What is User Account Control (UAC)?

What is the windows feature "User Account Control" and how does it work?
With the release of the Windows Vista operating system, and included in all Windows operating systems released after, a new security feature was introduced called User Account Control (UAC). It is enabled, by default, on those systems and is used to help protect the system from unauthorized malicious activity.

When enabled, it allows users to execute daily tasks using the "least privilege" principle, where users are granted only the rights they need to do certain tasks. As such, most applications run on the computer with "standard user" rights, even if that user is actually logged into the computer with "local administrator" privileges. If a program or task attempts to make changes to protected areas of the computer which affect the entire system (such as a software installation or update), UAC will prompt to elevate rights and/or request user approval. Changes written to protected areas during the normal running of an application will be redirected to user-specific virtual store locations.

For a more detailed explanation, refer to the BlackbaudKnowHow blog post on what UAC is. For further information on UAC, please see Microsoft's article on User Account Control (TechNet).

For more information on how UAC affects the installation of our products, please see How to install Blackbaud products on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems, and what additional steps are required.

Should you wish to disable UAC, see How to Disable User Account Control (UAC).
 

Note: We provide links to third-party websites in an effort to help you resolve your issue. We are not responsible for the information on third-party websites, and we cannot assist with implementing the resolution from these websites.

Environment

 Windows 7 (32-bit);Windows 7 (64-bit);Windows 8 (32-bit);Windows 8 (64-bit);Windows 10 (32-bit);Windows 10 (64-bit);Windows Server 2008 (32-bit);Windows Server 2008 (64-bit);Windows Server 2008 R2;Windows Server 2012;Windows Server 2012 R2

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