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Windows 7: Is UAC worth using this time on 7?

19 Jul 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
Is UAC worth using this time on 7?

In the 2 years or so I've used Vista, I've always had UAC turned off by me after doing fresh installs. I've never had a problem with it being off, no virus or anything.

But I don't know, just asking if it's worth having it turned on on 7...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

It's one of those utilities which can be useful, and it is less annoying with Win7 over Windows Vista. However, if you are an experienced computer user and are somewhat reserved about what you's probably not necessary. For many it's simply a nuisance to use since some programs like CoreTemps needs to be escalated to start...and it's not straight foward to just add a UAC I think some just turn it off. Personally, I would leave it on and see how it goes. If you find that it's causing some problems, and you are confident in your computer abilities, go ahead and shut it off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2009   #3

Win 8 Release candidate 8400

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by KaiZ View Post
In the 2 years or so I've used Vista, I've always had UAC turned off by me after doing fresh installs. I've never had a problem with it being off, no virus or anything.

But I don't know, just asking if it's worth having it turned on on 7...
Im not a fan. If Im going to be annoyed by something I am going to turn it off. I will say i agree with pparks1 it is less annoying than vista's UAC

My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Jul 2009   #4


I turned UAC off in Windows Vista as it was far too annoying but in Windows 7 I think I'll leave it on.
Windows 7 default prompts the user only when a non-Windows executable asks for elevation; the behavior for non-Windows elevations is the same as it was for Windows Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2009   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

I have left it on in Win7.

To be perfectly honest about UAC .... If a person is going to downlad something they want (be it good or unknown bad), then of course they're going to want to open/run the program or file and not be asked over and over again.

But! If they didn't download anything, and all of a sudden, something (such as malware) wants to execute and run, then it's a good bit of security to have it turned on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2009   #6
Microsoft MVP

6x W2K8 R2 (x64), 6x W7 7600 (x64), 2x Gentoo (x64), 1x Ubuntu 9.04 (x64), 1x pfSense (FreeBSD)

I agree with Jacee, it is good security measure to have enabled. As mentioned, from a user UAC is nice in that it ensures an application isn't doing something abnormal.

As a developer I am a strong believer in logging in as a normal user. Prior to UAC I always had two accounts, an administrator account and a normal user. I would do all my development and day-to-day as a normal user to ensure any appropriate application would run with best practices in mind and would not require admin rights. In NT4 and W2K for instance most of the defaults for Win32 Registry APIs would default to requiring read\write access instead of the just read leading to many applications requiring admin rights for read-only operations.

I always have an administrative Command Prompt open that I will launch any applications or tasks that I know will need admin rights.

In response to it being annoyed due to certain applications requiring administrative rights at startup (i.e. CoreTemps, SpeedFAN, etc) there is a simple work-around. Create a scheduled task that is 1- Set to run at logon, 2- Set to run with elevated privileges. Most good developers are using this technique instead of the Registry -> Run or Start Menu -> Startup group.

btw, If any developers are interested in more reasons I urge you to read any books by Michael Howard and\or Keith Brown.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

Ok guys, thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2009   #8


I was annoyed by AUC when i first used Vista. It felt okay as I got used to it and MS tamed it with SPs.
One day I reset it to the highest setting-just to see how annoying it would be. I've never bothered to change it back. I feel like it doesn't stop and ask permission any more then XP.

I think my perception of AUC has changed: as I get used to it, MS improvements so it doesn't ask multiple times for the same operation, software updated so it no longer requires elevation, and learning how to manage the programs I use regularly that need elevation (ie schedule task.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2009   #9


OTOH, I was *ecstatic* that Vista was *finally* telling me that things were running in the background that I didn't necessarily want running.

You have to realize that with Windows XP anything could run in the background and if you were not aware of it, C'est la vie - you ran the risk of being hosed by a backdoor / Trojan / downloader every time you connected to the internet.

With Vista, if it needed to write to the restricted areas of the file system or registry, you were warned. if you were annoyed by it, then chances are you really weren't sure what was going on in the first place. Not all users who consider themselves technically proficient are actually that - technically proficient. They may *think* so, but being so is a completely different matter.

You may know your computer inside and out (like I do mine) but how well do you know your OS? Do you know the names of all files and are able to spot malicious looking files in a nanosecond? b/c if you don't spot them that fast, with the power of today's machines, they have already executed.

Furthermore, the same sort of thing was prevalent in IE back in the day - with ActiveX all versions of IE had the ability to ask the user before automatically installing - it was on the user to make sure that it asked every time. However, since the onus fell upon the user, the user became annoyed with the prompts and more often than not would check the box that said "Do not ask (meaning warn) me anymore" - and then wondered how something got installed on their machine without them knowing it.

The onus has always been on the user - but the user has rarely been willing to take the fall. In the end, M$ tried to make the user more safe - and the user rebelled, turning off UAC left and right, with software developers even advocating such.

IDGAF HOW proficient you think you are - turning off UAC is plainly idiotic. With the proliferation of 0-day attacks, combined with the proliferation of botnets and zombified machines, even *considering* turning off UAC is ludicrous. And I am not an ordinary, geek-loving proficient-using person - I have been using computers for well over 20 years and have been active in the forums for beta testing OSs, programs, and security programs. I test all sorts of new things, and until it folder I was contributing to 0-day spam and scam warnings and attacks at Castle Cops (once I learned how to get the syslog entries from my router to a daemon for parsing).

Wanna know what i have on my W7 64bit box? Malwarebytes Antimalware; M$ Security Essentials; UAC; WinPatrol.

Wanna know what I had in XP? Symantec AV Corporate Edition 6, then 8 (from work), Spybot S&D, Spywareblaster, ERUNT, WinPatrol, Ad-Aware, Hosts list, Clam AV on USB, and a lot more products (at least 4) that I cannot remember.

If you're annoyed by UAC - then you have too many things running that 'need' (or so they say) administrative privileges. I have *many* things needing administrative privileges - eVGA's Precision utility is one of them - but I deal with clicking the OK button so I can be that much more assured that my computer is running like it should - and that things that I don't want running are not.

UAC is not a substitute in and of itself - but it goes a long way to protecting the user from himself - until that user disables that very protection.

In spite of my diatribe, though, I will say this - it's *yours* to use. just be sure you *really* know what you are doing if you want to disable it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2009   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

As johngalt said .... "it's *yours* to use. just be sure you *really* know what you are doing if you want to disable it."

Also be aware that running through the net with an infected machine, you're sure to infect another user.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is UAC worth using this time on 7?

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