People trying out Vista Beta 2 would soon find out about the new security feature “User Account Control”. Every time you try to perform an admin function, if you are using an administrator account, system will prompt you for consent. If you are using an regular account, system will ask you to use another credential.
This feature is nice if you like to use an administrator account to browse the web and check email. It can reduce the chance of your computer being infected by virus, spyware and other malicious software. However, it gets very annoying when you have to perform a lot of admin functions. For example, I one time needed to run a small script with only a few lines. I got prompted almost once PER LINE! I cannot imagine how many times I need to click away the dialog if I need to run a large script.
Fortunately, you can turn this feature off. However, Microsoft made this somewhat difficult to change if you have not used the Management Console before. Here are the steps.
- Click on Start button.
- In the Search box, type in Command Prompt. Command Prompt will show up in the search result.
- Right click on Command Prompt icon and select Run as administrator.
- In the Command Prompt window, type in secpol.msc to bring up Local Security Setting management console.
- Expand Local Policies and click on Security Options. Scroll down to find User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode. Double click on the entry and change the setting to No prompt. Update: In Vista RC1, the wording has been changed to Elevate without prompting.
- The change made in Local Security Setting is not immediate. To force the change immediately, go back to the Command Prompt (cmd) window and type in gpupdate .
Note that from now on, the system will not prompt you again which is both good and bad. Your Vista machine is as vulnerable as Windows XP again if you like to use an admin account for daily use. I strongly recommend everyone who change this setting to use a regular account.