Displaying the UAC consent dialog on the desktop

I had written a draft of this post a while ago (last year).  I use Live Writer as my blog editor.  Between Live Writer and Intellimirror,this draft has survived multiple reloads of interim builds of Windows 7.  So, I think in some ways, it deserves to be resurrected and posted. :-)  Here’s the post with a Windows 7 update:

Frequently, we need to give presentations over Live Meeting.  When we demonstrate UAC, the consent dialog is displayed on the secured desktop.  Therefore, the Live Meeting participants don't see the UAC consent dialog.  To solve this, we use a policy setting to allow the dialog to be displayed on the user desktop. 

The reason I bring this up is that this same trick can be used if you have an automated functionality test that needs to click the consent dialog.

You can adjust this with a policy.  The local security policy (Run secpol.msc) is Local Policies | Security Options | User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation.  Set this policy to "disabled" to allow the consent dialog to be presented on the user desktop.

On Windows 7, this setting is exposed through the UAC slider bar UI.  Just slide the knob to the next notch down from the default:

 UAC Settings

Chris talks all about the slider in his post.

Of course, running with this policy disabled opens up some risks and isn't recommended for normal operation.  For more information on the secure desktop and UAC consent can be found in the UACBlog in the User Account Control Prompts on the Secure Desktop post.

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