Make User Account Control (UAC) Less Annoying


User Account Control (UAC) prompts you before an application makes an important change to your computer that requires administrative privileges. By default, the UAC prompt appears on the “secure desktop”, which freezes and darkens your screen. By freezing your screen, secure desktop makes it more difficult for another application to impersonate Windows and trick you into typing your administrator password into a fake UAC prompt.

The flashing screen is distracting, and slows things down a bit. To turn off the flashing without completely disabling UAC, follow these steps (after the jump):

1. Click Start, type Secpol.msc, and then press Enter. The secure desktop appears (for the last time!). Then, the Local Security Policy console appears.

2. Expand Local Policies and then click Security Options.


3. In the right pane, scroll to the bottom. Then, double-click User Account Control: Switch To The Secure Desktop When Prompting For Elevation.

4. Click Disabled, and then click OK.

The change takes effect immediately. There is no need to restart. Now, the UAC prompt appears like any other window. This slightly reduces the security of your computer, but it might be worth it to make UAC more convenient.

This entry was posted in Performance, Security, Tips by Tony Northrup. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Northrup

Tony Northrup, MVP, MCITP, MCPD, MCSE, MCTS, and CISSP, is a Windows consultant and author living in Waterford, Connecticut, in the United States. Tony started programming before Windows 1.0 was released, but has focused on Windows administration and development for the last fifteen years. He has written more than two dozen books covering Windows development, networking, and security. Among other titles, Tony is coauthor of the Windows 7 Resource Kit, the Windows Vista Resource Kit, and Windows Server 2008 Networking and Network Access Protection (NAP). When he's not writing, Tony enjoys photography, travel, and being awesome. Tony lives with his girlfriend, Chelsea, her daughter, Madelyn, and three dogs. You can learn more about Tony by visiting his personal website at and his photography portfolio at

6 thoughts on “Make User Account Control (UAC) Less Annoying

  1. This is a great. I do not like this feature and I am glad that I can turn it off. Thanks for this great website!

  2. This does not seem to work for me… perhaps it is due to being premium edition instead of business/ultimate?

  3. Didn´t work fot me eather, Í think that´s because i´m using the home basic.

    Can someone confirm that?

  4. This only works on Vista Ultimate and Business.

    Home and Basic do not allow secpol or any of those policies to run.

  5. a Security tool was out after SP1 so i am sure it works for all version of Vista :)

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