Hack Attack : Disable UAC for Certain Applications in Vista

by Karthik on January 3, 2008 · 44 comments

vista

If you are a Windows Vista user, there is nothing more bugging than the UAC in Windows Vista. UAC which was supposed to bring improved security in Windows, does it pretty well but at the cost of user friendliness.

There are lots of apps and softwares that I run on my Machine, and Vista bugs me everytime I open them. For quite some time I’ve been looking to disable UAC for select applications, rather than disabling it all together, as that could possibly create a security havoc. After some time looking around for a solution, I finally found a solution that was recommended by Microsoft, and even Worked pretty well for me.

If you are looking to disable UAC for certain applications in Windows Vista, then follow this guide, and once you are done, the UAC may not really be all that bugging as it used to be.

  • First download and install Application Compatibility Toolkit.
  • Find the shortcut icon for Compatibility Administrator. Right click it and click Run as administrator.
  • In the left hand pane, right-click on the database under Custom Databases and select Create New, and select Application Fix.
  • Enter the name and other details of the application you want to alter behavior on and then browse to it to select it. Click Next.
  • Click Next until you are in the Compatibility Fixes screen.
  • On the Compatibility Fixes screen, find the item RunAsInvoker, and check it.
  • Click Next and then Finish.
  • Select File and Save As. Save the file as a app.SDB type file in a directory you will easily find it.
  • Navigate to Start Menu, Right click Command Prompt and click Run as administrator.
  • Run the following command at the prompt :

    sdbinst <path>app.sdb

    Where <path> is the location where you have saved the app.sdb file. For example, if you saved the .SDB file as app.sdb in the c:Windows folder, the command should be like this:

    sdbinst  c:windowsapp.sdb

  • You should now get a confirmatory message.
  • Voila! You’re done, Vista will no longer prompt you with the UAC everytime you open your favorite app.

This one hack, has made Vista a lot more user friendly and a lot less nagging than it was before. I would recommend this method over, disabling the UAC altogether, because that would make your computer less secure.

Via Microsoft Knowledgebase

See more from: Windows

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Tyd January 23, 2008 at 3:28 am

wow thx for these tipps ….

I have vista on my laptop and UAC as it is is extremely user-unfriendly …
but with this it’s good :)

THX

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Santoriin August 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm

How do i roll this back? After I did it the program now crashes constantly. thanks.

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Justin February 1, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Yess thnx! I’ve been looking for this!! thank you so much!!

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Juan Zamora February 20, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Do you have to do this for every app? Or can you do it for many at once?

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Aaron February 20, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Notes: 1. This doesn’t work if your running as regular “non-administrator” account and the app requires admin privlages. (RunasInvoker means force the app to launch as the current user (thus avoiding the UAC prompt for elevation or credentials) 2. Just something to be aware of, the apps you launch using this method will be launched with an admin token without prompting you if you are running as an admin account (this is the point, but I am just pointing out you should be aware of it when running them).

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keeter February 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm

If this actually worked it would be a fantastic thing.

But, no.

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Casey February 21, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Actually, in my testing, there is no UAC prompt, but the application does not launch as administrator (high Integrity level). I tested this with regedit.exe and procexp.exe (Process Explorer tool from SysInternals). They both launch without prompting (I’m logged on as an admin), but they launch at Medium Integrity level. So, you can avoid the UAC prompt, but if you’re expecting the application to be running at high integrity, that won’t happen.

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Mike February 22, 2008 at 11:03 am

Wow, you think they would just make this easy, instead of 12 different steps. This is preposterous, let’s hope they fix this in SP1.

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Ed March 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm

This didnt work for ccleaner. Still prompts me to authorize the app even though i am running this app as an administrator. Anyone have any other ideas?

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Roberto March 31, 2008 at 3:28 am

i have an install apllication that stop in Registering modules. what do i can to the install application finish satisfactoy ?

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Jason April 29, 2008 at 3:09 am

@Casey

Switch from RunAsInvoker to RunAsHighest. That seemed to work for me.

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Jordan! May 15, 2008 at 7:31 pm

How do I use this feature with time sychronization?

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chris May 20, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Doesn’t work here either. Also, it appears that MS has withdrawn the KB article referenced above–never a good sign.

Very disappointing. I’ve been looking for something exactly like this since the first day I installed Vista.

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Plano Work July 1, 2008 at 4:08 am

Worked like a charm. Thank you for the post.

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Triple Lei July 26, 2008 at 9:39 am

Worked like a charm over here – and by that I mean it only worked half the time.

I still get the prompt with WinFast PVR, but XviD4PSP is now a little less annoying.

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blighty July 27, 2008 at 11:15 am

Great article – clear and concise. Thanks mate!

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Diane October 2, 2008 at 10:02 pm

I am not a computer tech person but I use my laptop to access my work server from home. Lately, after months of smooth sailing I am having problems and the IT person suggested I disable UAC since it appears to be the cause of the constant prompting for permission to continue working. I would rather not disable it for everything and I found your article (thanks to Google) and tried following directions but am stopped at the Configuration Wizard. I don’t have access to a SQL server (I would presume not until I connect with work but that is the problem) and therefore it won’t even allow me to proceed…… any suggestions? Thanks. D

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Casey October 3, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Diane, can you tell us what you are trying to do? You log into work from home (through a VPN connection, and then you do what — connect to SQL Server? Open another program? What is triggering the UAC prompt?

Going back a few months to Jason’s post, if you switch the compatibility fix from RunAsInvoker to RunAsHighest, basically you are telling Windows to run the program with the highest privileges possible. If you test this fix from the Compatibility Administrator (which was launched as administrator, meaning it is running at high integrity level), I found you do not get prompted with a UAC prompt. But this is because the Compatibility Administrator is already running elevated. This is similar to running cmd.exe as administrator — from this elevated command prompt, you can launch any program requiring admin rights, and you will not be prompted. But, after installing the fix per the instructions on this page, if you leave the Compat Adm tool, and launch the program normally, you will still be prompted with UAC, if you have an admin token (you have an admin token because you are part of the local administrators group). So I guess I’m trying to say that if you are in the local admins group, you cannot launch a program that is set to RunAsHighest or RunAsAdmin without getting a UAC prompt. This would defeat the entire purpose of UAC.

Btw, you can also install the fix from within the Compat Admin tool by right-clicking on the fix under Custom Databases and choosing Install; you can uninstall the fix by right-clicking on the fix under Installed Databases and choosing Uninstall.

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Diego December 19, 2008 at 2:08 am

I’m receiving UAC for some ActiveX apps on IE7, since is not a regular application that I just point like “c:\myapp.exe” how should I use the “Application Compatibility Tool” to avoid UAC asking for permission on certain or all the ActiveX applets?

Thanks

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Casey December 19, 2008 at 7:14 pm

For this there is the ActiveXInstaller service:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2007.07.axis.aspx

You can turn this on and managed which sites you want to allow ActiveX installations in Internet Explorer for non-admin users. Users will always be prompted to install an ActiveX control — I don’t know of a way to disable the prompt completely.

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Mapler April 21, 2009 at 3:48 am

i tried to install but it keep roll-backing. can anyone help?

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Casey April 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Mapler, what is rolling back? The App Compat Toolkit installation? You can turn on logging for the msi installation to see where the error occurs .

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Brandon July 12, 2009 at 10:36 am

this fix does not work for Windows 7 RC 1 when trying to get Project Torque (Aeria Games) to launch without UAC Prompt.

eidairaman1 is my user name on techpowerup

if you have any suggestions (ive tried this numerous times just to fail)

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tien July 13, 2009 at 12:31 am

this “hack” just forces the application to run with low privileges.

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Ryan July 15, 2009 at 8:17 am

Thanks. The original Microsoft KB is missing now! Wonder what made Microsoft change its mind about giving this information out…

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Santoriin August 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm

How do i roll this back after I did it? The program now crashes constantly.

Thanks.

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Santoriin August 11, 2009 at 10:21 pm

How do i roll this back? After I did it the program now crashes constantly. thanks.

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Santoriin August 11, 2009 at 10:22 pm

How do i roll this back after I did it? The program now crashes constantly.

Thanks.

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Ron December 7, 2009 at 9:32 am

Thanks for the great tip! Why wouldn't Microsoft include this program with Windows and why wouldn't they make it easier to use than it is?

Just another example of Microsoft trying to control stuff instead of letting the users be in control.

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Ron December 9, 2009 at 1:24 am

After further testing it turns out this trick isn't as useful as I thought. If an app needs to be run as administrator for it to work it will not work correctly if you add it following these directions. If in the compatability toolkit instead of choosing “Runasinvoker” you choose “Runasadministrator” your program will work correctly but you will still be prompted everytime you start the program. I guess the only true way to stop being bugged by the UAC is to disable it.

Why doesn't MS just give us an option of saying “Run this program always without prompting me contstantly” or “quit annoying me UAC”?

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kesn April 20, 2010 at 12:15 am

how about check both admin.. and runasinvoker

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xdereksx January 13, 2010 at 5:52 am

didn't work for me :(
messages still pop-up and context menu buttons for the program (foobar) don't work.

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kesn April 20, 2010 at 12:13 am

this works works! thanks a lot!
install using compatability admin..
right click on app.sdb and click install..

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Robert Markovo May 4, 2011 at 9:07 am

There are various tools available in the market to do so but surely comes with a price. Its better to either disable it entirely or make a custom one of yours. its easy and much customizable according to your needs if you make one of yours. i dont rely on software available in the market as they can even transfer some of your valuable information over the net without you even noticing. Always go for brand software, which comes at price, and the free ones are not trustworthy enough.

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