Stop User Account Control (UAC) screen flicker / flash

Discussion in 'Performance & Tweaks' started by Jason, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Jason

    Jason

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,081
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago,IL
    <P nd="1">Stop User Account Control (UAC) screen flicker / flash<P nd="1">http://www.tweakvista.com/Article39105.aspx<P nd="1">Every time I get one of those UAC prompts asking me to authorize an administrative action my LCD screen flashes when the box pops up. This is caused by the switch to the secure desktop, similar towhathappens when you hit CTRL + ALT + DELETE. The only difference is that the background is a snapshot of your desktop that gives it the effect that it is just a pop up window.Although if you look carefully you will notice it is static since the clock does not change and anything else that was animated is now static.The secure desktopprovides an extra level of security to UAC by making it immuneto any application that may try to automate the click on the allow buttonbypassingthe purpose of UAC.<P nd="2">This sounds like a great thing but it is really annoying to me. I hate that screen flicker. Rather than disable UAC, there is a better alternative. Instead, I can just disable the secure desktop switch that causes the flicker. I know this is not as secure but it is better than disabling UAC completely. <P nd="3">Follow the steps below to disable UAC secure desktop:
    1. <LI nd="4">Click on the Start Button and key in secpol.msc and hit Enter. </LI><LI nd="5">Navigate through Local Policies and Security Options. </LI><LI nd="6">Scroll to the bottom and right click on "User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation" and select Properties. </LI><LI nd="7">Set the option to Disabled and hit OK. </LI>



    [Update] It has been revealed that this does more than just stop the desktop from turning dark; instead, it turns off the Secure Desktop feature. Doing that exposes the PC to security risks as indicated below:



    Normally, all processes running on Windows can talk to one another and interact with each other's interface. That's the basis of a lot of security exploits, which convince you to approve one action that in turn interacts with another process at your current level of privilege.



    When you use UAC, the dimmed screen indicates that the consent prompt is running in an isolated process. No other software on the machine can interact with it. The only way you can give consent is to physically click the OK box, at which point control of the machine is returned to you.



    When you turn off Secure Desktop, you enable scenarios where a program on your PC can in turn programmatically interact with UAC prompts without your knowledge. At that point, you're pwned.



    So, be advised tha
     
    Jason, Feb 23, 2007
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Jason

    PurelyBarbed

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    type it in the search bar?
     
    PurelyBarbed, Mar 22, 2007
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Jason

    jdonner

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    What screen flicker? I never get any.
     
    jdonner, Mar 23, 2007
    #3
  4. Jason

    Jason

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,081
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago,IL


    When you hit the start menu, there is a search bar at the bottom.
     
    Jason, Mar 24, 2007
    #4
  5. Jason

    PurelyBarbed

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah i typed it in, and it can't find anything for secpol.msc what gives?
     
    PurelyBarbed, Mar 24, 2007
    #5
  6. Jason

    Jason

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,081
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago,IL


    Are you running Ultimate? I just tried it again on my system and it works.



    i.e The screen flicker it is referring to is the darkened background which flashes when the UAC prompt comes up.
     
    Jason, Mar 24, 2007
    #6
  7. Jason

    PurelyBarbed

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    no, im running home premium, its annoying as all get out!!
     
    PurelyBarbed, Mar 25, 2007
    #7
  8. Jason

    PurelyBarbed

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    nm, its under user accounts in the control pannle, i just turned it off, yay for me
     
    PurelyBarbed, Mar 25, 2007
    #8
  9. Jason

    Michaelvg1

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Still confused. This flicker thing. When I switch users the monitor goes black long enough to where it wants to go into sleep mode, then switches to the other user sign-in. Why is this so slow? Is this what you guys are talking about? Can you fix this?

    Thanks
     
    Michaelvg1, Feb 20, 2008
    #9
  10. Jason

    WAW8

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    No. This has to do with the screen darkening when the UAC popup appears. It has nothing to do with switching users.



    Please post that as a new topic -- and don't post it here. This area is for people PROVIDING tips, not for technical questions. Please post that in the Technical Support forum.



    thanks
     
    WAW8, Feb 20, 2008
    #10
  11. Jason

    Peter K

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is the answer you need for the UAC problem:



    [Moderator] Link removed.



    Note: This topic is not about disabling UAC. This topic is about stopping the screen from darkening when UAC pops up. That is actually, believe it or not, a "feature" that MS calls Secure Desktop. It darkens because MS intentionally prevents you from doing anything else until you respond to the UAC prompt.



    Disabling Secure Desktop doesn't disable UAC.



    Disabling UAC does more than just stop popups, it also makes your machine vulnerable to the same kind of viruses and malware as back in the XP days. Not only that, it increases the risk of your machine hanging or seizing. How? Any not-written-specifically for-Vista application that needs to write to the registry or needs to write to Program Files, is going to need elevated rights to do that. By disabling UAC, you shut off the process to request those rights. The result is that these applications will fail silently, sometimes causing Vista to "hang" or seize in the process.



    So, please don't post links to easy ways to disable UAC. We don't want to encourage this.
     
    Peter K, Mar 6, 2008
    #11
  12. Jason

    nonfarlo

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    <P nd="1">you have a problem with your graphics carddriver, because on my Vista the screen does NOT flick and the UAC promptis almostinstantaneous,no flicker problems.<P nd="1">I would not recommend to disable the 'secure desktop' because it protects from the shatter attacks such as thewindow-messages passing between the processes
     
    nonfarlo, Mar 24, 2008
    #12
  13. Jason

    WAW8

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA


    You raise a valid point -- and I will modify the original post to mention the increased security exposure of doing this.
     
    WAW8, Mar 24, 2008
    #13
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.