Changes to UAC in Vista SP1: Much less than meets the eye

Despite the hype, UAC in SP1 remains perhaps the most annoying feature of all time

A video is making the rounds showing how Vista SP1 has significantly improved Vista's immensely annoying User Account Control (UAC). But there appears to be less to the improvement than meets the eye --- hardly any changes were made to UAC in SP1, and it remains a very big Vista annoyance.

Microsoft blogger Michael Kleef has made a video that he says illustrates how much better UAC is under SP1 than before SP1. It very nicely shows that when you create a new folder in Program Files, you only need to go through one UAC prompt under Vista SP1, rather than four previously.

That's certainly an improvement. But it affects very few people. That's because for creating new folders, UAC only springs into action when you create a folder in a protected location, such as Program Files. Create a folder anywhere else, and there's no UAC prompt. And it's rare that you'll create a folder in a protected location.

So what other changes were there to UAC? I've been using SP1 since it was released, and I haven't noticed a single difference. So I nosed around the Microsoft site, and found a document that described the changes to Vista under SP1.

There's hardly any mention of UAC. The document does note the change when creating a folder:

SP1 reduces the number of UAC (User Account Control) prompts from 4 to 1 when creating or renaming a folder at a protected location.

But then there's only one other change it lists:

Windows Vista SP1 includes a new Security Policy (UAC: Allow UAccess), which allows applications to prompt for elevation without using the secure desktop. This allows a remote helper to enter administrative credentials during a Remote Assistance session.

How many times in your life do you expect this "improvement" to affect you? If you're like many people, the answer may well be zero.

So despite the hype, UAC in SP1 remains perhaps the most annoying feature of all time. I hope we don't have to wait for Windows 7 for it to get fixed.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Preston Gralla

Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?