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Published on 11.23.10 by Brent Trahan

Enable the User Account Control Secure Desktop in Windows 7

Learn how to enable User Account Control’s (UAC) secure desktop in Windows 7.

When you enable the secure desktop, the background goes dark and a prompt appears when software is being installed or setting changed in Windows 7.

Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, and Starter Users

Unfortunately the most popular versions of Windows 7 don’t have a nice and easy way to edit this setting. The only way to change this setting is by editing the registry.

Warning: Edit the registry at your own risk. Editing the registry can cause your computer to crash and a loss of data if not done properly. Please consider backing up the registry before you edit it.

  1. Type regedit in the Start Menu’s search box and then press Enter on your keyboard.
  2. Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, Policies, and then select System in the left column of the Registry Editor.

  3. Double-click PromptOnSecureDesktop in the right column of the Registry Editor.

  4. Set the Hexadecimal value to 1 and then click OK in the DWORD Value window to save the changes.

  5. Restart the computer

Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional, and Ultimate Users

  1. Type secpol.msc in the Start Menu’s search box and then press Enter on the keyboard.
  2. Expand Local Policies and then select Security Options in the left column of the Local Security Policy window.

  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the right column of the Local Security Policy window and double-click User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation.

  4. Select Enable in the Local Security Setting tab and then click OK to save the changes.

  5. Restart the computer.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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