When Windows Vista was launched, it was marketed as the most secure Windows ever. History has shown us, though, that when they say that, it is usually the opposite. Vista might be more secure, however a huge part of that security is accomplished by simply annoying the hell out of the user.
By default, Windows Vista is going to interrupt you whenever you try to do almost ANY system change. This is called User Account Control, or UAC.
It is going to fade out the screen and ask you to confirm your wish to proceed. And in almost all cases, OF COURSE you want to proceed. So, very quickly, this becomes nothing but a sheer annoyance.
Windows XP does not do this. Other operating systems like OS X and Ubuntu are much smarter about this and only ask you for an account password at times when you are changing a core setting in some way. In my opinion, Microsoft simply overdoes it. And they do not require a password, so it begs the question: “Just how secure is this anyway?”. But, I’m not going to try to answer that. I’m just going to tell you how to make it stop.
- Open up the Vista control panel
- Search for “User Account”.
- You’ll see the link for “Turn User Account Control (UAC) on or off”. Click that.
- Uncheck the box that says “Use User Account Control *UAC) to help protect your computer.
- Click OK.
When you’re done, Windows Vista will be much less annoying.
It goes without saying that Microsoft doesn’t want you to do this. This annoyance is part of their security strategy. They’ll drive the point home to you by showing a big red X in your taskbar. It may even bug you from time to time with balloon popups. You can stop that, too, by doing the following:
- In the Control Panel, go to Security Center.
- On the left side, go to “Change the way Security Center alerts me”.
- Choose “Don’t notify me and don’t display the icon (not recommended).
And there you go. If you are computer literate, then these popups are just annoying. Now, if you are helping out with the PC of somebody who is NOT computer literate, perhaps you may want to leave this in place. While it is annoying, it can help keep the computer newbie out of trouble at times.