Don’t disable Vista UAC system-wide; disable Vista UAC per application

For those of us that find ourselves disabling Vista UAC for the whole system (points finger at self), we now have the ability to disable UAC per application. Thanks to Microsoft KB946932, here’s the solution:

Using the tool and steps below, you may disable UAC prompt for the specific application. This does not disable the User Acount Control feature for the whole computer.

1. Download and install the Application Compatibility Toolkit from this link:Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0

2. In the Start menu, locate the new folder. Find the shortcut icon for Compatibility Administrator. Right click it and clik Run as administrator.

3. In the left hand pane, right-click on the database under Custom Databases and select Create New, and select Application Fix.

4. Enter the name and other details of the application you want to alter behavior on and then browse to it to select it. Click Next.

5. Click Next until you are in the Compatibility Fixes screen. 6. On the Compatibility Fixes screen, find the item RunAsInvoker, and check it.7. Click Next and then Finish.8. Select File and Save As. Save the file as a filename.SDB type file in a directory you will easily find it.9. Copy the <filename>.sdb file to the Vista computer you want to alter the elevation prompt behavior on.

10. Click Start>All Programs>Accessories. Right click Command Prompt and click Run as administrator.

11. Run the command below:

sdbinst <path>\<filename>.sdb

For example, if you saved the .SDB file as abc.sdb in the c:\Windows folder, the command should be like this:

sdbinst  c:\windows\abc.sdb

It should prompt: Installation of <name> complete.

Now do this for each program that annoys the heck out of you with UAC and you should be good to go. This really helps if you share your computer with other users since UAC cannot be disabled on a per-user basis. You get to keep your kids safe (read, “protect them from destroying your computer”) and you get to keep your sanity!

About John

John Rennemeyer is a software engineer that started his own development company MuvEnum, LLC in 2005. Born in Utah, he is a father of six, husband of one, and grandparent of none. His current programming passions include Xamarin, WPF, SharePoint, and their supporting technologies. His current non-programming passions include spending time with his family and hanging out with friends while enjoying food and fun. How's that for specific?

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  • I am sorry but it doesn’t work !

  • ridiculous

    See, it should have this sort of functionality written into it, you shouldn’t have to mess around and manually disable UAC for EACH program. You can bet the average user isnt going to bother with this process for each individual program, and just continue to have UAC disabled (which will inevitably lead to doing something you wish you hadn’t).

    Yet another failure in foresight in microsoft’s court. Vista really is shaping up to be the new Windows ME, and between Vista and the xbox360’s slew of hardware problems, this year isnt shaping up to be one of microsoft’s good ones.

    However, nice article, and thanks for posting it.

  • Anonymous

    This has been around for a while. All those compatibility fixes that you keep downloading from Windows Update are nothing more than SDB files going into the master list. If you use ACT you’ll see thousands of applications that are already configured.

    It is unfair to say that MS should have thought about this before. Even XP has had ACT. They’ve done such a good job of hiding it that you’re just now starting to hear about it. I can hardly see where hiding the gory details is in some way a failure. If you don’t want to wait for compatibility fix for your app then you can use ACT. The wizard is actually pretty simple if you don’t feel like getting technical.

  • Hi,

    Didn’t work for me… 🙁

    I have configured one of my Virtual Machines in VirtualBox to use a physical partition. Problem is this requires admin privileges. I tried your fix – didn’t work. I guess I have to find another solution. Thanks anyway.


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  • Anon

    Helped with an application issue with Windows Server 2008 R2 running Citrix XenApp 6.0. Thanks.

  • anonymous

    This is an INCORRECT tip. What it does is it lies to applications that CAN RUN PROPERLY without UAC but require UAC for some reason to run without a UAC prompt by telling the app that it is running elevated. It does NOT actually run the app elevated. There is NO WAY to make only a certain app run elevated without prompt or it would breach the system’s security.