Saturday, January 29, 2011

Windows 7 - Turn Off UAC Nags on Icons

Howto: Stopping UAC Nags while editing desktop and start-menu icons. This is an excerpt from a more involved article. These instructions are for Windows 7 and were updated on 2011.01.29.


  • Changing UAC Nags just for Start Menu Icons (recommended)
  • Changing System-wide UAC Nags

Fixing Start Menu and Desktop Icon Nags:

I am always fiddling with Start Menu and Desktop icons but I get tired of all the security prompts. Although Windows 7 vastly improved UAC security nags, Windows 7 still bugs people too much when editing desktop and Start Menu icons. Follow these steps to disable UAC nags in this area while leaving the rest of UAC in-place (UAC is meant to help keep viruses from installing and if your computer is used by non-technical people, it should be left on.)

With a minor security change, you can disable UAC nags while editing Start Menus
-- while leaving the rest of UAC intact.

Follow these steps:

1. Expose Windows Explorer's File Menu

a.  Open Windows Explorer

b.  Select menu Organize, Layout, Check "Menu Bar"

2. Show hidden Files and Folders:
a.  In Explorer, select top-menu, Tools, Folder-options, View (View Tab)
b.  In the Advanced-settings checkbox list,

* Show Hidden files and folders
[ ] (uncheck) Hide Extensions for known file type
[ ] (uncheck) Hide Protected Operating System File

c. Click Apply
d. Click Apply to Folders

3. Close and re-open Windows Explorer
Tunnel to each of these two folders:

C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop

4. "Other-Mouse-Click" each folder, choose Properties.

a.  Click the [Security] Tab
b.  Click button "Edit"
c.  Select your user-account from the list (or choose "Everyone")
d.  Click "Full-Control"
e.  Click OK, OK

f.  Do the same for the other folder.

Click image for a larger view; click right-x to return

This allows you to edit any Start Menu icon without the UAC prompt.

System-wide UAC Nags:

Overall System User Access Control (UAC) nags can be controlled here. Use this method if you want to turn off all UAC nags. I want to caution against this. The Nags are meant to stop fly-by virus installs. However when installing a new computer (and all of its associated software), this is handy:

1. Start, Control Panel, "System"

2. Click "Action Center" (lower-left)

3. Click "Change User Account Control Settings" (left)

4. Move the slider-bar to a lower setting to progressively disable UAC nags.
The default setting on a zero-3(max) is the second position (third from bottom).

Keyliner recommends leaving this at Microsoft's default. If you make the recommended start-menu changes from the top of the article, UAC becomes very tolerable. Remember, UAC protects you from viruses doing a drive-by install.

Related articles:
Windows 7 Explorer Changes (Recommended)
Windows 7 Streamline Start menus
Cleaning Startup Programs (Startup Decks)
Vista UAC - Stop the Nags


  1. You can always just go to "Local Security Policy" in Admin Tools / expand "Local Policies"/ choose "Security Options"/ Sort by name to reverse order / choose User Account Control: Behavior of elevation prompt for administrators in adminn approval mode / then choose "elevate without prompting" from dropdown box. Win Pro and above I think?

    1. Only if you have win7pro and up. gp is not available in home versions


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