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User Account Control

(also UAC)

User account control definition

User Account Control (UAC) is a security feature by Microsoft in Windows operating systems. It enhances the system's safety by limiting user account privileges and preventing unauthorized changes to its settings and files.

UAC helps mitigate the risk of malware infections and unauthorized system modifications by requiring user consent or administrator credentials for certain actions that could potentially impact the system. When a user attempts to perform tasks that require administrative privileges, UAC prompts the user for confirmation or the credentials of an administrator account.

See also: Access control entry, Mandatory access control, Discretionary Access Control, Administrative privileges

User account control use cases

UAC has several important use cases for improving Windows system security:

  • It protects against malware by requiring user consent or admin credentials for potentially malicious actions
  • UAC ensures system configuration changes are authorized by prompting for confirmation or admin credentials.
  • It controls software installation and updates by requiring user confirmation or denial.
  • It also secures account management and password changes by prompting for authorization.
  • UAC prevents the unauthorized execution of programs with elevated privileges.
  • It safeguards system files and resources by requiring consent or admin credentials for access.