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Review Of The UAC in Windows 7

Review of the UAC in Windows Version 7

Guy Thomas

Guy Thomas is the writer and editor of Computer Performance, a site dedicated to computer hardware and software maintenance and troubleshooting since 1996. He currently resides in England.

In Windows 7 the UAC (User Account Control) dialog box is much less 'in your face'.  Microsoft has re-thought when it's desirable for the UAC to leap into action and inform us of a significant change to the operating system settings.  Furthermore, if you dislike Microsoft's default settings it's much easier to make the UAC even less intrusive.

How to Turn UAC Off in Windows 7

Just click on the Start orb, and navigate to the Control Panel, User Accounts, and select: Change User Account Settings.

Windows 7 Security Vs Ease of Use

The Windows 7 screenshot above illustrates the trade-off between security and the annoying UAC interface interrupting your configuration work.  Adjusting the computer's clock is a case study of Microsoft's re-design of the UAC.  The crucial issue is that changing the system time is a security concern, and it should require the UAC.  However, a user changing merely the time-zone does not compromise any of the operating system's audit time-stamps, and thus there is no need for the UAC to annoy a user trying to adjust to a new time-zone.

Windows 7 also allows standard users to view the firewall settings, and even use Windows Update to install optional updates and drivers.  Unlike Vista, you don't need elevated rights to adjust the display DPI, and refresh the IP address, hence clicking on these settings no longer attracts the UAC dialog box.

Setting the Windows 7 UAC with Local Security Policy

In addition to the control panel method above, you can also fine-tune the UAC behavior via the Local Security Policy.  Here is how to make the Windows 7 UAC changes:

  • Click on the Start Orb.
  • In the search box type: Policy.  Launch the Local Security Policy snap-in.
  • Click on Local Policies and the expand the Security Options.
  • Scroll down, at the bottom of the list you will find 10 UAC policies.
  • Check out the 'Explain tab' to understand the policy, and make sure that you and the Windows 7 are in synch with the Enable or Disable UAC settings.