Annoyance Buster: Make Vista's User Account Control Work for You

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Without any question, the most annoying feature in Windows Vista--and that's saying something--is User Account Control (UAC). If the system gatekeeper just wanted my permission to install software, it would be easier to tolerate. But UAC doesn't stop there. Just try to add, remove, or rename any of your Start menu folders, or to set your system clock. Any such attempt involving various common, everyday, and relatively safe tasks will cause your screen to go dark, after which a scary confirmation prompt pops up, requiring an extra click.

One solution is to turn UAC completely off. To do that, choose Start, Control Panel, click User Accounts and Family Safety, and select User Accounts. Or just click Start, type User Accounts, and choose that option from the search results. Next, click Turn User Account Control on or off, and then click Continue when prompted by (what else?) UAC itself. Uncheck the box, and click OK. Choose a restart option when prompted to do so. After you restart, you'll no longer be bothered by UAC prompts.

Of course, this simple method puts your computer at much greater risk, especially if you routinely log on as an administrator. So in this article I'll outline some more-nuanced ways to keep UAC at bay while keeping your guard up.

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