Hide the Language Bar from UAC Prompts on the Secure Desktop

Update: Jon H posted this better method which does not require manual editing of unsupported registry values:


  • Start
  • Control Panel
  • Clock, Language and Region
  • Regional and Language Options
  • Keyboards and Languages
  • Change Keyboards...
  • Language Bar
  • Hidden
  • OK

Now go back to Regional and Language Options and click:

  • Administrative
  • Copy to reserved accounts

Type password (if prompted; i.e. you're logged on as a non-admin user) and click:

  • System Accounts
  • OK
  • OK

Note: The registry changes below do not seem to work on Windows 7. Windows 7 seems to have moved/changed a lot of its registry settings. :( Try the stuff above instead.

Some time after I installed Vista the Language Bar started to appear on the secure desktop. The secure desktop is the darkened screen where UAC prompts appear, unless you've disabled the secure desktop or disabled UAC completely. I only ever use one keyboard language so this extra thing on the screen isn't useful to me and is slightly distracting/annoying.

A quick Google found several other people trying to remove the Language Bar but no answers. I hunted through the registry and discovered how to do it and figured I'd post the information here so that others can find it.

  • Run RegEdit.exe (as an administrator)
  • Go to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\CTF\LangBar
  • Change the ShowStatus value from 0 (zero) to 3 (three).

RegEdit screenshot

That's it! Easy when you know how. It looks like the secure desktop inherits its settings from the .DEFAULT user profile.

Important Note: If anyone using your computer might need to type an administrator password into a UAC credentials prompt using a different keyboard layout then you should leave the Language Bar alone, else they may find it difficult or impossible to type their password.

Gratuitous Plug: Check out Directory Opus, IMO the best file manager for Windows. If you're a Vista user then you may particularly appreciate how well Opus integrates with UAC (see here for specific details), minimizing the number of prompts you see and also offering an "admin mode" which allows you to elevate a window and perform multiple operations with just one UAC prompt.