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How Do I Turn Off UAC (User Account Control) in Windows?

You may want to, but you probably shouldn’t.

User Access Control, or UAC, prompts you each time an application requires administrative access. Annoyance or feature?
Applies to Windows: 11, 10
UAC Setting
Turning off UAC alerts: not recommended. (Image: askleo.com)

Question: I’ve tried living with user access control in Windows, but I’ve decided it’s more annoying than it’s worth. I know what I’m doing, and did just fine in old versions without UAC. So how do I turn the darn thing off?

UAC is a good thing. Really. I’ll explain why in a moment.

And yes, you can turn it off, and I’ll show you how.

But I’ll also explain why you really shouldn’t.

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TL;DR:

Turning off User Account Control (UAC)

User Account Control (UAC), introduced in Windows Vista, helps protect against malware and other unauthorized changes. Turning it off is possible via Settings: search for UAC, and set the resulting slider to Never. I recommend you keep it on for better security.

Turning off UAC

Run the Settings app, and search for UAC.

Searching for UAC in the settings app.
Searching for UAC in the settings app. (Screenshot: askleo.com)

Click on Change User Account Control settings.

UAC Settings dialog.
The UAC Settings dialog. Click for larger image. (Screenshot: askleo.com)

Drag the slider all the way to the bottom.

UAC Turned Off.
Turning off UAC notifications. (Image: askleo.com)

Click OK. You’ll likely need to confirm UAC one last time, after which it’s off.

Implications of turning UAC off

UAC alerts you when an application is about to do something that requires administrative access to your machine. Even logged in as an administrator, or what I like to call an “administrator-capable” account, you’re not really running as an administrator. Only when an operation requires elevation to actual administrator status will that happen. With UAC off, that elevation happens without question and without notification.

The risk is pretty clear: any inadvertently downloaded malware (or foistware or annoy-ware or anything-you-didn’t-want-ware) has free rein to do whatever it wants to any part of your system without notification.

UAC prevents that. Or, rather, it alerts you when some program is attempting to do something that requires administrative access.

Usually, the answer is “yes” because you’ve just done something that you understand is likely to require it — like installing software or making certain configuration changes to Windows.

The value is when you don’t expect it. It gives you that extra moment’s pause to ensure you’re aware of what’s happening and are OK with it.

Do this

Needless to say, I recommend leaving UAC on. It’s an infrequent interruption and an important security feature of Windows.

However, if you still want it off, now you know how.

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