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How to self-elevate an application to a high privilege level under UAC

INTRODUCTION
This article describes an All-In-One Code Framework sample that is available for downloading. The code sample is related to User Account Control (UAC), a security component in Windows Vista and in newer versions of Windows operating systems. When UAC is fully enabled, interactive administrators typically run with the least user privileges. This code sample shows how to self-elevate an application to a high privilege level by giving explicit consent through the Consent UI.

Difficulty level

Download information

To download this code sample, click the following link:

    

Technical overview

UAC was introduced in Windows Vista. When UAC is fully enabled, interactive administrators typically run with the least user privileges. However, interactive administrators can self-elevate by giving explicit consent with the Consent UI. Interactive administrators perform administrative tasks that include installing software and drivers, changing system-wide settings, viewing or changing other user accounts, and running administrative tools.

This code sample shows the following technical points in three popular programming languages (Visual C++, Visual C#, Visual Baisc.NET):
  • How to display a UAC shield icon on the UI for tasks that require elevation.
  • How to self-elevate the current process.
  • How to automatically elevate the process when it starts up.

Demonstration

Follow these steps for a demonstration of this UAC code sample:
  1. After you successfully build the sample project in Visual Studio 2008, you receive the following application files, depending on the programming language that you are using:
    • CppUACSelfElevation.exe
    • CSUACSelfElevation.exe
    • VBUACSelfElevation.exe
  2. Run the application as a protected administrator in a Windows Vista or Windows 7 system that has UAC fully enabled. The application should display the following content in the main dialog box:
    the main dialog box
    Note There is a UAC shield icon on the Self-elevate button.
  3. Click the Self-elevate button. Then, you see the following Consent UI:
    Consent UI
  4. Click Yes to approve the elevation. Then, the original application restarts, running as an elevated administrator.
  5. Close the application.
Note For more information about how to create the sample application, see the Readme.txt file that is included in the download package.

Technology category

  • Security

Languages

This code sample contains the following programming languages.
LanguageProject Name
Visual C++ .NETCppUACSelfElevation
Visual C#CSUACSelfElevation
Visual Basic .NETVBUACSelfElevation

Prerequisites

  • You must run this code sample in Windows Vista or in a later Windows operating systems.
  • This sample application was created by using Visual Studio 2008 with Service Pack 1 installed.

Tags

  • UAC
More information

What is All-In-One Code Framework?

All-In-One Code Framework uses code samples in different programming languages to illustrate most Microsoft development techniques. Each code sample is carefully selected, composed, and documented to show common code scenarios. For more information about All-In-One Code Framework, visit the following All-In-One Code Framework Web site:

How to find more All-In-One Code Framework samples

To find more All-In-One Code Framework samples, search for "kbcodefx" together with related keywords on the Microsoft support Web site. Or, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
References
For more information, visit the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web sites:
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Article ID: 981778 - Last Review: 01/26/2016 08:41:00 - Revision: 4.0

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Academic Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Architecture Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Development Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite
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