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Windows 7: User Account Control setting

24 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
User Account Control setting

Is there any additional security protection to be gained by moving the UAC slider from the default setting to its highest setting on the administrator account (to notify when changing Windows settings?)

I use a standard user account for most of my work, so this setting will only take effect when the elevation prompt appears. I generally know when I am changing a Windows setting, don't need to be notified, but I'm wondering if this setting will block some actions by malware.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Oct 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc

I suggest my approach. If you are confident, leave it on default
Then use a standard account, for everyday use. The virus etc, can only change what can be changed from a standard account, if caught early

Now we will have the opinions from all those that disagree.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9

The point of the UAC prompt is not just to be (slightly) annoying, it is to alert you when some thing (malware) wants to make a change to system files (or another action that could be malicious).

So, if a UAC prompt suddenly pops up and you didn't do anything, it is likely it could be malware.

Naturally, turning this up will increase your UAC prompts, but (theoretically) should be more likely to catch malware doing something it shouldn't.
If you are already using a standard account for normal use, and have UAC on, you should be fine.
There would be no harm (only annoyance) in turning it up higher.

I don't know that there would be a lot of added protection, but it is there as an option.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks for the replies.
I did some digging and found this on a page from MS: (refers to the default setting for the admin account)

Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer
•You'll be notified before programs make changes to your computer that require administrator permissions.
•You won't be notified if you try to make changes to Windows settings that require administrator permissions.
•You'll be notified if a program outside of Windows tries to make changes to a Windows setting.

•It's usually safe to allow changes to be made to Windows settings without you being notified. However, certain programs that come with Windows can have commands or data passed to them, and malicious software can take advantage of this by using these programs to install files or change settings on your computer. You should always be careful about which programs you allow to run on your computer.

The underlines are mine. It seems like this is the point that one must decide upon. If malware is able to make windows think that you are the one making the change to a Windows program, then you are not protected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600

Really, the only difference between the Windows default and max. is that with Windows default, you can continue working, even with the UAC prompt on your screen. With UAC set to maximum, UAC prompts gray out your entire screen and you cannot continue until you address the UAC prompt. UAC promps won't be any more or any less with default or max settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64

What you state is actually true of two other settings. It applies to the default setting, which is the second highest, and the setting below that one.

Read it here:
What are User Account Control settings?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 User Account Control setting

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