Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Taking a closer look at UAC prompts

As you know, Windows Vista has a built-in security feature called User Account Control (UAC for short) that is designed to reduce the potential for security breaches. UAC forces all users, even administrators, to request permission via the UAC prompt in order to perform tasks that require administrative privileges. Standard users must be able to provide an Administrator user name and password and Administrators must simply consent to the operation.

While this is all pretty familiar territory to Vista users, that fact that there are actually four types of UAC prompts each with a different color scheme isn't. Sure we've all encountered UAC prompts, but most of us think of them in generic terms. Seriously, who among us has actually taken the time to look at the color scheme of a UAC? We usually just click a button as fast as we can to move past the prompt. However, like the Homeland Security color levels, each of the successive UAC color coding schemes is designed to convey a greater sense of warning.

In this gallery, I'll take a closer look at each type of UAC prompt and point out the different color schemes.