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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Upon installation, the OS adds an entry for the database to Programs and Features.
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.
Ensure your Run as administrator checkbox is cleared. Click OK.
Now click the Compatibility tab, click the Change settings for all users button.
Check the “Run this program as an administrator” box under the Privilege Level section.
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.