Windows 7 / Security and Privacy

How Windows Determines Whether an Application Needs Administrative Privileges

Windows examines several aspects of an executable to determine whether it should display a UAC prompt before running the application:

  • Application properties Users can select the Run As Administrator check box for executable files.
  • Application manifest A description of the application provided by the application developer, which can require Windows 7 to run the program as an administrator.
  • Application heuristics Aspects of the application that might indicate it requires administrative privileges, such as being named Setup.exe.

The sections that follow describe each of these aspects and show you how to configure applications so that they always require elevated privileges. This can be important when an application does not work properly without elevated privileges but UAC does not prompt the user automatically for credentials.

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