How to use User Account Control (UAC) in Windows Vista

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 922708 - View products that this article applies to.
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

INTRODUCTION

This article describes the User Account Control (UAC) feature in Windows Vista. This article also describes how to run a program as an administrator in Windows Vista.

MORE INFORMATION

User Account Control (UAC) is a new feature that helps prevent malicious programs, also known as "malware," from damaging a system. UAC stops the automatic installation of unauthorized applications. UAC also prevents unintended changes to system settings.

You receive a UAC prompt when you do any of the following:
  • Install or uninstall a program.
  • Install a driver for a device. (For example, you install the driver for a digital camera.)
  • Use the Windows Update console to install updates.
  • Configure Parental Controls.
  • Install an ActiveX control. (ActiveX controls are used to view certain Web pages.)
  • Open or change the Windows Firewall control settings.
  • Change a user account type.
  • Modify your security settings with the Security Policy Editor (Secpol.msc) snap-in.
  • Browse another user's directory.
  • Configure Automatic Updates.
  • Restore system files that were backed up.
  • Schedule Automated Tasks.
  • Copy or move files into the Program Files directory or the Windows directory.
  • Add or remove a user account.
  • Configure Remote Desktop access.

How to run a program as an administrator

When you run a program function or a system function, you may receive a UAC prompt. Most of these programs are legacy programs. Newer versions of the same programs do not trigger UAC. You cannot set UAC to automatically run a program as an administrator without the user being prompted.

In Windows Vista, some programs only run correctly if you run them as an administrator. You may be able to run newer versions of the same programs without having to run them as an administrator.

Note A security risk may result by using administrative credentials to run an unknown program. Only run programs that you trust as an administrator.

Important These steps may increase your security risk. These steps may also make the computer or the network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We recommend the process that this article describes to enable programs to operate as they are designed to or to implement specific program capabilities. Before you make these changes, we recommend that you evaluate the risks that are associated with implementing this process in your particular environment. If you decide to implement this process, take any appropriate additional steps to help protect the system. We recommend that you use this process only if you really require this process.

To run a program as an administrator, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the icon that you use to run the program, and then click Run as administrator.
  2. When you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the administrator password, or click Continue.

For some program icons, the Run as administrator option is not available on the shortcut menu. For these program icons, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the icon that you use to run the program, and then click Properties. On the Shortcut tab, the Target box contains the location and the name of the program file.
  2. Open the folder that contains the program file.
  3. Right-click the program file, and then click Run as administrator.
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
If you must run a program as an administrator, you may want to set up the program so that you automatically run it as an administrator. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the icon that you use to run the program, and then click Properties.
  2. On the Compatibility tab, click to select the Run this program as an administrator check box, and then click OK.
The Compatibility tab is not available for some program icons. For these program icons, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the icon that you use to run the program, and then click Properties. On the Shortcut tab, the Target box contains the location and the name of the program file.
  2. Open the folder that contains the program file.
  3. Right-click the program file, and then click Properties.
  4. On the Compatibility tab, click to select the Run this program as an administrator check box, and then click OK.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
969417 How do I enable User Account Control in Windows Vista?

REFERENCES

For help with common system maintenance tasks in Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft Web page:
Fix problems with common system maintenance tasks

Properties

Article ID: 922708 - Last Review: September 23, 2011 - Revision: 5.0
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Starter
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
Keywords: 
kbexpertisebeginner kbhowto KB922708

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com