Why You Should Not Disable User Account Control (UAC) In Windows - PC SEEKERS

Why You Should Not Disable User Account Control (UAC) In Windows

User Account Control (UAC) is an important security feature in Windows. To know what User Account Control is, read: What is User Account Control (UAC) in Windows?

If you reflexively disable UAC while installing windows, we suggest you give it a try for User Account Control and Windows Software ecosystem has come a far way from when UAC was introduced in Windows Vista.

The History:

Back in those times before and during when people used Windows XP, you might remember there used to be several accounts on a single PC. One was called an Administrator account and the other accounts were called Standard User Accounts. 

Using a Standard User Account for day to day computing or to install applications or to run an application with maximum privileges was a complicated process. For example, to install an application one had to right click it's '.exe' file and select Run as Administrator. Once you did this you had to enter Administrator account's password , which would be completely different from a Standard User Account Password.

But Now as you all know, you just have to press 'Yes' or 'No' based on whether the UAC pop-up was expected because you were trying to make the changes to your PC or not.

What does UAC actually do?

Because of the new version of UAC, using an Administrative account for day to day computing is possible and use of Standard user account is decreasing.

But Applications running in Administrative accounts do not have full administrative access. For example, when using UAC, Internet Explorer and other web browsers don’t run with administrator privileges – this helps protect you from vulnerabilities in your browser and other applications. When we say vulnerabilities in browser or applications it means the browser/application may have errors or malicious code written in their source codes which might make the applications install other applications from the web.

In such cases, UAC prompts the users that such and such changes are being tried to make to your device and if you would like to let them make the changes.

So, basically whenever even a small change is being made to your device UAC alerts you about it when it (UAC) is running under full privileges. Yes, you read it right. You can set how and when UAC prompts/notifies you about the changes being made to your PC.

So instead of disabling UAC we would suggest you to set your UAC preferences on how UAC should prompt you.

Set UAC settings:

To set UAC settings in Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 just go to start menu --> In the search box type, 'UAC' --> Select the 'Change User Account Control Settings' in results.

The following Window will open:

Different settings you can apply with the slider:

Always Notify:

UAC notifies you when a software tries to make changes to your PC. It also notifies you when you make changes to any Windows settings. Recommended if you are someone who is always into installing and trying new software and if you keep visiting insecure websites.

Read: Internet Security Tips To Keep Hackers Away 

Notify me only when applications try to make changes to my computer:

UAC notifies you only when applications try to make changes to your computer. It does not notify you when you make changes to your Windows settings. This is a default setting in UAC. Recommended if you are not so much into trying new applications or digging deep into the internet.

Notify me only when applications try to make changes to  my computer (do not dim my desktop):

This setting is same as the one above except that when the UAC prompt or notification dialog box appears, the desktop is not dimmed in this case. Note that when the desktop is dimmed applications will not have access to the UAC prompt and only you can decide what needs to be done. If the desktop is not dimmed, the applications can access the prompt and select 'Yes' to  make changes even before you realise there was a prompt. This setting is not recommended. Use this setting only if your desktop takes a long time to dim the screen which can happen on some PCs.

Never notify:

This will disable UAC. No prompts or notifications will be given to you. Note that we personally do not recommend you to disable UAC unless you do not care about your personal data and privacy.

This is what can happen if you disable UAC:

1. No prompts or notifications will be given to you before any changes being made to your PC.
2. All applications will work as they have all administrative privileges.
3. Other applications will be able to install new applications in the background without your knowledge.
4. Your data and privacy will be at risk.
5. Increase in malware attack on your PC.
6. Windows might go corrupt.

Note: It is always a good idea to leave UAC at its default setting unless you are really upto something. And never forget to use an anti-virus.

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