How to turn off or disable Secure Desktop in Windows 7/8/10

New Windows Vista users had a very common question, then: Why does the UAC Prompt disable Aero, when it appears? The answer was ofcourse, the newly introduced Secure Desktop feature.

Disable Secure Desktop

If you are a version of Windows 7 that does not have the Group Policy Editor, like, say, Windows 7 Home Basic or Windows 7 Home Premium, then you can disable it using the Registry Editor.

To do so:

Type regedit in start search and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Now in the right pane, double click the PromptOnSecureDesktop registry entry, and then change its value from 1 to 0.

Click OK > Exit.

If you are using, say, Windows 7 Ultimate edition you can always turn off Secure Desktop via the Local Security Policy. Type Local Security Policy in Start Search Bar, and open it. Goes without saying that you have to be an Administrator.

On the left side, click on Security and then on Security Options. Next on RHS, scroll download to second last option which says “User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation”.

Double click to make a dialog box appear. here you will see 2 options. The options are:

  • Enabled: All elevation requests by default will go to the secure desktop. Default.
  • Disabled: All elevation requests will go to the interactive users desktop

Disable the feature, if you wish.

By disabling Secure Desktop, you would be opening your computer to possible security risks & threats, and hence is not advisable.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.