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Computer Tip Tuesday: User Account Control

Windows Vista, Windows 7 and the upcoming Windows 8 operating systems contain a feature called User Account Control (UAC).  While this feature does help to protect your computer (requires an administrator to approve a programs request to perform certain functions) it is also annoying to most users.  In this week’s Computer Tip Tuesday I am going to show you how to change the settings (and even turn off) this feature.

User Account Control limits the permissions of all software to “standard user.”  When a piece of software tries to run a command, access the internet, access computer resources, etc., a pop up window appears and asks for permission to proceed.  This feature is great if you have children and want to make sure they aren’t running erroneous or malicious programs on your computer.  However, for most adults this feature is just an annoyance and the popups can be quite frequent.

To change UAC settings you must first access the Control Panel of your computer.  This can be found in the Start menu.  You can set the UAC properties for each user account on your computer.  You will need to click on the User Accounts icon.

Sean Holbert

From this window you will click on User Account Control Settings.

Sean Holbert

You can use the slider to adjust the UAC settings.  Read the information in the right-hand pane as it will clue you in to the setting you’ve chosen.  To turn UAC off you have to move the slider all the way down to the bottom as shown above.

Again, be sure to set UAC based on your situation.  If your children have accounts on your computer it is best to leave UAC on to some extent.

If you have any questions about computers (PC or Mac), home networking, printers, etc. please feel free to email me at and I will answer them in a future Computer Tip Tuesday.  Talk to you next week!


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