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UAC Prompts Appear on the User Desktop Instead of the Secure Desktop

Updated: November 16, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

Symptom

The User Account Control (UAC) slider is at the default setting, but prompts occur on the user desktop instead of the secure desktop as expected.

Cause

The registry key that controls whether prompting should occur on the secure desktop or on the user's desktop is missing or corrupted.

  1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin controls prompt behavior for administrators. The default REG_DWORD setting is 0x00000005 (5)

  2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\PromptOnSecureDesktop controls prompt behavior for administrators. The default REG_DWORD setting is 0x00000001 (1)

This can happen as a result of a failed Group Policy update or as a result of corruption in the registry.

Resolution

Adjust the slider setting to the highest setting and then back to the default setting, or re-create the registry key.

To adjust the slider setting

  1. Log on to the computer with an administrator account.

  2. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click User Accounts and Family Safety.

  3. Click User Accounts, and then click Change User Account Control Settings.

  4. Move the slider setting to the highest setting and then back to the default setting or preferred setting.

  5. Click OK, and then click Yes in the User Account Control dialog box.

CautionCaution
Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on the computer. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, see article 322756 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=133378).

To re-create the registry key

  1. Log on to the computer with an administrator account.

  2. Click Start, type regedit.exe in the Search programs and files box, and then press ENTER.

  3. Click Yes in the User Account Control dialog box.

  4. Locate and right-click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin, and then click Delete.

  5. Right-click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

  6. Type ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin, and then press ENTER.

  7. Right-click ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin, and then click Modify.

  8. In the Value data box, type 5, and then click OK.

  9. Locate and right-click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\PromptOnSecureDesktop, and then click Delete.

  10. Right-click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

  11. Type PromptOnSecureDesktop, and then press ENTER.

  12. Right-click PromptOnSecureDesktop, and then click Modify.

  13. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

  14. Close the Registry Editor.

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