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.
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I think that although it can be tiring to use this security feature for most ‘average’ windows users its a ‘good idea’ for average users to get used to being aware of the dangers of running anything as a Administrator/root user, the current windows xp home version just does not offer the kind of granular control needed for the system of today.
That said this kind of control has always been available to Linux users and to any OS with a *NIX underpinning like the new MAC os’s and BSD and most server installs such as WIN2kserver etc which would not allow users to install from cd or to have any kind of ‘write’ permissions depending on how the sysdamin had set up the user logins.
Its now time for teh average user to ‘grow up’ and be a ‘responsible adult’ where computer use is concerned.
This guide is really for advanced users who use a regular account for every day use. It’s not meant for average users who like to use an admin account for every thing.
Very useful to know
Vista has to be the most annoying windows yet yes you need security but it controls everything great for business needs and IT personel but to load a program get email can be an absulute nightmare for the ordinary user no click and go any more must wade thru security elevated prompts and filters quit frankly takes all of the user simple tasks and makes it so they need a pro just to install programs and set up email so it works