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Vista and 7: Easily Disable Ease of Access

   August 17th, 2009

Ease of Access on the login screen was always something I disabled on my Vista machines… and of course Windows 7 hasn’t added any built-in option to disable this useless and annoying feature, so I’m here to show you how.  As far as I know you can’t remove the button, but you can disable it.

I call it useless and annoying because it is… it allows people to mess with YOUR computer settings even when your machine is LOCKED!  The entire point of locking your machines is so people CAN’T mess with it.

All you need to do is replace 1 executable file it is:

c:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

This file is what controls the pop up when you click the Ease of Access button.

I have taken a replacement file from an older version of Ease of Access Disabler.  This was a useful utility in it’s earlier versions, but the new version throws a bunch of shit-ads on your screen for their site, and if there is something I really can’t stand, it’s ads on MY computer.

So here you go…

utilman (23kb)

I recommend just renaming your current utilman.exe to utilman.exe.old

Then extract the file in that archive to the above directory.

That’s all you have to do.

Lock your computer and click the Ease of Access button.  Voila!  All you’ll get now is a screen that dims temporarily and says “Ease of Access has been disabled by your administrator” with out any obnoxious and shitty looking ads or url’s on the screen.

Image1

As far as I know this works on all versions of Vista and Windows 7 (32bit tested… should also work on 64bit, but haven’t confirmed).

40 Responses to “Vista and 7: Easily Disable Ease of Access”

  1. Xerxes  Says:

    Awesome, thanks for the tip. I didn’t like the ads in the newer versions either!

  2. Nick - Author Comment:

    I’m glad to have helped. It’s sad end-users have to fill in features left out by Microsoft, but that seems to always be the case.

  3. AG  Says:

    In case of “Access Denied” you have to enter the NTFS ACL of the file and provide modify rights to the Administrators – afterwards rename succeeds.

  4. Stefan  Says:

    tested on win7 enterprise and works great. 1x.

  5. Rachel  Says:

    :D Thank you so much! Works like a charm!

  6. Gary  Says:

    Will it actually close the program that is currently running and I can’t turn off!!

  7. Nick - Author Comment:

    The fuck are you talking about?
    It disables the Ease of Access button on the lock screen.
    Did you even read the article or are you one of those people who posts up random comments on blogs that make no fucking sense?

  8. Dan  Says:

    Thanks for the help Nick.

    First, I’m not entirely computer illiterate but when it comes to this type of issue, I’m usually at a loss. Here’s what I’ve done to date and I still can’t get rid of the damned keyboard.

    1. I’ve disabled the Tablet PC Components
    2. In the Ease of Access folder under the “Use the Computer Without a Mouse or Keyboard”, I uncheck the “Use the On-Screen Keyboard” option but when I then exit the screen and go back, the box is checked again.
    3. I’d like to use the “Utilman” file you’ve made available but as AG has come across above, I don’t have permission to change current file properties and I’m again at a loss with the “NTSF ACL”.

    Any other advice you’d be able to provide would be a great help in dealing with Microsoft’s bullshit.

  9. Nick - Author Comment:

    You will have to take ownership of the file and then give yourself full access to the file.
    It’s a useful bit of knowledge anyone running an NTFS file system should be aware of.
    Here is a good blog post on another site showing you how to do it:
    http://www.blogsdna.com/2159/how-to-take-ownership-grant-permissions-to-access-files-folder-in-windows-7.htm

  10. Dan  Says:

    Thanks for the quick response Nick. Now that I’ve changed permissions, etc, I’ve renamed the original Utilman file to Utilman.exe.old and have downloaded your file. I’ve saved it to my system32 folder and ran the file successfully but the fucking keyboard still shows up whenever I load my user account. Any other thoughts?

  11. Nick - Author Comment:

    Oh do you have like a touch screen or tablet or something?
    I’ve seen that before, but I’m not sure what to do about it… It might be some 3rd party software? I’m not sure.

  12. Unit 193  Says:

    Sorry for this late post but…. if you know what you’re doing you can remove that stupid “Ease of Access” button (I’m using Vista SP2) download ResHack (google it) find windows\system32\authui.dll open with ResHack go to UIFILE then 11000 and remove this and save (you may get a black screen if you did it wrong also safe mode login screen wont show up):

  13. Unit 193  Says:

    formatting won’t work so…

    if id = “atom(Accessibility)”
    button
    width = “38rp”
    height = “28rp”
    padding=”rect(0,0,0,0)”
    content = “resbmp(11118,2,-1,0,0,0,1)”
    accname=”resstr(11411)”
    accdesc=”resstr(11411)”
    borderthickness = “rect(4rp, 2rp, 4rp, 2rp)”
    background = “resbmp(11123,7,-1,0,0,1,1)”
    bordercolor=”gray”
    borderstyle=”raised”
    /
    if keyfocused = “true”
    button
    borderthickness = “rect(4rp, 2rp, 4rp, 2rp)”
    background = “resbmp(11119,7,-1,0,0,1,1)”
    bordercolor=”windowtext”
    borderstyle=”solid”
    /
    /if
    if mousefocused = “true”
    button
    borderthickness = “rect(4rp, 2rp, 4rp, 2rp)”
    background = “resbmp(11120,7,-1,0,0,1,1)”
    bordercolor=”windowtext”
    borderstyle=”solid”
    /
    /if
    if keyfocused = “true” mousefocused = “true” pressed = “false”
    button
    borderthickness = “rect(4rp, 2rp, 4rp, 2rp)”
    background = “resbmp(11121,7,-1,0,0,1,1)”
    bordercolor=”windowtext”
    borderstyle=”solid”
    /
    /if
    if pressed = “true”
    button
    borderthickness = “rect(4rp, 2rp, 4rp, 2rp)”
    background = “resbmp(11122,7,-1,0,0,1,1)”
    bordercolor=”windowtext”
    borderstyle=”sunken”
    /
    /if
    /if

  14. Nick - Author Comment:

    I am actually familiar with Resource Hacker, I have been using it for years for various “hackings”.
    I have checked out the file, and in Windows 7 it looks like it is actually 14000 under UIFILE, but the coding looks fairly different, so I don’t know if I want to possibly mess up the login screen since this handy utility disables it.
    It’d be nice if we could find just find the bitmap resource that it is using, erase that, and be good.
    I did something like that on Vista do remove the “Windows Vista Professional” logo from the bottom of the login screen.

  15. Unit 193  Says:

    Can you send me the authui from Win7 so I can take a quick peak at it and see what they changed?

  16. Nick - Author Comment:

    I emailed it to your email you used on here. Good luck.

  17. Unit 193  Says:

    Either I typed my e-mail wrong or the e-mail was deleted because of the .dll. Also I forgot to ask you to also send WINDOWS\System32\en-US\authui.dll.mui? (both in a zip or 7z)

  18. Toni  Says:

    I can not right click on my laptop…Is it associated with this ease of access thing that I can not get rid of? I went into it wondering what it was and now I can not use my right click button.
    Thanks

  19. Nick - Author Comment:

    As far as I know, EoA does not change mouse settings.

  20. Ian  Says:

    thx man just tried this on my pc with windows7 Ultimate 64-bit OS, can tell you it works
    cheers

  21. Mickey  Says:

    I just used ResHacker to open authui.dll, searched for “accessibility” and found this:
    . I changed the layout position to “none” and the button disappeared.

  22. Mickey  Says:

    FOUND THIS:
    button id=”atom(Accessibility)” tooltip=”true” layoutpos=”none”/

  23. jinian  Says:

    What Mickey says in 21 & 22 might be fine if it was true. But instead of

    button id=”atom(Accessibility)” tooltip=”true” layoutpos=”none”/

    it reads

    button id=”atom(Accessibility)” tooltip=”true” layoutpos=”left”/

    and however I change “left” to “none”it reverts to “none” .every time.

  24. Matt  Says:

    I can’t get this to totally work on my Windows 7 Home Premium x64 system:

    I wont go into the program but the dimmed screen that you mentioned wont appear either. It works but not totally like it does in the x86 systems.

    Thanks, great tut.

  25. Matt  Says:

    Also do you know how to enlarge the “User” icon that’s on the logon screen?

  26. Matt  Says:

    Sorry I forgot to ask in the last post.
    What about the branding on the bottom center??

  27. Matt  Says:

    EDIT: Found out what I had done wrong. You need to rename the file from utilman to Utilman(with the first letter capitalized. Works fantastic now!

  28. Keith  Says:

    I’m using Vista SP2. Followed exactly word for word what Unit 193 said in post 12 and ended up with a £1,000 brick. It took me 24 hrs to try everything to make the PC work again. Nothing worked and I have spent another 24 hrs re-installing everything from scratch.

  29. Brian Bell  Says:

    Awesome!!!! Worked like a charm. Thank you!

  30. Brian Bell  Says:

    Also: I can verify Win7 64 bit works just fine with this.

  31. Tim  Says:

    I think what Gary on 12.30.09 was trying to ask about is the problem I am having. I was playing around with Ease of Access to see what it did. Immediately after doing that, my screen colors and text changed to something I do not want and have been unable to get rid of. The boxes are unchecked and the computer has been restarted, but I have same overly-white and different-looking funny screen. Any ideas?

  32. Ariz  Says:

    WTF… nice… never think about this.. ease shit program… make me cant type with my keyboard.. when i press “R”, PC did like “start+R”… n now ease was STFU from my PC…
    thanks a lot.. =)

  33. heather  Says:

    I appear to have the same problem as Ariz I applied the changes and want to reverse it. is there a way i can turn back my computer to restore settings from a previous day? sorry if this seems like a lame question but this is my first blogging experience and I am vintage in age

  34. Nick - Author Comment:

    Just rename your utilman.exe.old back to utilman.exe
    That will put the original Ease of Access utility back in place.

  35. Knighted  Says:

    Hi Nick: I am running Vista Home Premium Service Pack 2. Note that I was not able to rename the Utilman.exe file until I assigned myself “full control” under “permissions” of the application file Property Security tab. I renamed Utilman.exe in c:\windows\system32 to Utilman.exe.old as you advised; however, when I clicked the “Ease of Access” button either on my login screen when booting or the button on the lock screen no such message appears on my screen that: “Ease of Access has been disabled by your administrator”. The button’s perimeter just highlights. That is not so bad even if it is good practice to let the end-user kinow what is going on. However, the adverse effect I got sometime thereafter was some sort of system bug in which my pointer froze. I am thinking that maybe the click not being properly processed by some error handling routine in the source code scripting may have caused this system instability. In fact, when I was in the process of changing the name of the application file to “Utilman.exe.old”, Windows warned me of possible system or application instabilities which might arise. Sure enough, my pointer froze even though logging off and back on recovered the ability to move my pointer again. I renamed the file back to “Utilman.exe” for fear of some other problems down the road. Can you advise? And please tell me what you were intending when you talked about extraction and “archiving” the file; you lost me there. Did you have a compressed version of Utilman.exe which you extracted? And since there are security rights which protect this System32 folder, did you also have to change your permissions. I think I am missing some piece of the puzzle here Nick.

  36. Nick - Author Comment:

    Up in the article I provided a link to the modified file “utilman (23kb)”
    Click that. It is a zip file. Inside the zip file is the utilman.exe file that you place in to c:\windows\system32

  37. madz  Says:

    thank you so much!

  38. Jimmy  Says:

    I`m having he same problem that Tim stated in post #31 on April 15th, 2011.Sorry but I`m a 61 year old computer dummy.I removed it i day and it was back the next.Can you help.

  39. Nick - Author Comment:

    Try enabling and disabling the Ease of Access settings or try changing your them under Start -> type “Theme” hit enter.

  40. and31415  Says:

    I wanted to disable utilman.exe easily, without having to deal with security permissions, file replacement, etc. I took a different approach and decided to use what I like to call the “debugger trick.” There’s a registry key which is intended to automatically launch a debugger when an application starts. While the debugger is meant to start the application and attach, we can specify just any executable which will be run instead.

    Start regedit.exe and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Image File Execution Options. Once there, create a new key named “utilman.exe” (without quotes). Then right-click in the right pane and select Create > New string value. Name the new value “Debugger” (without quotes) and change it’s value to “systray.exe” (without quotes as well). Changes are applied immediately; clicking the Ease of Access button won’t do anything any more. If you want to revert the changes, just delete the “utilman.exe” key you created.

    What about systray.exe? It’s a little stub program which was first introduced with Windows 95 and used to handle the system notification area. If you killed systray.exe, you would lose notification icons. It’s not really used any more in the newer Windows versions but it was probably kept for some backward compatibility reasons.

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