User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8

This security policy reference topic for the IT professional describes the best practices, location, values, policy management and security considerations for this policy setting.

Reference

This policy setting determines the behavior of all User Account Control (UAC) policies for the entire system. This is the setting that turns UAC on or off.

Possible values

  • Enabled

    Admin Approval Mode and all other UAC policies are dependent on this option being enabled. Changing this setting requires restarting the system.

  • Disabled

    Admin Approval Mode and all related UAC policies are disabled.

Note

If this security setting is configured to Disabled, the Security Center notifies the user that the overall security of the operating system has been reduced.

Best practices

  1. Enable this policy to allow all other UAC features and policies to function.

Location

GPO_name\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options

Default values

The following table lists the actual and effective default values for this policy. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.

Server type or GPO

Default value

Default Domain Policy

Not defined

Default Domain Controller Policy

Not defined

Stand-Alone Server Default Settings

Enabled

DC Effective Default Settings

Enabled

Member Server Effective Default Settings

Enabled

Client Computer Effective Default Settings

Enabled

Operating system version differences

There are no differences in this security policy between operating systems beginning with Windows Vista.

Policy management

This section describes features and tools that are available to help you manage this policy.

Restart requirement

A restart of the computer is required before this policy will be effective when changes to this policy are saved locally or distributed through Group Policy.

Group Policy

This policy has no impact in Windows operating systems earlier than Windows Vista.

Security considerations

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.

Vulnerability

This is the setting that turns UAC on or off. If this setting is disabled, UAC is not used, and any security benefits and risk mitigations that are dependent on UAC are not present on the computer.

Countermeasure

Enable the User Account Control: Run all users, including administrators, as standard users setting.

Potential impact

Users and administrators must learn to work with UAC prompts and adjust their work habits to use least privilege operations.