How to change the User Account Control (UAC) level in Windows

The User Account Control (UAC) has been a core security feature of Windows since Windows Vista. Some people are not even aware of its existence. They only meet a prompt which says “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your PC?” and then they click Yes blindly, without analyzing what’s up with that. If you encounter such prompts and you want to change how often they are shown, read this guide and learn how to set UAC in Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10:

What is User Account Control (UAC)?

When you run a desktop app that requires administrator permissions in order to function, you get a Windows prompt named “User Account Control”, which says something like: “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your PC?”. This prompt also appears when you change important system settings which require administrative approval.

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We have explained the role of this prompt and why it is important to keep it turned on, in this guide: What is UAC (User Account Control) & Why You Should Not Turn it Off. Please read it before moving forward with this guide.

Open the User Account Control (UAC) settings in Windows

Changing the way UAC works is done from the User Account Control Settings window. There are many ways to open this window:

One method is to start the Control Panel and go to "System and Security -> Change User Account Control settings".

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In Windows 10, open the search box on the taskbar and type the word “uac”. Then, click or tap the search result that says “Change User Account Control settings”.

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In Windows 8.1, you can type the word “uac” directly on the Start screen. In the list of search results, click or tap "Change User Account Control settings".

User Account Control, UAC, level, Windows, change, turn off

In Windows 7, open the Start Menu, type the word “uac” into its search box and click the "Change User Account Control settings" search result.

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The User Account Control Settings window is now opened.

How to configure User Account Control (UAC) level in Windows

The User Account Control Settings window has a slider that you can use to adjust the UAC settings. By default, in Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, User Account Control is set to notify you only when programs and desktop apps try to make changes to your computer.

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You can switch between any of the four available levels: "Always notify", "Notify me only when programs/apps try to make changes to my computer", "Notify me only when programs/apps try to make changes to my computer (do not dim my desktop)" and "Never notify".

All these levels are explained in detail, here: What is UAC (User Account Control) & Why You Should Not Turn it Off. If you haven’t read this guide yet, like we asked you to, please do so now, especially if you are about to turn off UAC.

To switch to another level, simply move the slider to the appropriate position and click or tap OK. Depending on the previous UAC level that was set, you may receive a User Account Control prompt, asking you to confirm this change.

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Conclusion

As you can see from this guide, changing User Account Control levels is very easy, in all modern versions of Windows. The available levels provide enough flexibility and customization, so that you can keep your Windows device safe, without being too annoyed by the UAC prompts that are shown. Before you close this article, don’t hesitate to share with us which UAC level you prefer using and why.

About the Author: Ciprian Adrian Rusen
I love technology and I work in IT for more than a decade. I am the co-founder of Digital Citizen and its chief editor. Alongside my work as an editor, I am also an author. I have written and published 7 books, most of them about Microsoft products and technologies. They are translated into more than 12 languages. In 2014, I have been recognized by Microsoft for my technical expertise and involvement in the community with the title of Microsoft MVP - Windows Consumer Expert.