Understanding User Account Control

by Barry Dysert
(last updated January 18, 2016)

User Account Control (UAC) was introduced with Windows Vista and was generally not well received. Microsoft improved it, however, and retained in later versions of Windows. While it can still be a bit irritating, it is not nearly as irritating as it was in Vista.

The point behind UAC is to allow users to use a system without elevated privileges so they don't accidentally damage the system. When it is necessary to make system-level changes, UAC prompts the user for administrator credentials. Another aspect to UAC is that when it is active it prevents programs from making system-level changes without your knowledge, thus keeping the system more secure.

You can fine-tune how UAC works, including when (or if) you're notified of particular system changes. Changing how User Account Control works is discussed under another tip.

 This tip (3601) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Changing Font Size in a Command Prompt Window

If you work at the command level very much, you may want to change the fonts that are used. You can control what ...

Discover More

Clearing Items from the Recently Used Documents List

You may wish to clear your Recently Used Documents list or even have them not remembered in the first place. How you ...

Discover More

Setting the Default Search Engine in Microsoft Edge

For some people, search engines are a religious issue. Fortunately, Microsoft Edge has left the door open for you to ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Using the Sign Out Feature

To switch users without going through the lengthy reboot process, just sign out. It's not too obvious how to do this, but ...

Discover More

Changing Your Windows 8 Account Picture

Want to personalize your Windows 8 experience a bit more? One way is by attaching a picture to your account, as discussed ...

Discover More

Understanding User Account Types

Windows supports three different types of user accounts. The type of account associated with a user is determined by how ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight more than 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.