Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Disabling Vista's UAC as a Troubleshooting Method

Don't do it!

UAC, unfortunately, is misunderstood by many techies, who go on to say all kinds of horrible things about it and talk casually about turning it off like it's nothing big.

UAC and Virtualization are tied together in Vista, meaning that if you install some programs with UAC on, their files actually get written elsewhere to ensure the stability of Windows. So if you turn UAC off, you break those programs! Besides losing the extra security.

Bottom line: if you suspect that UAC or permissions issues are negatively affecting your program, right click the program and choose "Run As Administrator." If this resolves the issue, you can force the program to always run as administrator by right clicking and going to Properties>Compatibility and checking the Run as Administrator box. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

If you are being told by a software developer that UAC has to be off in order for the program to function, that program is not Vista compatible. It only means they can get it to work by turning UAC off. You are dealing with a group of programmers that are either too overworked or lazy to make it truly Vista compatible.

There is no good reason to disable UAC in Vista. As I have said before, UAC is as annoying as malware is persistant. Vista has to ask you every step of the way because malware could hijack your OS every step of the way. You want Windows to be secure? Well there you go.

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