How to start and bypass UAC for your trusted applications

How to start and bypass UAC for your trusted applications

This article explains how I was able to selectively disable UAC on an application that I needed to be run from the startup group. Most articles I searched for on Google referenced setting up some arcane scheduled task utilizing the “Run with highest privileges” method. I thought that was too much work to use because you’re creating shortcuts to the scheduled task and passing all sorts of switches to make it work. Digging up an older Tech Republic article I found allowed me to disable the UAC prompting without having a complicated setup. The key is using Microsoft’s Application Compatibility Toolkit. I’ve updated their write-up with new screens for my particular application and needs.

The Application Compatibility Toolkit

Microsoft’s Application Compatibility Toolkit is now at 5.6 and can be downloaded here…

You can begin by downloading the “ApplicationCompatibilityToolkitSetup.exe” from the file list. This installs both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the toolkit.

Running the Compatibility Administrator

To begin, click the Start button, access All Programs, and then open the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit sub-menu, and select either the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the program. The 32-bit version is only for 32-bit applications that you’re trying to run, whereas the 64-bit version is for 64-bit version applications. This is does not mean that you can run the 64-bit version because you have a 64-bit OS and try to make a 32-bit application work. The Compatibility Administrator version you choose to run is dependent on the bit version of the program you’re trying to make work.

Side note from the TR article. I didn’t have to right-click to run as administrator for mine to work. It did however prompt me for the UAC yes/no question.

The program will automatically open and select a new database template.

Figure A

Click the Fix button on the toolbar. When you see the Create New Application Fix wizard, enter information about the application for which you want to disable the UAC prompt. I needed Karen’s Replicator to run without the UAC prompts, so my screens look like this.

Figure B

Click Next. When you see the Compatibility Modes page, select your OS level if needed. I did not need to fool the application by misreporting the OS.

Scroll down the list until you locate the RunAsInvoker option and select it. Be sure to leave all the preselected options as they are. I recommend you click the Test Run button to see your application launch without a UAC.

Figure C

When you’re sure the program started without UAC prompting, close the program and it will return you to the Compatibility Administrator program where you left off.

When you click Next, another Compatibility Fixes page will appear. Scroll down to verify your “RunAsInvoker” is checked. Leave everything else as it is on this page and click the Next button.

Now the Matching Information screen is displayed. Make sure to click the Auto-Generate button.

Figure D

Now you can click on the Finish button.

Saving your database

Once you are finished adding applications, you can save your database. However, keep in mind that once you save your database, you’ll be unable to edit the entries. To save your database, click the Save button on the toolbar and assign your database a name.

Figure E

You’ll need to name the database as the first step in saving it.

When you click OK, you’ll receive a prompt to save the database file. I saved mine in the directory where the program runs from.

Figure F


To complete the operation, pull down the File menu and select the Install command. A dialog box with a message indicating that the database has successfully been installed will appear.

Figure G


Upon installation, the OS adds an entry for the database to Programs and Features.

Figure H


Now, click OK and close the Compatibility Administrator. Go to the Start menu and right-click your application, select properties and select the Advanced button.

Figure I


Ensure your Run as administrator checkbox is cleared. Click OK.

Figure J


Now click the Compatibility tab, click the Change settings for all users button.

Figure K


Check the “Run this program as an administrator” box under the Privilege Level section.

Figure L


Click OK twice to finish configuring the application. Now you can launch your application normally and you should not be prompted for the UAC elevation dialog anymore.

Uninstalling the Application Compatibility Toolkit

Once you are happy with the way your UAC-less application works, you can uninstall the Application Compatibility Toolkit if you wish. The database that you created will continue to function as a standalone file as shown above is Figure H.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Windows 7, Windows Vista and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to How to start and bypass UAC for your trusted applications

  1. Yudi Yusti says:

    Works like a charm! Thank you very much!

  2. Nigel Hackett says:

    Thank you so much – have tried to follow other descriptions on how to accomplish this using compatibility toolkit – but always failed in the past. Your descriptuion was perfect – and finally solved my problem.

    Many thanks

  3. rader says:

    Not a problem. I like to give back to the knowledge base because my job involves getting so much from it as well.

  4. Bob says:

    One thousand thank yous. Trying to get this to work has been an exercise in frustration. Once I read your explanation it took me 30 seconds.

  5. rader says:

    Glad to help.

  6. dvtsoft says:

    In my case I have a thick client installed in many workstations. Do I have to repeat all steps in every pc?

  7. rader says:

    Once you’ve created the .sdb database entry, you should be able to copy that to your other workstations and use Compatibility Administrator to open that .sdb file.

    For ease of administration you could either place that .sdb you created originally back into the same location on the new workstation (say in with the application binaries) or even on a shared network resource.

    I haven’t tested the network location theory though. Since I only needed it on two workstations here, and single instances out in the field, this question hasn’t come up yet.

  8. ... says:

    Hi, i’m having a issue with a program. i did the whole workaround, but it needs more then this. it lunches fine. no UAC prompt. when the updater module kicks in then it asks for UAC permission. i have tryied runashighest, then it only asks me once as the app lunches…

    there is no seperate executable.

    thanks in advance

  9. rader says:

    Look in the Task Manager to see if another application is responsible for the updater function.

    Is the update handled by another application, like Software Manager from Macrovision?

    Without knowing what the application is I can only guess.

  10. Manny says:

    Dude… dude…DUDE!!! You just saved a man from going crazy and kicking innocent walls.

    Thanks!!!!

  11. Zman says:

    In our fix I removed the auto-generate options and removed the version information selection from each exe and dll listed then manually selected the fixes as illustrated in Section D . If the versions change due to updates I do not want to be forced to create a new compatibility fix.

  12. rader says:

    A wise move. I hadn’t thought of that.

    Since Karen’s was the program that I needed to do this to, and updates are not likely to come, I hadn’t worried about that problem.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Randy

  13. Rudy says:

    About Microsoft’s Application Compatibility Toolkit: does It work on Windows 8/8.1 64bit?

    Many thanks.

  14. Nick says:

    Tried it and followed to a T to get a program Crystal Disk to run without UAC….. no dice on win 7 professional. Will uninstall the db and try again… dont know what else to do

  15. Jay says:

    Thank you very much for the guide. Well done!

  16. Solid says:

    @Nick, I had the same problem here, at first done everything exactly according to the steps and it didn’t work. Try the following: On Figure D, instead of auto-generating as in the example, select only a few matching information that you see as more critical (Product name, etc), and leave all the rest unchecked. Worked here like a charm

  17. Ron Schneider says:

    The UAC bypass method is fantastic, doing exactly what’s needed on my 32 bit Win7 setup, for 6 32 bit applications. However, I’d like to accomplish the same thing on a 64 bit system, with a mix of 32 and 64 bit applications. What to do? Create two separate databases, one for 32 and another for the 64 bit apps? Again, thanks so much for coming up with this process, which really does the trick.

  18. rader says:

    Short answer as I see it is yes.

    I’m using Win7 64-bit OS and when I created this fix, Karen’s was a 32-bit app. I just tried two things to see about getting around the multiple database issue.

    1) Open the 32-bit app’s .sdb in the 64-bit version of the Application Compatibility Toolkit and got this error message.
    http://meridian.ws/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/UAC-Open-32bit-.sdb-in-64bit-MS-ACT-error.bmp

    2) Open the 64-bit Application Compatibility Toolkit and create a database entry for the 32-bit app and got another error message.
    http://meridian.ws/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Fix-32bit-app-with-64bit-MS-ACT-error.bmp

    I suspect that the underlying issues for the two versions needed are two fold. One being the 32/64-bit differences in the registry AND (two) the OS’s need to have 32 and 64-bit code in the system32 and SysWOW64 directories.

    See this site for a good description of this.

    http://www.w4rri0r.com/sequence-of-commands/exploit-windows-32-bit-and-64-bit-application.html

  19. Ron Schneider says:

    Re: using a mix of 32 & 64 bit apps

    Well, I started out intending to do separate databases, as you suggested/agreed. However, very surprisingly, it turns out none was needed! Like with the 32 bit windows, most of the old apps were just placed into the Program Files directory (…x86 on the 64 bit windows). Only 1 of the 6 I run was a 64 bit, which had an installer that placed its directory into the regular Program Files. Before messing with the Compatibility Toolkit and resetting the shortcuts, I just restarted to be sure everything would run before dealing with the UAC issues. Lo and behold, everything loaded with no UAC prompts at all, so nothing needed. You don’t have to reply, but I do find it amazing that the 32 bit windows 7 threw UAC prompts, while the same apps threw no prompts in 64 bit window 7. Go figure.

    But thanks for the advice/info, which unexpectedly wasn’t needed.

    Ron

  20. Mark Fish says:

    There’s also a tool call AppAvail UAC Launcher that allows you to add specific applications to run as administrator without the prompt for UAC.
    http://appavail.com/UAC.html

    Hope this helps.

  21. Apollo Grace says:

    Hi, I just gave this a try this morning; there’s something amiss around step G. The database says it installs correctly, but it doesn’t appear in the Programs and Features list. I’m working with a 64-bit program, so I used that version of the compatibility administrator. Every other step went smoothly. The program still brings up UAC.

    Any ideas what might’ve gone wrong here?

  22. rader says:

    Only thing that comes to mind is if the initial program you’re building the compatibility database for isn’t the only program running after it starts.
    If that program calls in another one for additional functions, that may be the one tripping the UAC flags.

    Without knowing what your program it is, I can only guess.

    Have a look in your Task Manager, Resource Monitor for any programs attached to or called in by your starting program.

    Good luck.

  23. Tim says:

    Rader – kudos thanks! Multiple other processes documented out there are incomplete; don’t work – this one worked like a champ; continues to do so. The real trick that other sites are missing is the ‘auto-generate’ step, which if skipped makes it totally hit or miss (some apps work, others don’t). Have not had this process fail once yet, so again, many thanks!

    -Tim

  24. Lupus says:

    Thanks! This is fantastic and works like a charm. Thanks a ton.

  25. Pingback: Anonymous

  26. Dan says:

    Thanks for this! I was getting lost in the MS documentation, but this got straight to the point!

  27. Eduard says:

    Hi.
    For our company monitoring system we use two software from Geovision
    http://www.geovision.com.tw/english/5_8.asp#
    Multiview is for online viewing, Viewlog is for records. Both programs have problem with UAC in Win 8. (without problems with UAC in Win 7). Your workaround was succesfull for Multiview but it not work for Viewlog. I still can not find right solutions :-(

  28. Railander says:

    absolutely did not work for me, no matter what tweaks I do, as suggested by posters before me.
    the compatibility works perfectly but it still keeps prompting UAC.
    this is driving me crazy already.

  29. Speel says:

    Thank you! I’ve been trying to get vpncheck pro to autostart, running as administrator, without the uac prompt. I got a problem though, now when I got the uac away the program seems to think I’m not running it as an administator. It gives me an warning pup-up when the program starts saying it’s not running as admin. Is it anyway to fix this?

    Thanks

  30. Andrey says:

    Thank you for a very good description.
    It realy works, unfortunatly except for issues when the application is runned implicitly through an assosiated file-extensions (when there is an extension assosiated with application, and we don’t run application itself, but double-click some file with proper extension assosiated with the application). Are therу any fixes for such situations ?

  31. Jackson says:

    Just to clarify – does this work when the application is launched under a restricted user account in Windows 7?

  32. ryuketsu says:

    thank you very very very much!

  33. daniel says:

    i’m running on windows 10, is this confirmed to work/not work on this OS? Cuz I tried it twice and I’m getting no executable after I install the database. Still get that nasty pop up, even though when I’m working through the steps above and click the “Test Run”, it opens with no pop up.

    Everything seems to work but the .sbd file that gets installed doesn’t seem to do anything. I can’t run it or anything.

  34. Kat says:

    You, sir, are my hero! I’ve spent three days trying *every* other fix out there and this is the only one that worked. Still works for Windows 10 too, you just have to install the new version of the Application Compatibility Toolkit as part of the . I can’t thank you enough!!

  35. All of this doesn’t help the least bit for programs that require read & write permission. If I set it to “Run as Invoker” it just opens such programs with standard privileges despite me using the admin account and despite the “Run as admin” setting in the program’s compatibility tab. If I set it to “Run as admin” I still get a prompt asking me whether or not I want to allow the program to make changes.

    So in the end all of this is pointless as it doesn’t solve the problem. I don’t need an extra program along with extra setup time just to start a program with less privileges and if I really force admin I still get a prompt.

    Pointless.

    The one thing that sucks about Windows are the windows. Wtb popup blocker / clicker for garbage windows that are asking for redundant bullshit. They might as well add 3 other windows asking if I really, really really and really really really want to start that program as admin after I right clicked the file, used the context menu to get to it’s properties, went to another tab, made the “Run as admin” setting there and OK’ed that setting. I mean… That’s not clear enough. They really, really, really need to ask again whether I’m really, really, really sure about this. Really.

  36. Sergio R. Acuña says:

    I N C R E D I B L E . Posted in 2012 . Now,2016 , I’ve so much troubles with an old camera security system app , a really,really,really old app ;) . On Windows 10, “really”,a Windows 7 upgraded , in some stations the app works fine ,in others the app works if I install it in Windows 7 before upgrade . And ,in the annoying ones PC’s , the app just don’t stop complain cause the stupid UAC . This app in question don’t need write permission ,is just a monitor for cameras . Well , I love this and I can’t beleive it.
    I’ve spent a lot of days with permissions,accounts,credentials,compatibility modes and all sort of windows shit.
    Confirmed for any who need it .Windows 10 with user and administrator account ,the fix works.in both modes . T H A N K S !!! :)

  37. Roronoa Zoro says:

    Thank you very much.

  38. VlaD sharapov_vd says:

    Thanks a lot to author. It works!!! Awesome article!!!

  39. Willem says:

    Alas, does not work with CCleaner :(

  40. an531@email.com says:

    This method doesn’t seem to work on CrystalDiskInfo for some reason. I tried all the suggestions here. I seems to work on other programmes, but it really is waaaaay more laborious than using elevated shortcut creators, such as elevated shortcut/winaero tweaker, which btw don’t even need to be installed (i.e., they are available in portable version).

  41. Megan says:

    Unfortunately this doesn’t work for Windows 10, at least for Visual Studio 2017. It just simply opens it without running in Administrator mode (even when you have employed the compatibility mode hack to always run as administrator).

    I tried also setting the RunAsAdmin setting in addition to RunAsInvoker, no better.

  42. Morten says:

    Still functional as of Windows 10 version 1703 (Creator Update)

    Just requires Windows 10 ADK (Assesment and Deployment Kit, installed with the compatibility option)

    From:

    https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/windows-assessment-deployment-kit#adkwin10

    For instance.

    Thank you
    Thank you
    Thank you! So much!

  43. Morten says:

    No I was wrong, it only worked on the test run.

  44. Mohammad Kamal says:

    After trying too many useless solutions and after 5 years, this solution worked like a charm.
    Thanks a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>