Why You Shouldn’t Disable the User Access Control Feature in Windows

If you’ve used Windows for any amount of time, then you may have noticed a prompt popping up whenever you are changing system settings or messing with system files. By default, this system prompt blocks all your activity with a transparent black screen so that you have no choice but to see and attend the prompt. This is a native Windows security feature called “User Access Control,” UAC for short, that was introduced back in Windows Vista days.

As useful as it is, some Windows users may get annoyed by these UAC prompts whenever they are installing software or making changes to system settings or files. Thus, even going as far as disabling it completely. So if you are one those who are considering disabling UAC or have already disabled it, here is why you shouldn’t do it.

When you first install Windows, the first user account you create will have administrator rights, and most likely you use that account for all your daily activities like configuring your system, installing software, browsing, etc. But the thing is you don’t need administrator rights all the time as it causes more problems than it solves.

To deal with this, Microsoft introduced UAC which enables you to run your system and other installed apps with limited privileges so that they cannot access or modify any system settings, files, registry entries, etc. Whenever there is a big system-specific change initiated, the UAC intercepts that action and asks for your permission. If you deny the permission when prompted, the changes are not executed, and your system files or settings go unchanged.

Even when you allow the changes to be made by accepting the UAC prompt, those permissions are only valid for that particular session. e.g. till the application is closed or the action is completed.

By default, all the UAC prompts are presented on a “secure desktop” so that no program can interact or manipulate the prompt (like removing the “No” button, manipulating the mouse and/or keyboard to click yes, etc.), tricking the user into clicking the “Yes” button. That is the reason why the entire screen is blocked out forcing you to either accept or deny the changes from proceeding.

windows-uac-in-action

Yes, this type of behavior can be annoying when you install and set it up for the first time. But after that you won’t have to deal with it that often as almost all the applications are compatible with UAC. Unlike the old days, the developers are not assuming their applications will have admin privileges by default.

So if you choose to disable the UAC, then you will lose all protection provided by this feature, and any application, malware, virus, etc., can execute and change anything they want at any time as there is nothing to intercept them.

Moreover, if you’ve disabled the UAC feature and installed a bunch of apps, those apps may not work properly when you’ve re-enabled the UAC. It may not be a problem for most apps, but it is still a thing to consider when you want to disable UAC.

If you still think the UAC feature is annoying, I would recommend you lower the UAC thresholds rather than completely disabling them. You can modify the UAC notification levels by searching for “User Access Control” in the start menu. That being said, only do this if you know what you are doing.

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All in all, it is never a good thing to disable or even modify the notification levels of UAC. If anyone tells you to disable this feature on your Windows system, then please stay away from that person or website.

Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about the UAC prompts on your Windows system.

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