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stop uac promptEver since Vista, we Windows users have been pestered, bugged, annoyed, and tired of the User Account Control (UAC) prompt telling us a program is starting up that we intentionally launched. Sure, it has improved, but not to the extent that we’ve hoped. It still comes up for good and reputable programs like Geek Uninstaller GeekUninstaller Will Uninstall Programs You Thought You Couldn't [Windows] GeekUninstaller Will Uninstall Programs You Thought You Couldn't [Windows] When it comes to third-party uninstallation software, everyone knows of Revo. It's often considered to be the top of that class. However, many alternatives exists and it's great to offer the MUO audience a choice.... Read More , Everything Portable Everything Makes File Searching Instant On Your PC Portable Everything Makes File Searching Instant On Your PC Read More , CCleaner Optimize Your System To Run At Its Best With CCleaner Optimize Your System To Run At Its Best With CCleaner Over the last two years, CCleaner has changed quite a bit in terms of version numbers...up now to version 3.10 at the time of this writing. While visually the program actually hasn't changed much (it's... Read More (although they have included an option to disable the prompt), and others.

So what do you do to stop UAC prompts – disable it? I don’t recommend that. UAC does still have a good purpose and shouldn’t probably completely disabled. What if I told you there were three different techniques you can use to launch programs at the highest privileges and bypass the UAC prompt? Well, you can. But there is one requirement – you must have shortcuts.

Task Scheduler Method

The Task Scheduler method is great for those who don’t want to rely on a third-party program. Probably the fastest way to access the Task Scheduler is to go to the Start Menu and type Task Scheduler in the search box. Or if you have Windows 8 and you haven’t installed a Start Menu alternative Start Menu, How I Miss Thee: 4 Ways To Make A Start Menu On Windows 8 Start Menu, How I Miss Thee: 4 Ways To Make A Start Menu On Windows 8 Windows 8 brought down the axe on the Start Menu. This is a feature that no one paid special attention to for years but its untimely demise has caused all sorts of despair. Not only... Read More yet, (notice I say yet because eventually you will), you can hover over the bottom right corner to trigger the Charms Bar, click Search (magnifying glass) and type Task Scheduler.

stop uac prompt

Next you’ll need to create a new folder for your tasks that you’re about to create in Task Scheduler. On the left side, you’ll see Task Scheduler Library, right click that and choose New Folder. From here you can name your folder something like myTasks or UAC Whitelist. For this article, I’m using the latter, but you can use whatever you’d like. It’s probably obvious, but this is the folder you will be creating all the tasks in.

turn off uac prompts

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On the right side panel, click Create Task… (not Create Basic Task). In the Name field, type whatever you’d like to name the task as. It’s a good idea to include the program name. Next, check the box for Run with highest privileges – this is crucial that you do this. Without this step, it won’t work at all. Then choose whatever operating system you’re using in the Configure for: dropdown menu.

turn off uac prompts

Next, click the Actions tab, shown in the image above. Then click the New… button in the bottom left corner. The Action dropdown menu should automatically list Start a program, but if it doesn’t that’s what it needs to be. Next you browse the Programs Files folder for your program.

If you have a 64-bit operating system, you might have two – it’s up to you to figure out where the program that you are searching for is. You want to make sure that you choose the executable file (.exe). Click OK.

turn off uac prompts

NOTE: If you’re using a laptop, you may also want to go to the Conditions tab and uncheck the boxes under Power, as these will prevent the program from launching if you’re laptop falls under these conditions. See image below.

uac prompts

Next you’ll need to create a shortcut to the program on your desktop or where ever you prefer to organize your application shortcuts. Right click, hover over New, and click Shortcut.

uac prompts

A window will come up displaying a text field to enter the location of the shortcut.

Format Of Text:

C:\Windows\System32\schtasks.exe /RUN /TN “Name Of Folder\Name Of Task

Example: 

C:\Windows\System32\schtasks.exe /RUN /TN “UAC Whitelist\EverythingSkipUAC

The only thing you need to worry about changing are the folder and program names (bolded). And now you’re able to launch your program without the UAC prompt.

TIP: You may have noticed that the program icon doesn’t get carried over… unfortunately. To make your shortcuts look a little nicer and distinguish them from the others you’ll be creating, I recommend the following steps:

Right click on the icon and click Properties. You should automatically be under the Shortcut tab. Click the bottom, middle button Change Icon. Another window will pop up where you’ll click Browse and then navigate to where your program is in the Program Files folder. Select the Application file and click open. Then select the icon and click OK in both of the existing windows.

uac prompts

BIG BREATH! And… you’re done! With this one – yes, you will have to do this for every program that you want. And because of this, I recommend only doing it with programs you access regularly.

PROS: This method doesn’t need any third party program to work – it’s all done right in Windows.

CONS: It’s tedious and takes time to get the process down, and even after you’ve “got it down” it’s still slightly time consuming.

zElevator Via The Context Menu

Another option is to simply launch a few different programs with a small application called zElevator that resides in your context menu. After downloading the compressed file, extract the contents with a program like 7-Zip 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats Read More and click the file called zElevatorConfig. A message like the one below will then pop up.

Complete the activation process and you’re good to go. You shouldn’t need to manually access any of these files again.

NOTE: The setup process doesn’t automatically place zElevator in your Programs Files folder, so it might be a good idea to do so by moving the whole folder over before running the zElevatorConfig file. This will ensure that nothing happens to the program if it was simply extracted into the same folder that the compressed file was downloaded into.

Now you can right click on any application, click Elevate me and run it without a UAC prompt.

There are other forms of this same Elevator application, but this one seemed the most stable and reliable.

PROS: Fairly quick setup and easy to do.

CONS: Relies on an additional program and requires an extra step to launch it, which basically means it equals out to just as much time to launch a program with the UAC prompt as one without.

DOWNLOAD zElevator.

UAC Trust Shortcut

UAC Trust Shortcut is a small application that allows you to create shortcuts of the original applications and bypass the UAC. Think of this as a much simpler version of the Task Scheduler technique. Upon visiting the download page, you need to decided between downloading the version for a 32-bit operating system (x86) or the version for a 64-bit operating system (x64) Read more here to understand the difference What Is The Difference Between 32-bit & 64-bit Windows? What Is The Difference Between 32-bit & 64-bit Windows? Read More .

The program will download in a compressed file, which you’ll need to unzip. Once you do, run the setup. Here’s a quick note about the setup (a lesson I learned after making this exact mistake). Don’t change the location of the program in the setup. If you do, it won’t work.

Once you run UAC Trust Shortcut, type a name for your program in the Name: text field and then click Browse and find the executable file for the desired program. Then click the oddly-small Add now link under the Browse button. And then just repeat for as many programs that you want.

PROS: Automates many of the tasks which you would do manually for the Task Scheduler technique, making it much faster and easier.

CONS: Still a third-party program. If something happens to it, all your shortcuts are gone, whereas your Tasks in the Task Scheduler can be backed up.

Bonus: TweakUAC

TweakUAC, by WinAbility, is no stranger to Windows users, since Vista first introduced UAC. In fact, I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard of it, although if you haven’t that’s okay. TweakUAC doesn’t technically create a whitelist, per se, but more so a way to subdue it.

stop uac prompt

As you can see in the image above, you have three options. The first turns UAC off altogether – not recommended. The second option switches it into “quiet mode”, which basically means that the UAC elevation prompts will be suppressed for administrators. And the last option, of course, is to leave it on and fully functional.

There aren’t really any “pros” and “cons” to this one since it’s an entirely different tool altogether, but I feel it’s worth mentioning should you decide that it fits you best.

If you’re concerned about the “threats” that you might be vulnerable to due to suppressing the UAC, take a look at this quote from WinAbility/TweakUAC:

If you rely solely on UAC to keep you safe from malware, then yes, your risk increases and in such a situation you should not use the “quiet” mode. However, if you use an anti-virus program, have the firewall enabled, and keep your Windows updated regularly, then UAC popups become more of a nuisance without adding much security. Any malware should be stopped by the anti-virus and firewall. If it’s reached the point of asking you to confirm its execution, it’s already too late!

Conclusion

One big con is that all of these still require a shortcut (except TweakUAC, but it’s not a true whitelist method). Ideally, there would be a solution to create a whitelist for the original executable files, instead of these annoying workarounds. I personally am not a big fan of shortcuts, as I’m a major advocate of a clean and organized desktop How To Clean Up Your Windows Desktop Once & For All How To Clean Up Your Windows Desktop Once & For All Your desktop is a mess. Admit it. Just like a desk with papers all over, a messy computer desktop is far from productive. Plus, it just doesn’t look nice. If you’re having issues finding the... Read More , and shortcuts (especially those with ugly icons) don’t do the finest job at helping me achieve that.

Now you may be able to use these shortcuts in applications like Fences Turn Your Windows Desktop From Cluttered To Useful For Free With Fences Turn Your Windows Desktop From Cluttered To Useful For Free With Fences I'd like to start this post with a small request: Hit Win+D for me. I'll wait here. Go ahead, do it. Okay, done? What did you see? Was it a hot mess of cluttered icons... Read More or a dock (e.g. Rocketdock RocketDock + Stacks Docklet: Not Just A Dock, But A Complete Desktop Organization Solution [Windows] RocketDock + Stacks Docklet: Not Just A Dock, But A Complete Desktop Organization Solution [Windows] RocketDock has been one of the best choices for a Mac-like dock in Windows for years. That's why it's on our Best Of Windows Software page. In fact, you've probably heard of it. But there's... Read More , Objectdock ObjectDock: Quickly Customize Your Desktop And Increase Its Functionality [Windows] ObjectDock: Quickly Customize Your Desktop And Increase Its Functionality [Windows] By now, you may have already heard of ObjectDock – It’s no stranger to those of us keen on Windows customization. It has actually been around for quite some time, so you might even consider... Read More ). When I tested this idea using ObjectDock, the Task Scheduler shortcut launched successfully, zElevate obviously doesn’t work because it requires being in a context menu, and UAC Trust Shortcut failed to launch the shortcut saying that the file couldn’t be found.

Hopefully these options will help ease the pain of the UAC prompts. Do you already use one or more of these methods? Have you found success in a different method? Feel free to share your thoughts, comments and any relevant questions you may have in the comments below.

Image Credit: UAC Icon

  1. Jack Runion
    August 28, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Anyone know how to disable the UAC for Standard User/Local Account? I tired the above and though they work for my Administrator account they fail when I tired them on my Local Account. Get the wonderful "You must be logged on as an administrator on this computer to select this setting"

  2. Robert
    July 18, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Great advice! i've been trying to get around this for some time.

    But i have one question...What's the "location" of the taskbar shortcut ?
    (I have my program - libreoffice calc- pinned to my win 7 taskbar .

    (I'm using your first option - task scheduler)

  3. Gregory
    April 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you. I've been bugged by this for years!

    Gregory, London, UK.

  4. Dave
    April 1, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    I was having issues getting this working on Windows 10 and I fixed my issue, so I'll share it here in case anyone else has this problem.

    I followed the instructions for setting up a scheduled task and a shortcut to said task. If I cut and pasted the contents of the Target: field in the shortcut to the command line, the command executed perfectly. If I tried to run the shortcut by clicking on it or by going into task scheduler and manually running the task, I got nothing. A text box briefly flashed and nothing happened.

    So confused as to why the command would work from a terminal but not by clicking on the link I discovered that in the task action any data in the 'Add arguments (optional)' box was ignored.

    In my case I was executing a program that had arguments, but the arguments weren't being passed.

    I fixed it by putting everything on the Program/Script line. However I was given the warning of

    'It appears as though arguments have been included in the Program text box. Do you want to run the following program:

    c:\myprogram.exe

    With the following arguments:
    myExtraArgument"

    Say 'NO' and it will keep everything on the Target line and now when you run the task or the shortcut, all arguments should be passed to the system.

  5. SlickGuy123
    March 4, 2016 at 4:19 am

    I would like to figure out how to disable UAC for a standard user because I do not know my admin's password.

  6. Jon Steedley
    October 22, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Hello, all.
    I was really disappointed to read this 'article,'
    & find out that the only way to solve this is what I've already done;
    Completely DISABLE this crap!
    "UAC Prompts" are like airport security; Completely WORTHLESS!
    It's just more "security theater," AND it DOES NOT prevent ANY virus/worm/trojan from infecting the computer..
    I guess some will say that; "It's better than nothing".
    No, it's NOT!
    Actually, absolutely NOTHING really IS 'better' than "UAC Prompts"!
    The whole idea that I have to 'approve' opening/using a program "I" installed is pretty stupid.
    The "UAC Prompts" don't actually "protect" ANYTHING, at ALL!
    I keep hoping that people will recognize that Linux is SO much more secure,
    & that you don't need any worthless "UAC Prompts,"
    *IF* you use a SECURE OS to start w/!

    Have a GREAT day, Neighbors!

    • Christopher
      April 1, 2016 at 5:01 am

      Actually you are wrong. It does help prevent SOME viruses that try to install in old-fashioned ways.
      The bigger issue today however is? Browsers and especially IE. We need to get browsers to the point where they REJECT dangerous code without having to use extensions such as NoScript.

  7. Ryan Davis
    June 21, 2015 at 1:48 am

    I used the Task Scheduler method and it works great! My one complaint is that when I open the program this way, the icon in the taskbar is a generic Windows icon instead of the program's icon. Is there any way to change it?

  8. Chris
    April 22, 2015 at 1:40 am

    Does this have to be done by "in" admin account? I'm trying to do this in a non-admin account, and after the Create Task step, it asks me for a password and gets rejected because I'm in a non-admin account. If I try it in an admin account, and change the user that can run it, I get a warning that the user has to have "Log in batch job" privileges.

  9. Saatvik
    March 26, 2015 at 6:34 am

    If I don't remember the name of my newly created folder in which i have created the task, how can i see it?

    • Aaron Couch
      March 28, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      I recommend creating a shortcut on your Desktop in order to prevent forgetting what folder you created your shortcut in.

      If you know the name of the shortcut, try searching that.

  10. Tom
    March 11, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    For the guy with the window problem: You see the "DOS"-window because you open the task scheduler, which is a DOS-Application. In the Properties of the Link to the schtasks-exe you can select execute: minimized and you won't see the DOS-Box

    • Jingles
      November 21, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Dos Prompt box disappears and I cannot see what it is prompting me. I'm pretty sure I followed the directions correctly, but the task I setup is not running. A DOS box pops up and disappears before I can read it.

      • Jingles
        November 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm

        PICNIC --- Problem In Chair Not In Computer! I left the space out between the /Run argument and the /TN argument Works like a champ now.

  11. SomeGuy
    February 24, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    None of these worked. It always prompts for UAC.

    • Aaron Couch
      February 24, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      What operating system are you running? And NONE of the methods worked?

  12. supersaga
    January 18, 2015 at 1:34 am

    I'm not a big fan of shortcuts too.
    Since I'm using windows 8.1 , I'd prefer to organize it at start menu.
    So I just pin to start this shortcuts and delete on the desktop, and it still working!
    Thankssss!!!

  13. supersaga
    January 18, 2015 at 1:27 am

    thanks dude!

  14. Jon
    January 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Appears to only work if you already have admin rights, making it useless if you're just a Standard user but have a locked down PC that requires the app to run through UAC first with an admin account.

    The Scheduler short-cut then won't work because it requires admin rights for the schedule to run.

    • druku88
      January 7, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      Agree with jon above.
      I have an app that runs fine under Admin but if a standard domain user tries to access it, the icon has the shield on it and it UAC prompts for Admin credentials.
      Ive tried the task scheduler method, works fine as admin, but never runs as standard domain user, as std user doesnt have rights to the task scheduler.
      UAC Trust Shortcut worked as admin but again not as standard user.

  15. Nick
    October 4, 2013 at 3:11 am

    can you use any of the other dozens of non-account based download services? It would be nice not to be forced to make an account just to download one piece of soft ware which i will never ever in my life remember the credentials to again.

    • Aaron C
      October 4, 2013 at 3:15 am

      Nick,

      I'm not sure I follow your question. What download services? And where do you need to make an account to download any of these programs? I'm quite confused at this moment. Did you mean to comment on a different article?

  16. Metatime
    August 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I'm trying to launch a shortcut from this guide: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/stop-annoying-uac-prompts-how-to-create-a-user-account-control-whitelist-windows/

    But the shortcut refuse to launch the task. I ran the task to make sure it is working and it is. My shortcut looks like this:

    C:\Windows\System32\schtasks.exe /RUN /TN “\Allow\Launcher"

    When I double click on the shortcut, nothing happens... kind of pulling my hair since I have been playing around with this for an hour, deleting, recreating, trying different combinations of the shortcut, etc.

    • Charlie
      February 17, 2015 at 12:54 am

      Same here But im seeing the command prompt and i found out how to pause it, here is our error, Well with my program :p

      (this is what i typed in cmd)(input) C:WindowsSystem32schtasks.exe /run /tn "AI Suit IIIAsus

      (Output) ERROR: Invalid argument/option - 'Suit'.
      (Output) Type "SCHTASKS /RUN /?" for usage.

      It works fine if you run cmd with admin privileges (like no uac for the program) but....it has a uac prompt (cmd has the uac prompt) :p AND if i right click the task in the task scheduler program then click run it works fine, no uac

    • Charlie
      February 17, 2015 at 12:58 am

      I fixed it, More than likely you have: C:WindowsSystem32schtasks.exe /RUN /TN “Name Of FolderName Of Task

      missing the ending "

      so try C:WindowsSystem32schtasks.exe /RUN /TN “Name Of FolderName Of Task"

      That worked for me

    • Charlie
      February 17, 2015 at 1:02 am

      The Website Will not allow me to type back slashes i hop you know where to put them but the one you may not is where i say: "Name of Folder(backslash with no space)Name of Task"

    • Aaron Couch
      February 17, 2015 at 1:19 am

      Thanks for sharing, Charlie! I wasn't quite sure how to help you and was planning to do a bit of research on it. Glad you figured it out!

  17. Dan J
    May 16, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Hi Aaron, great article! I used the task scheduler method and it works great opening the program, but when I tried to pin the new shortcut to the taskbar and open the program, it opens in a second window, not the icon I have pinned to the taskbar. I noticed that the new window has the program icon with the "administrator" shield on it, whereas the one I pinned from the shortcut does not. Any ideas on how to make it open using the newly pinned icon? I've already tried "Always combine, hide labels" in the Taskbar properties menu.

    • Tina Sieber
      May 24, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Dan,

      Have you solved this question in the meantime? If not, you can post it on MakeUseOf Answers.

    • Aaron Couch
      June 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Hey Dan. Thanks! And sorry for the late response.

      Did you end up figuring this out or posting on MakeUseOf Answers like Tina suggested? I'm honestly not sure how to fix that, and I don't think I had that problem.

      Keep us posted on what you find! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  18. Kaden P
    May 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    It's not a bad article, Aaron, but given that you're talking about a utility that is supposed to increase the security of a system, I would caution your readers that the only option you provided that provides any real security appears to be the UAC Trust Shortcut app.
    It's looks like it's the only app listed that checks a file's hash. One of the most common "tricks" malware uses is to replace known trusted executables on the system with malicious ones of the same name. Simply saying "I trust anything with this name" (as it appears the others do) is just asking for trouble.

  19. Ben
    May 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    In the "Create Task" window (4th image), I notice the unselected option "run whether user is logged on or not". Can this be set up by an admin for a non-admin so the admin doesn't need to enter their password everytime the user want to run the specified program?

    • Aaron Couch
      May 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Hmmm that's an interesting question, Ben. I'm not really sure that would even matter though. I'm trying to think of a situation where that would actually be needed, but nothing comes to mind.

      Care to share an example?

  20. Keith S
    May 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    AWESOME article Aaron! Once again MUO does it again! Thanks!

    • Aaron Couch
      May 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Wow! Thanks for the kind words Keith :) Glad you enjoyed it.

  21. Pooky Joralyn
    May 3, 2013 at 8:28 am

    (notice I say yet because eventually you will)
    I seriously wouldn't get any "start menu replacement". Start Screen is way better for me.

    • Aaron Couch
      May 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Well I was somewhat being facetious, but do you have a desktop or laptop, or do you have a tablet? Because that makes a difference, I think.

      • Pooky Joralyn
        May 4, 2013 at 8:47 am

        Just a cheap laptop with no touchscreen, BUT with multitouch touchpad.

        • Aaron Couch
          May 5, 2013 at 12:21 am

          And you prefer the Start Screen over Windows traditional Start Menu?

          Alright! To each his/her own :)

        • Kaden P
          May 12, 2013 at 9:38 pm

          You ARE aware that you can just start typing the program you want to launch from the start screen, right?

          I don't say that to sound condescending. Microsoft did a horrible job of not providing any sort of visual cue to that ability, leading many in my experience to not even realize they could do that.

          Once that is figured out, I can't imagine why anyone would want to go to the old start menu style again. Simply push the windows key, type a few characters and press enter and your program is launched. It's much faster and your hands stay on the keyboard where they belong, you never even have to touch the rodent. (Yes, you can navigate the old start menu without the mouse, too, but it's slow and cumbersome)

  22. lagotto7
    May 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    It's great, thak you for this method!

  23. DivyanshOjha
    May 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    This was really helpful to stop UAC prompt for programs used daily

  24. salvador hernandez
    May 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    great tips

  25. ASHOK KUMAR
    May 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Many people like me were waiting for this help and this is article of great value. Thanx a lot.

  26. Scott M
    May 2, 2013 at 11:23 am

    These tips will be a great relief to may people.For myself,I still run XP and Linux on a desktop PC that is my go to device and I'm very happy.I like Window7 but I didn't see any need to upgrade.I've played around with windows8 and like it but I don't think I will use unless I purchase a very large touch screen.

  27. Nevzat A
    May 2, 2013 at 8:36 am

    That's what I always wanted. Many thanks for the great tips.

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