How to: Use logon scripts to start programs with Windows, without UAC

Windows Vista (carried over to 7, albeit somewhat less intrusive) introduced UAC (User Account Control). Love it or loath it, it serves a purpose, to stop malicious code (software) from running with elevated privileges unless explicitly permitted to do so by an administrator. It’s a fundamental security measure to reduce the likelihood of your system being compromised or changed without the users knowledge and acceptance. If you don’t know what what a UAC prompt looks like, here is a visual cue.

UAC Prompt

Intentions therefore are good, but it does get a little annoying and can be somewhat over zealous, especially when setting certain applications to start with the system. For example you may desire your system temperature monitor to start with the system, or perhaps you want your 3rd party system cleaner to run before you log-off. Perfectly reasonable expectations but UAC will prevent the applications from running until an administrator has permitted it.

The following steps will allow you to specify criteria for running applications for all users of the system on log-on or log-off and will not prompt the user for elevated privileges before running.

1. From the Start menu, type ‘gpedit.msc’ into the start search and press enter.
2. Double click User Configuration, Windows Settings, Scripts (Logon/Logoff)
3. Double click either Logon or Logoff depending on when the application should run
4. Click add
5. Browse for the Script or Application
6. Once selected click ‘Open’
7. Finally enter any Script Parameters

Once set this will launch the specified application or script for all users either at log-on or log-off but without the UAC prompt. There are many uses for this and it does make life that little bit easier.


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