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. ...

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