Security settings

How to change User Account Control (UAC) settings on Windows 10

It's possible to change or disable Windows 10's UAC settings when working with legacy apps or you don't want get notified when apps trying to make system changes.

User Account Control settings on Windows 10

On Windows 10, User Account Control (UAC) is a security feature that blocks apps from making unwanted system changes, helps users to prevent accidental settings changes, and stops malware from getting into your system without your knowledge.

When UAC is enabled, if an app tries to make changes, Windows 10 will pop a security warning which the user must approve to allow the app to perform the task. If the user is using a standard account, then they’ll need to enter administrative credentials to run a particular task that requires higher privileges.

In short, User Account Control allows users to work in a more secure environment. However, there are some situations where you may want to disable, or configure the feature differently. For example, when you’re using legacy apps that were not designed to work in this type of environment, or you know exactly what you’re doing and prefer to run Windows 10 without this feature.

If you want to make changes, or disable UAC completely, Windows 10 offers the necessary settings to prevent the User Access Control dialog from appearing every time a task needs elevation.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to manage User Account Control (UAC) settings on Windows 10.

How to change UAC settings on Windows 10

In order to change User Account Control settings your account must be an account with administrator privileges. Otherwise, you’ll need to provide an administrator password to make changes.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on System and Security.
  3. Click the Change User Account Control settings link.
  4. Control Panel System and Security settings
    Control Panel System and Security settings
  5. Quick Tip: Alternatively, you can search for User Account Control on Start and click the result to open the experience.
  6. User Account Control Settings offers four levels of protection, but there are some limitations depending on the account type.
  7. On a Standard user account, you’ll see the four levels, but you can only change two of them:
    • Always notify me when: This is the default option on every standard user account, and it pops the UAC dialog when apps try to install another software or make changes to the system, and when you try to change settings.
    • Always notify me (and do not dim my desktop): Using this option blocks apps and users system changes just like “Always notify me when,” but with the difference that you can still have access to the desktop to continue working on other tasks.
  8. User Account Control on a standard account
    User Account Control on a standard account
  9. Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer (don’t dim my desktop) and Never notify me when (which disables UAC), are not options that can be configured on a Standard account.
  10. On an Administrator user account, you’ll see the four levels, and you can select any one of them:
    • Always notify me when: This option pops the UAC dialog when apps try to install another software or make changes to the system, and when you try to change settings.
    • Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer: This is the default level for every administrator account, and it doesn’t notify you when making settings changes.
    • Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer (do not dim my desktop): Using this option you won’t get notifications when making changes, but with the difference that you can still have access to the desktop to continue working on other tasks.
    • Never notify me when: This option disables UAC completely on Windows 10.
  11. User Account Control on an administrator account
    User Account Control on an administrator account
  12. After selecting the level of security you want, click OK to apply the changes.

Once you’ve completed the steps, restart your computer to apply the settings.

While it’s possible to change the User Account Control (UAC) settings on Windows 10, it’s always recommended to leave the default configuration for better security.

It’s important to note that there are ways to disable UAC using the Registry, but Standard users will experience unwanted behaviors, as such it’s not recommended to go that route.

If you want to disable the User Account Control feature (not recommended), you’ll need to change the account type to Administrator, and then follow the steps to select Never notify me when option using the slider.