window would provide a layer of security by requiring you to click “Yes” to continue and allow whatever was trying to run.
That’s a great theory, but I have watched what a lot of people do when it comes up on the screen. They just click Yes automatically, as quickly as they click “Accept” or “I agree” when installing a program. When it is automatically approved every time anyway, it is nothing more than an inconvenience.
Of course, Microsoft encourages you to leave it turned on. And why wouldn’t they – they certainly aren’t the ones that have to click it every time you want to do something on your computer! I would bet that it’s pretty likely most of the people at Microsoft have turned it off too.
If I set up your computer originally, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about because you have never seen it come up – because I already turned it off as part of the setup procedure. But if you do see it sometimes and are tired of having to click Yes to give it permission to do something, here’s how to turn it off:
Windows XP: User Account Control wasn’t introduced until Vista, so XP computers don’t even have it as an option.
Windows Vista: Click the Start button and click on Control Panel. Click on “User Accounts and Family Safety”, then click on “User Accounts”. Click on “Turn User Account Control on or off”. On the next screen, uncheck the box that enables UAC. Click OK, and you will be prompted to reboot the computer. You can reboot later if you want, but the UAC change won’t be in effect until you reboot.
Windows 7: Click the Start button and in the search field type UAC and click the Enter key on the keyboard. On the next screen, slide the slidebar all the way to the bottom and click OK. You will be prompted to reboot the computer. You can reboot later if you want, but the UAC change won’t be in effect until you reboot.
Windows 8: At the Start screen, move the cursor to the top right corner so that the charms bar comes out on the right side. Click on the search icon (looks like a magnifying glass) and in the search field, type MSCONFIG and hit Enter on the keyboard. Click the Tools tab. Click once to highlight “Change UAC Settings” and click Launch. Slide the slidebar all the way to the bottom and click OK. Click Yes to confirm.