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Windows 7: UAC Emblem Overlaying Some Desktop Shortcuts

07 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1
UAC Emblem Overlaying Some Desktop Shortcuts

I realize that this topic has been discussed on the forum in the past. I've been reading about it all morning, so I know it's not uncommon. There have been many proposed solutions, some of them "way above my pay grade". And some I've read have caused other problems. Needless to say, I'm confused.

I read about Ultimate Windows Tweaker (Tweak UI for Win 7) but it doesn't specifically say that it addresses this issue. It does apparently have the ability to eliminate the "shortcut arrow" overlay. Ultimate Windows Tweaker, a TweakUI for Windows 7 & Vista

I also came across this procedure, but someone else said it may only work on a 32 bit OS?
1. Make sure UAC (User Account Control) is disabled by moving its slider to the lowest position.
2. Open the Command Prompt. You'll find it in Start > Accessories > Command Prompt.
3. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each line:

4. taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F

5. CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local

6. DEL IconCache.db /a

7. shutdown /r

I have 2 nearly identical HP Desktops running Win7 SP1 64 bit. Both fully updated with Windows Updates.
PC #1 does not have the UAC emblem on the same shortcuts as PC #2 which does.
I have UAC turned off on both PCs.
I should add that PC #2 is new, and I am in the process of configuring Windows and loading programs.

Two Questions:
1) Why would PC #1 not have this issue, and PC #2 does?
2) Is there a simple, straight forward way to eliminate these UAC overlays on the shortcuts?

Again, there is a lot of information out there on this topic. I simply don't know what to believe at this point. So I come to the experts. I'm not trying to be lazy at all.

Thank you so much. (Sorry for the long post)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Mitch,

The UAC shield overlay on an icon indicates that program will "Run as administrator" (elevated) and will require administrator approval via UAC prompt when opened.

From my tests, it appears that it depends on whether you had set UAC settings to "Never Notify" before or after installing the programs or creating the shortcuts. It's a bit finicky though.

If before, they tend to not have the UAC shield overlay.

If after, they tend to keep the UAC shield overlay.

If UAC is ever turned on, then the will tend to get and have the UAC shield overlay even after setting UAC back to "Never Notify".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Thank you brink. Your explanation sounds reasonable (and simple!). I went back thru my notes to check the order in which I applied the steps you describe. Indeed, I did create the 2 shortcuts containing the UAC emblem BEFORE setting UAC to Never Notify. I was quite excited at this finding.

I deleted and recreated the shortcuts, leaving UAC set to Never Notify. Unfortunately, they came back up with the UAC emblem.

Did I miss a step?

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Jan 2013   #4

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Nope. Once they have the UAC overlay, they always will even if you delete and recreate them.

I find it's best to set UAC to "Never Notify" as soon as Windows is finished installing to avoid them, then install programs and such.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

I see. I haven't installed any 3rd party programs yet. The 2 icons that are displaying the UAC emblem are shortcuts to System Restore, and msconfig. Since these are part of Windows, I'm not sure how I would defeat UAC before these 2 items are installed.

Or, is it just the fact that I have created the shortcuts and now there is no going back without a fresh install (2 days work so far)?

Any thoughts on the CMD Prompt procedure in my initial post?

PS: I just ran a little test on an identical brand new PC with no shortcuts. Just installed Windows. I turned off UAC, then created a shortcut to msconfig. The UAC emblem was on the icon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2013   #6

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

I don't think there's anyway around for the included files in Windows, but it's really to finicky to say one way or the other though.

Usually if UAC is turned off from the start, any elevated 3rd party programs may not have it.

Rebuilding the icon cache is worth a try, but I don't think it'll change anything though.

I find that it's pretty much a hit and miss with the UAC overlay.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Again, thank you Brink.

I'm not at all familiar with the Icon Cache. Is there any potential for harm if I try that Rebuilding procedure?

I think I read that the Icon Cache stores the icons being used. Seems that deleting it would/could affect other icons ???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2013   #8

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

There's no harm in rebuilding the icon cache.

Doing so only clears the cache and forces Windows to reload them back in the cache again as they are displayed. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Well Brink, thanks to you, I have learned a great deal about UAC, and now rebuilding the icon cache.

I'm very pleased to share that rebuilding the cache seems to have permanently removed the UAC emblems from the desktop shortcuts, even after several reboots.

I don't understand the relationship to the emblem, but hey, it worked. So now I move on.

Thanks again for all your time and support on this annoying little issue.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2013   #10

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Great news. I hope they stay gone for you. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 UAC Emblem Overlaying Some Desktop Shortcuts

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