An unidentified program wants access to your computer

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 28, 2007
Updated • May 28, 2013
Windows, Windows Vista

Vista offers a new feature which is called User Account Control. User Account Control, abbreviated UAC, separates user and admin permissions in Windows Vista which increases security. It basically ensures that malicious programs can't be run using administrative privileges without them being first looked at and accepted by the user of the system.

This is great if security is concerned but really painful if you are running programs on a daily basis that require administrative privileges.

Everton from Connected Internet asked if there was a way to run Winrar without the prompt "an unidentified program wants access to your computer". Imagine having to run programs such as Winrar several times a day, always having to allow it to be run on your computer.

There is no obvious way to always allow the application which means that you basically have two choices:

You can disable the User Account Control function completely which disables the complete security feature in Windows Vista. This has the advantage that you will not get prompted if you want to run or install programs that require admin privileges.

The second option would be to change the behavior in the Local Security Settings Microsoft Management Console. I will explain how to do both and start with the easier but more radical one: Disabling the User Account Control feature in Windows Vista.

Disabling User Account Control:

  • Press Windows + R, enter msconfig and hit enter.
  • Select the Tools tab
  • Find Disable UAC / Disable UAP
  • Click on Launch
  • Restart the Computer

As I said earlier this is a very radical way. If you have the choice use the second method instead which leaves User Account Control enabled and tinkers just a bit with some settings of it.

Customizing User Account Control:

  • Press Windows + R, enter secpol.msc and hit enter
  • Click on Security Settings
  • Local Policies
  • Security Options
  • Double-click User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode
  • Choose Elevate without prompting
  • Click ok

This setting becomes immediately active. I suggest you try if it is working by launching a program that prompted for allowance before. It should now start without asking you for it.

Update: Microsoft has updated the feature in recent versions of Windows so that it is less obtrusive and in your face. While you will still see prompts every now and then, you won't be bombarded with dozens of them every day anymore.


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  1. said on September 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Trade|Current market|Scene|Corporate|Overseas} News : tory burch outlet Looked as Essential At this time

  2. Rory said on May 5, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    thanks so much!

  3. Sergio H said on November 3, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Here I have Solution,

    1. Go to installation directory.
    2. Search for the winrar.exe
    3. Right Click -> Properties
    4. Compatibility -> Unchek Compatibility mode.
    5. Save Changes.
    5. Done! No more UAC.

    Operating System Windows 7.


  4. Andre said on September 3, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Hi Adrian
    Thank you for the attempt to help.
    I’m a Vista Home Premium admin user and could not find: – Go to following: LOCAL POLICIES- > SECURITY OPTIONS
    – double-click User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode
    – choose Elevate without prompting
    – click ok

    Could you please give me more directions to carry on the steps you kindly adviced us ?

  5. John Randolf said on July 30, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Thanks so much for you info. Im a server guy to the bones, and have no knowledge of vista and the stupid User Access Controls. I know how to shut them off with msconfig, but it didnt help my admin problem with software and I am very excited to try your advice to see if it is a solution. Thanks so much for your time and help. Sometimes people that answer forms like this dont realise how much they help people. You have helped. My job and eperiance is server Os’s and 200/XP clients, im lost with Vista. Thanks again for your help with Vistas “Crap” changes. (sorry if someone likes it and doesn’t agree with me.) it has only given me problems everytime that i use it in a business manner, and I think that says something. Thanks to all.



  6. Ray Capararo said on June 2, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Thank you very much for the workaround – works perfectly

  7. Adrian said on April 27, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    To all you Home Premium Users:
    Here is how to set UAC to elevate to admin withouth prompting:
    – Press Windows + R, enter mmc and hit enter.
    – Add following snap-ins: Security configuration And Analysis, Security Templates. (Double Click a snap-in to add, Click OK when finished)
    – Now open Security Templates snap-in and you should see a path to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Security\Templates folder. Right click on that path and select NEW TEMPLATE. Give that template a name (“Default” will do). No need for description. Just select OK.
    – Now under your Templates path you should see new security template with the name you have assigned to it.
    – double-click User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode
    – choose Elevate without prompting
    – click ok
    Now very important part. What we’ve just done we have only created a template that we now need to apply to our system:
    – Right Click “Security Configuration and analysis” Snap-IN
    – Select “Open Database”
    – Enter a name to a new database – This can be anything but we might want to be consistent so I used “Default”. Click Open or Press Enter. This should create Default.sdb file in Security\Templates subfolder of your home-dir.
    – Now you should should see “Import Template” window. This is where you select template you created earlier. Locate the file if you haven’t saved it to the default location and select OPEN.
    – Right Click on Security Configuration And Analysis Snap-In again and select “Configure Computer Now”
    – Just click OK on the error log file screen.
    – If you followed my instructions right, UAC should stop prompting you for elevation now.


  8. Diligent said on April 13, 2009 at 1:53 am

    i am having the same problem. I also have vista which does not have this second step function. Is there any one who knows how to run eq2 with a huawei model e226 usb modem? I played with dsl/cable internet no problem but am having connection issues. On launchpad, at connecting it says ‘network error – cannot connect to network, please try again later’ I thought it might be my internet security, so i uninstalled and reinstalled, added this internet and the game to administrator limits, and still no luck. So I thought since this allow or cancel security screen pops up and neither internet or the game now is identified, I could use some help, maybe this will fix the problem. But like the rest, vista doesn’t have secpol …. what do I do?

  9. sranvansy head said on April 7, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    this was very use fullllllll
    >> thanx for information

  10. BroM said on October 16, 2008 at 10:53 am

    sweet. it worked… i think…

  11. RAHUL,INDIA said on September 25, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Martin,
    I read all these comments. i am facing the same problem.. and this message always prompts me when i try using Google TALK. and secpol.msc could not be found… says windows… plz help.. :-(

  12. Martin said on April 21, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    I don’t understand your question Nigel. What exactly do you want to do ?

  13. Nigel Taylor said on April 21, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Sorry I should have said. This is a new install of Vista 64bit on a newly built machine. My problem is with trusted Asus monitoring software downloaded for this board. Is there somewhere that this item should be listed?

  14. Martin said on April 21, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Well then you might be running Vista Home where secpol.msc is not included. Thank Microsoft for that.

  15. Nigel Taylor said on April 21, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    I entered secpol.msc but Vista said it could not find it. End of your advice.

  16. Steve said on March 9, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    As usual those wonderful people at Microsoft have nobbled us home users by purposely removing secpol.msc from Home versions

  17. Peter said on April 11, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Doesn’t work for me. Still getting the prompt. I’m the only user and I am an administrator.

    The 3rd party software I want to use has to be run in XP compatibility mode with administrator privileges.

  18. D said on March 28, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Is there a way to disable the message from displaying for a single executable? When customers install the software I have created I do not want this message to display for them every time. I want to disable it for my setup.exe but do not want to turn off UAC for them. Thank you.

  19. Travis said on March 14, 2007 at 1:29 am

    When I try the secpol.msc i get the message “windows cannot find secpol.msc….” I am running vista home premium.. any Ideas???

  20. Martin said on March 2, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Everton it simply means that the prompt if you want to allow the program or not does not show up anymore which means it always allows the execution. (if you are logged in as admin that is)

  21. Everton said on March 2, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    was just about to do this. Quick question – what does elevate without prompting actually do?

  22. Martin said on March 2, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Webbster we can make this choice but many users can’t. They get a new pc that comes with Windows Vista and simply do not know that there are other operating systems.

  23. Webbster said on March 1, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Bollocks to all that…
    How ’bout I just not buy this crapware.

  24. Everton said on March 1, 2007 at 1:24 am

    thanks – will feature this on my site lol

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