Taming User Account Control just a little to get rid of some Nag Screens while leaving UAC on.

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by Adam Albright, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. This isn't another rant. If you're sick of UAC nagging like your
    mother-in law you can begin to tame it and in the process at least
    partially fix one known Vista Bug.


    Click Start, then where it says 'start search' type in: secpol.msc.

    Caution! Proceed with caution, you're about to go on a journey deep
    into the bowels of the beast, hip boots and pain medication on standby
    highly recommended. Best to set a Restore point prior to messing
    around, but this is really a simple anybody can do fix.

    What you're looking at now is the Security Policy Editor. This
    controls much of what UAC nags about plus other things beyond the
    scope of this post. For now the big thing that bugs me and I'm sure a
    lot of you reading this is the useless nag screens before elevating to
    Administrator level.

    First expand the Local Policies folder, then the Security Options
    folder and take a big gulp. You may also wish to expand this window to
    full screen.

    What you should see is a Laundry List of Security Settings. If you
    have trouble with other issues it may be worth your time to check out
    other polices, like if you have problems with network printers and
    DCOM kind of things.

    Let get rid of some Nag Screens: scroll down the list until you get

    User Account Control: Behavior of the Elevation Prompt for

    Note there are three options. The one you want is Elevate without
    prompting. This only gets rid of the nag screen (most of the time)
    while leaving UAC turned on to do other things which are helpful to
    overall security. Click on the Explain tab to learn more. Be sure to
    click on Apply then OK or the change won't take.

    There is a similar options for standard users that works in reverse
    where you can automatically block and just generate a access deny
    message instead I would NOT change that.

    Now the surprise benefit:

    As I commented on elsewhere this afternoon one annoying thing that's
    "broke" in Vista is when you copy or move files the progress bar
    doesn't always show progress till the very end after the file is
    already copied or moved. I only saw this behavior when moving large
    files, your milage may vary. Interested if others now get the correct
    reaction if they change their UAC setting like did.

    I have no idea why, but simply changing the UAC setting I just
    mentioned restores the progress bar to normal function...at least it
    did for me. Now it behaves much like in XP, showing a gradual progress
    bar and a real time remaing countdown as files get moved or copied.
    Its still off as far as showing how much time is remaining, way off as
    far as being accurate, but that was also broke in earlier versions of
    Adam Albright, Mar 8, 2007
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  2. Adam Albright

    Jon Guest

    Well I'm glad to see you've finally discovered that. We'll make a UAC zealot
    out of you yet ;-)

    Interesting comments about the progress bar. Not noticed that.
    Jon, Mar 8, 2007
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  3. Would have discovered it days ago probably if I wasn't wasting so much
    time clicking elevate in responding to nag screens. I'm just starting
    to snoop around in Vista. I never said UAC wasn't a good concept, I
    keep saying it a mindless nag that was poorly implemented. :)
    I wonder why that seems tied in to UAC?
    Adam Albright, Mar 8, 2007
  4. Adam Albright

    lforbes Guest


    Just to note. Secpol.msc is only available on Business Edition and Ultimate
    Edition. You can turn off UAC also by going to Security Centre in the Control
    Panel and setting to Off. You can then set the notification to off by ticking
    "Change the way security center notifies me".

    lforbes, Mar 8, 2007

  5. I've been using that setting to automatically elevate UAC prompts for the
    last four months, and I am sure that the progress bar is still broken. I'm
    not so bothered about that as much as copying to the same drive taking ages.
    Can't wait for SP1.

    Synapse Syndrome, Mar 8, 2007
  6. Adam Albright

    Rich Guest



    Rich, Mar 8, 2007
  7. Adam Albright

    johnm Guest

    Unfortunately this option (Policy Editors) isn't available to anyone who
    bought Home Premium.
    It -was- there for XP Home users, not by default mind you, but at least it
    was easily enabled via a simple registry edit.

    Yea I know, people will argue that it as removed to prevent all us stupid
    Home users from hurting ourselves.
    Same reason Fax Support was removed from the Home version too I guess?

    Just two of the many reasons how upgrading to Vista turns out to be a
    johnm, Mar 8, 2007
  8. Adam Albright

    mhonzell Guest

    While this works on the surface at reducing nag screens, it does actually
    bypass UAC features designed to protect you.

    When you use secpol.msc to turn off this feature, you will receive the
    "other" nag telling you that UAC is turned off. The nag can be vanquished to
    a simple tray icon or turned off completely. The problem is: You will never
    know if MORE of the UAC has been turned off by malicious software that now
    takes advantage of the automatic elevation you are allowing.

    Personally, I just turn UAC off (not recommended.) I am capable of
    controlling my machine and have done so for years. 30 years, 0 infections
    (unless you count spyware... but routine scans remove that also.) Of course,
    today is a new day.
    mhonzell, Mar 8, 2007
  9. Adam Albright

    MICHAEL Guest

    ..... if you don't have Vista Business or Vista Ultimate, you can achieve
    the same by changing the value at



    from 1 to 0

    You can also change the way Security Center nags you after you make
    this change. Open up Security Center and to the left you'll see
    "Change the way security center alerts me".

    MICHAEL, Mar 8, 2007
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