User Account Control security policy settings

Applies to

  • Windows 10

You can use security policies to configure how User Account Control works in your organization. They can be configured locally by using the Local Security Policy snap-in (secpol.msc) or configured for the domain, OU, or specific groups by Group Policy.

User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administrator account

This policy setting controls the behavior of Admin Approval Mode for the built-in Administrator account.

  • Enabled The built-in Administrator account uses Admin Approval Mode. By default, any operation that requires elevation of privilege will prompt the user to approve the operation.
  • Disabled (Default) The built-in Administrator account runs all applications with full administrative privilege.

User Account Control: Allow UIAccess application to prompt for elevation without using the secure desktop

This policy setting controls whether User Interface Accessibility (UIAccess or UIA) programs can automatically disable the secure desktop for elevation prompts used by a standard user.

  • Enabled UIA programs, including Windows Remote Assistance, automatically disable the secure desktop for elevation prompts. If you do not disable the "User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation" policy setting, the prompts appear on the interactive user's desktop instead of the secure desktop.
  • Disabled (Default) The secure desktop can be disabled only by the user of the interactive desktop or by disabling the "User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation" policy setting.

User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode

This policy setting controls the behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators.

  • Elevate without prompting Allows privileged accounts to perform an operation that requires elevation without requiring consent or credentials.

    Note:  Use this option only in the most constrained environments.  

  • Prompt for credentials on the secure desktop When an operation requires elevation of privilege, the user is prompted on the secure desktop to enter a privileged user name and password. If the user enters valid credentials, the operation continues with the user's highest available privilege.

  • Prompt for consent on the secure desktop When an operation requires elevation of privilege, the user is prompted on the secure desktop to select either Permit or Deny. If the user selects Permit, the operation continues with the user's highest available privilege.

  • Prompt for credentials When an operation requires elevation of privilege, the user is prompted to enter an administrative user name and password. If the user enters valid credentials, the operation continues with the applicable privilege.

  • Prompt for consent When an operation requires elevation of privilege, the user is prompted to select either Permit or Deny. If the user selects Permit, the operation continues with the user's highest available privilege.

  • Prompt for consent for non-Windows binaries (Default) When an operation for a non-Microsoft application requires elevation of privilege, the user is prompted on the secure desktop to select either Permit or Deny. If the user selects Permit, the operation continues with the user's highest available privilege.

User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for standard users

This policy setting controls the behavior of the elevation prompt for standard users.

  • Prompt for credentials (Default) When an operation requires elevation of privilege, the user is prompted to enter an administrative user name and password. If the user enters valid credentials, the operation continues with the applicable privilege.
  • Automatically deny elevation requests When an operation requires elevation of privilege, a configurable access denied error message is displayed. An enterprise that is running desktops as standard user may choose this setting to reduce help desk calls.
  • Prompt for credentials on the secure desktop When an operation requires elevation of privilege, the user is prompted on the secure desktop to enter a different user name and password. If the user enters valid credentials, the operation continues with the applicable privilege.

User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation

This policy setting controls the behavior of application installation detection for the computer.

  • Enabled (Default) When an app installation package is detected that requires elevation of privilege, the user is prompted to enter an administrative user name and password. If the user enters valid credentials, the operation continues with the applicable privilege.
  • Disabled App installation packages are not detected and prompted for elevation. Enterprises that are running standard user desktops and use delegated installation technologies, such as Group Policy or System Center Configuration Manager should disable this policy setting. In this case, installer detection is unnecessary.

User Account Control: Only elevate executable files that are signed and validated

This policy setting enforces public key infrastructure (PKI) signature checks for any interactive applications that request elevation of privilege. Enterprise administrators can control which applications are allowed to run by adding certificates to the Trusted Publishers certificate store on local computers.

  • Enabled Enforces the certificate certification path validation for a given executable file before it is permitted to run.
  • Disabled (Default) Does not enforce the certificate certification path validation before a given executable file is permitted to run.

User Account Control: Only elevate UIAccess applications that are installed in secure locations

This policy setting controls whether applications that request to run with a User Interface Accessibility (UIAccess) integrity level must reside in a secure location in the file system. Secure locations are limited to the following: - …\Program Files\, including subfolders - …\Windows\system32\ - …\Program Files (x86)\, including subfolders for 64-bit versions of Windows

Note:  Windows enforces a digital signature check on any interactive app that requests to run with a UIAccess integrity level regardless of the state of this security setting.  

  • Enabled (Default) If an app resides in a secure location in the file system, it runs only with UIAccess integrity.
  • Disabled An app runs with UIAccess integrity even if it does not reside in a secure location in the file system.

User Account Control: Turn on Admin Approval Mode

This policy setting controls the behavior of all User Account Control (UAC) policy settings for the computer. If you change this policy setting, you must restart your computer.

  • Enabled (Default) Admin Approval Mode is enabled. This policy must be enabled and related UAC policy settings must also be set appropriately to allow the built-in Administrator account and all other users who are members of the Administrators group to run in Admin Approval Mode.
  • Disabled Admin Approval Mode and all related UAC policy settings are disabled. Note: If this policy setting is disabled, the Security Center notifies you that the overall security of the operating system has been reduced.

User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation

This policy setting controls whether the elevation request prompt is displayed on the interactive user's desktop or the secure desktop.

  • Enabled (Default) All elevation requests go to the secure desktop regardless of prompt behavior policy settings for administrators and standard users.
  • Disabled All elevation requests go to the interactive user's desktop. Prompt behavior policy settings for administrators and standard users are used.

User Account Control: Virtualize file and registry write failures to per-user locations

This policy setting controls whether application write failures are redirected to defined registry and file system locations. This policy setting mitigates applications that run as administrator and write run-time application data to %ProgramFiles%, %Windir%, %Windir%\system32, or HKLM\Software.

  • Enabled (Default) App write failures are redirected at run time to defined user locations for both the file system and registry.
  • Disabled Apps that write data to protected locations fail.