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Window Vista Run As Administrator Feature

The new Windows Vista operating system has a few more security functions right from the outset. UAC or User Account Control is one way that the Vista system ensures the validity of operating programs on your computer. For programs to operate within the Vista platform, they need to be identified either by the developer or by Vista, as a program that needs administrative rights. This is because some of the older programs may not be viewed by the OS as being marked in this manner. Vista provides some ways to work within this security feature.

It is possible with this system to run a program from the start menu search box as an administrator. Using pretty much the same method as the "Run" command box in Windows XP, programs can be started in this way. Staring programs in this way as an administrator, allows for some control over the way the program behaves at the start. The administrator simply types in a command code such as CMD for the command prompt, and then presses Ctrl-Shift-Enter key combination.

It is also possible to run a program as administrator from the program icon itself. The administrator right-clicks on the icon and chooses "Run as administrator" command from a list of menu choices. This replaces the standard double-clicking of the icon to launch the program. Frequently run programs can be set to always run as if under administrator control. The steps involved are to right-click the program icon and go to "Properties", then click the "Compatibility" tab. Under "Privilege Level", select "Run this program as administrator" and click "OK".

Here is a tip if you happen to work with the CMD prompt a lot. Right-click the command prompt shortcut in the Start menu and click "Properties". Click "Advanced" and then "Run as administrator". Now when you open the command prompt, UAC will automatically prompt you for administrator privileges.

Here are a few methods you can use to elevate an application running with Administrator privileges. Now remember, some of these are not the easiest or most convenient ways to do things. They are only a few of the many options available.

  • Just right-click on the icon and select "Run as administrator"
  • You can click the Windows key and type in the name of the program, starting it with Ctrl-Shift-Enter key combo
  • It's possible to mark the tools requiring Administrator privileges by simply opening "File Properties", then clicking "Compatibility" tab, then "Run this program as administrator"
  • It is possible to begin applications at an elevated level with an elevated command prompt. The UAC is hardly a bother at all.
  • By going to C:\Windows\System32 and right clicking on taskmgr.exe, then selecting "Run as administrator" you can now start any other application with admin rights already established.
  • By resetting HKEY registrations, you can establish a group policy to mark applications as administrator enabled. The value that needs to be entered is RUNASADMIN.

Disabling The Vista UAC Function

For those users who are already fed up with the incessant "Continue" allowance button in the UAC, it is possible to disable the function. Computers within a domain can be set to "Elevate without prompting", which is still the easiest and best local network method for doing away with the UAC prompt. Following are a few methods that will do away with the UAC prompt. Remember, the UAC is a security feature and annoying as it is at times, it serves a purpose of protecting your computer system. Any changes to this security feature may make life simpler for you, but allow your computer to be more vulnerable to security issues.

One method is to launch the "Local Security Policy" add-in and choose from two options. Start by clicking the "Start" button and typing secpol.msc in the search dialog box. Another method is to display Vista's admin tools by right clicking the taskbar and selecting "Properties". Click "Start Menu", "Customize", "Advanced" and then scroll down to "System Administration Tools" and open the "Display" tab.

Open the "Security Options" folder and locate the settings that begin with "User Account Control". Click on "Elevate without Prompting" and this should tell the UAC that your system has permission from the Administrator to allow the programs to run. After restarting your computer, try to open a task that normally requires UAC prompt, such as changing the computer display name. Press Windows Key and Pause/Break, then select "Change Settings" icon. This should complete the UAC prompt situation as the continue box should not appear now.

For Vista computer systems not joined to a domain (in other words home computer systems), There is a menu in the control panel which allows you to simply turn UAC prompt off. As with the computer network domain systems, turning off the UAC may open your system to security problems. The choice with this, as with any sort of computer system question, is totally up to you now.

If you seriously want to turn off UAC prompting on your computer, go to "Control Panel" and then "User Accounts". There you will find a choice "User Account, on or off". Now you can uncheck the box that says, "Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer". That is it, straightforward. The UAC is now disabled for your computer system. Going back and reversing the steps can renew the UAC prompt and the security protection assurance.

Do not forget, having to click "continue" when opening administrator controlled programs may be annoying, but the UAC is there for a reason. The UAC prompt protects your computer system from programs that may try to tamper with system files within your computer, without your approval or knowledge. UAC allows the user to be in total control of every aspect of their computer system or network.

Without UAC activated, your system may allow unauthorized programs to run that may completely disrupt your computer or network system. The protection of UAC, though sometimes frustrating and overwhelming, can mean the difference between a safe and secure system and one that is out of control. Having to click the silly little "Continue" box of the UAC prompt is a small price to pay for peace of mind and a secure system.


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