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What is User Account Control

User Account Control was a feature introduced with Windows Vista. The purpose of User Account Control is to prevent users from accidentally changing important system settings which could lead to damaging the operating system, losing data or causing the computer not to work. While the features provided by User Account Control make your computer more secure, many Windows Vista users found its constant prompts and restrictions extremely annoying and deactivated it because of this. Fortunately, the feature has improved considerably with the arrival of Windows 7.

Windows 7, as did previous editions of the operating system, offers the possibility to create multiple user accounts. To understand how and why User Account Control works, it's important to understand how user accounts work. If you have multiple users accessing your computer, you should ideally have a separate user account for each individual, since this allows each user to keep their data separate as well as have their own settings and customizations. There are two types of user accounts - standard and administrator. With User Account Control running at its default settings, attempting to change an important system setting or install a program or driver when logged in as a standard user will require you to enter the administrator password before continuing. If you're logged on as an administrator, User Account Control will simply warn you and you'll just need to click "Yes" to continue.

Although many people found User Account Control extremely tiresome in Windows Vista and thus decided to turn it off altogether, this is not necessarily a good idea. User Account Control is designed to protect your computer and prevent mistakes from being made which could cause problems. Unless you are extremely familiar with your computer, you should avoid turning User Account Control off. On shared computers it should always be turned on.

Windows 7 improves User Account Control a great deal by making it less intrusive. It no longer intervenes as frequently and it provides multiple notification levels. To change the notification level, type "User Account Control" into the start menu search box and press Enter. Move the slider to your preferred setting and familiarize yourself with the summary for that setting before clicking "OK."


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