User account control is an important Windows security feature. If a running program wants full access to your system, it should ask with a UAC prompt. If you disable UAC, all running programs can gain administrator access without prompting first.
All modern versions of Windows, including Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista have user account control and are enabled by default. It is also included on Windows Server. The instructions here let you disable UAC on any version of Windows. UAC capabilities are found in the classic Control Panel, even on Windows 11 and Windows 10.
Warning: We recommend disabling UAC unless you have a specific reason for doing so. For example, you might want to temporarily disable UAC while resolving a software issue. If you disable UAC, we recommend re-enabling it as soon as possible. UAC prevents programs from gaining full administrator access to your operating system and can help limit the damage that malware can do to your PC.
First, open the UAC Settings window. To do so, open your Start menu (by pressing the Windows key or clicking the Start button). Type “UAC” or “User Account Control” in the search box in the Start menu.
Click “Change user account control settings” in the search results.
In the User Account Control Settings window, click and drag the slider to the bottom position, which is “Never Message.” With this option, applications will be able to request administrator access to your system and will be given this access immediately without asking you first.
Click “OK” to save your selection. You will need to accept one last UAC prompt to confirm the change. It will take effect immediately after you do so.
The UAC slider gives you four separate options for selecting user account control behaviors in Windows. Here are the options you can choose from:
- Always let me know when: This option is even more stringent than the default setting. For example, Windows displays The default UAC prompt when installing applications. However, you must also accept UAC messages when changing Windows system settings. This ensures that applications cannot silently change operating system settings without asking you.
- Notify me only when apps try to make changes on my computer (default): This is standard UAC behavior. Windows will ask you for permission when you install applications or when these programs will have full system access, but you will not see UAC messages when you change most Windows operating system settings.
- Notify me only when apps try to make changes on my computer (do not mute my desktop): This is the same as the default setting, but Windows shows you a UAC window over your normal desktop environment rather than a UAC window over a muted desktop environment. The toned-down desktop environment is actually a special, secure desktop that running applications can not interfere with. You should only use this option if it takes a long time for your computer to shut down your desktop, which could be due to a hardware or driver problem.
- Never let me know when: Applications can get UAC access without asking you. You will never see a UAC prompt requesting your permission or informing you of UAC access while the “Never Notify” option is enabled. To disable UAC completely, this is the option you should choose.
To re-enable UAC in the future, open the User Account Control Settings window again, drag the slider back to the default position, and click “OK.” Changes to your UAC settings take immediate effect; you do not need to restart.
Again, we strongly recommend disabling UAC unless you have a particularly good reason to do so. Although the feature was very disgusting and noisy when it debuted on Windows Vista, it has been much more affordable since Windows 7, and it still works well on Windows 10 and Windows 11 today. You may see some UAC messages when you set up a computer and install your software, but hopefully they should not be too frequent after that – and they are an important security feature that gives you control over what applications can do on your PC.