What is User Account Control? Well, it was introduced in Windows Vista, and it’s been irritating people ever since! The purpose of User Account Control is to restrict what programs can do without your permission. Put simply, think of your programs as being in a sandbox – if they want to interact with anything outside of this sandbox then they must seek your permission to do so.

What Is User Account Control?

With pre-Vista operating systems, like Windows XP, most users accounts were Administrator accounts. This meant that you could run a program and it would have full read/write access to your file system, meaning that it could potentially do whatever it wanted, such as infect your system with malware. UAC (User Account Control) was introduced to stop this.

So, starting with Windows Vista, UAC was introduced. Programs would start with limited permissions and the UAC pop-up would appear when the program needed more access than it was currently granted.

Why Am I Getting A UAC Pop-Up?

Programs which need administrator privileges on your system will display the User Account Control pop-up. You’ll often find that older programs, designed before UAC was introduced, weren’t designed to be ran with a limited user account, so they’ll show the UAC dialogue more often. Newer products shouldn’t show the dialogue quite as much, but it’s very common to see the pop-up during installation.

Should I Allow or Deny The User Account Control Pop-Up?

A good rule of thumb for non-geeky users is to only say allow the user account control request if they are expecting it. If it pops up on your screen and you have no idea why, then don’t allow it.