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What is UAC (User Account Control)
The User Account Control is a security feature introduced with Microsoft's Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems, with a more relaxed version also present in Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 10.
Windows User Account Control or UAC security feature helps prevent unauthorized changes to the operating system. User Account Control makes sure certain system changes are made only with approval from the administrator.
With UAC, apps and tasks always run in the security context of a non-administrator account, unless an administrator specifically authorizes administrator-level access to the system. UAC can block the automatic installation of unauthorized apps and prevent inadvertent changes to system settings.
UAC allows all users to log on to their computers using a standard user account. Processes launched using a standard user token may perform tasks using access rights granted to a standard user.
The UAC forces users that are part of the local administrators group to run like they were regular users with no administrative privileges.
User Account Control makes sure certain changes are made only with approval from the administrator. If the changes are not approved by the administrator, they are not executed, and Windows remains unchanged.
When you double-click on a file, a setting or an app that is about to make important changes to Windows, you are shown a User Account Control (UAC) prompt.
If your user account is an administrator, the prompt looks like in the screenshot below.
The UAC prompt displays the name of the program that is about to make a system change that requires the approval of an administrator, the publisher of that program and the file origin (if you are trying to run a file). All it needs from the administrator is a click on Yes button, to let the program or the file do the changes that it wants.
If your user account is NOT an administrator, the prompt looks different.
When this happens, you need to enter the administrator’s PIN or password and press Yes button.
The UAC prompt also has a link that says “Show more details” (in Windows 10) or “Show details” (in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1). If you click on it, you see more information including the exact location on the disk of the program or file and the publisher’s certificate, which shows you more information about who created what you want to run.
Files that trigger a UAC prompt when run have the UAC symbol on the bottom-right corner of their file icon, similar to the screenshot below.
Apps and system settings that trigger a UAC prompt also have the UAC symbol near their name or in their icon.
How to Modify the User Account Control (UAC) Settings in Windows
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