LUA Buglight is a utility for identifying admin-permissions issues (“LUA bugs”) in desktop applications. That is, it identifies the specific reasons that a particular application works only when run with administrative rights. The version attached to this blog post is a PREVIEW of v2.3, which adds support for Windows 8.1, Windows 2012 R2, and Windows 10. I plan to release the final, digitally-signed version by the end of the month. In the meantime, I’m posting this version so that you can try it out and report any issues that you see. It should work on all x86 and x64 editions of Windows XP and newer and Windows Server 2003 and newer. Please let me know if you see otherwise. (The one known issue is that it is not yet digitally signed except for the kernel drivers. In particular, the UAC elevation prompt will report “unknown publisher” and display an orange banner. That will be addressed before final release.)
It has been well-established for many years that for security and reliability reasons, users should log on with standard user rights and that their applications should not require administrative rights. Windows Vista began the movement toward making that the default for Windows. Although Windows Vista and Windows 7 include technologies to help applications that had required administrative rights on earlier versions of Windows to run correctly with standard user rights, many users and organizations “solved” their application compatibility issues by disabling User Account Control (UAC) and continuing to run with full administrative rights. Windows 8.x and Windows 10 increasingly depend on features that are absent when UAC is disabled, so the “never notify” Control Panel slider option that used to disable UAC now sets the “silent elevation” option and keeps UAC enabled. That means that unless apps specifically request elevation, they’ll run with standard user rights, and continuing to run everything with full administrative rights will become more difficult and inconvenient. LUA Buglight can help you identify the causes for many of the compatibility issues and point to solutions.
Let me know whether and how well this works for you. Thanks.
[1-July-2015: attachment removed; v2.3 is now available here.]