Annoyance Buster: Make Vista's User Account Control Work for You

Turn UAC On and Off as Needed

One option is to leave UAC on for most of your routine computing, but to turn it off when you need to do serious customizing, such as working with Control Panel applets or installing new software. Toggling UAC takes several steps, but you can streamline the process by creating a batch file to turn UAC off and another batch file to turn it back on. Unfortunately, each process requires a restart, but at least you can make that process part of the batch file.

Open Notepad or your favorite text editor. On the first line, type %windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f (with no space between "SOFTWARE\" and "Microsoft\"), and press Enter. This command shuts down UAC. On the next line, type shutdown /r /t 20 /c "Restarting your system in 20 seconds. To cancel, choose Start, type shutdown /a and press Enter", and press Enter again. This line restarts your computer in 20 seconds and includes instructions on how to cancel the restart if necessary. You can change the '20' value to whatever number of seconds you prefer. Next, choose File, Save As; specify a location; and type a name for the file, giving it the .cmd extension.

Next, create a shortcut to the file you just created: Locate the icon for the file, and hold down the right mouse button as you drag the icon to a desired location; then release the button, and select Create Shortcuts Here. Right-click the shortcut and choose Properties. In the Shortcut tab, click the Advanced button. Check Run as administrator, and click OK twice (see the screen below). In the future, when you launch the shortcut, UAC will still prompt you (since it will still be on), but at least you'll have enough privileges to run the batch file after confirming.

Simplify your control over User Account Control by creating a batch file shortcut designed to let you eassily switch to running your system as an administrator. Once you've created this shortcut, you'll be able to toggle UAC on and off with only one attempt by the Vista control watchdog to intervene.
Simplify your control over User Account Control by creating a batch file shortcut designed to let you easily switch to running your system as an administrator. Once you've created this shortcut, you'll be able to toggle UAC on and off with only one attempt by the Vista control watchdog to intervene.

To create a batch file for turning UAC back on, return to Notepad and click File, New. Type %windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f (with no space between "System32" and "\reg.exe" and with no space between "Windows\" and "CurrentVersion\"), and press Enter. On the second line, type the same second line as in the earlier batch file for turning UAC off; this adds the restart feature. Next, save the file with the .cmd extension. Because you'll be running this batch file when UAC is turned off, you won't need to create a shortcut and endow it with administrative powers (as you did with the first batch file). Just launch the batch file directly when you want to reactivate UAC, and let it restart your computer.

Because both batch files restart your system, it's a good idea to save all of your work before you launch either of them. Normally, your apps should prompt you to save open work as part of the shutdown process, but it never hurts to do this beforehand, just in case.

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