Featured - How to Run an App as Administrator in Windows 10

Though you should always be cautious about running untrusted apps as an administrator, there are many legitimate ones that require an admin access token to perform as they should. As a result, if your application isn’t working correctly, it’s useful to know how to run a program as an administrator.

Windows 10: Run as administrator CMD, PowerShell or any other app

Examples of when an application may need a full administrator access key include during installation, when applying compatibility settings, and when writing to or modifying content in restricted folders.

When this happens, users typically receive a User Account Control (UAC) dialog asking them to provide their consent for administrator rights. However, not every application asks for admin rights when it needs it, making it useful to know how to make an app run as an administrator manually.

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Today we’re going to show you several ways to achieve this, as well as how to make it so a specific app always runs as an administrator. What we won’t be showing is how to make every app run as an administrator, as this represents a large security risk and should only be used in specific cases.

How to Run as Administrator in Windows 10 with Keyboard Shortcut

The Windows 10 run as administrator keyboard shortcut is incredibly useful and criminally underused. It’s no wonder, as Microsoft does not widely advertise its existence. Here’s what you have to do to get it to work:

  1. Click on your app and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter

    You can also “Ctrl + Shift + Click” on an app in your Start Menu. Just bear in mind that every app may not respect this shortcut – if you don’t get the admin prompt, try one of the other methods below.

    Windows 10 - Click on App - Ctrl+Shift+Enter

How to Run a Program Administrator via the Context Menu

This is perhaps the most widely known method to run an app as administrator, and that makes sense. It’s intuitive, fast, and works every time. If you aren’t aware already, here’s how you do it:

  1. Right-click your app icon and select “Run as administrator”


    When the UAC dialog pops up, simply press “Yes”.

    Windows 10 - Right Click on App - Run as Admin

How to To Run as Administrator via the Run Dialog

For some apps, it may be easier to simply run them as an admin via the Run dialog rather than search for their location.

  1. Press Ctrl + R and type your app name, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter


    Alternatively, you can click the “OK” button while holding Ctrl + Shift.

    Windows 10 - Run - Ctrl+Shift+Enter

How To Run Programs as an Admin from the Start Menu

The Start menu is the way many of us choose to launch apps, so it makes sense to show you how to launch them as an admin there, too.

  1. Right-click the app in your Start menu and select “More > Run as administrator”


    Press “Yes” to any UAC pop-ups.

    Windows 10 - Start Menu - Right Click on App - More - Run as Admin

How to Run a Program as Administrator in Windows 10 from the File Explorer Ribbon

If you’ve already navigated to an application in File Explorer, it can make sense to launch it as an admin via the File Explorer ribbon. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Click on the app, switch to the “Application Tools” tab in the ribbon and press “Run as administrator”


    For most people, this will be slower than using the context menu, but if you’re using a touchscreen then it’s the much more touch-friendly method.

    Windows 10 - File Explorer - Select App - Manage Application Tools - Run as Admin

  2. OR: select “Run as administrator” from the drop-down menu


    You can also click on the bottom half of the icon and select “Run as administrator” from the dropdown. This may be useful if you have a different option for the main button by default.

    Windows 10 - File Explorer - Select App - Manage Application Tools - Run as Admin 2

How to Run a Taskbar App as Administrator

Though Microsoft doesn’t make it obvious, you can also run an app as an administrator directly from your taskbar icon. Here’s how:

  1. Right-click your taskbar icon, then right-click again on the application name


    You’ll see that a secret menu with additional options pops up. One of those is “Run as administrator”. Click on it.

    Windows 10 - Run as Admin from Taskbar

How to Run as Administrator Through Task Manager

If you’re having issues with Windows Explorer or you just want to be fancy, Task Manager provides a way to run new tasks as an administrator:

  1. Open Task Manager


    Press Start and type “Task Manager”, then click the top result. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

    Windows 10 - Open Task Manager

  2. Click “More details” at the bottom of the Task Manager window


    If you don’t have this option, it’s because you’ve clicked it before in the past. You don’t need to perform this step in that case.

    Windows 10 - Task Manager - More Details

  3. Click “File > Run new task”

     

    Windows 10 - Task Manager - More Details - File - Run New Task

  4. Type the name of the app, tick “Create this task with administrative privileges” and press “OK”

     

    Windows 10 - Task Manager - More Details - File - Run New Task - Check Create With Admin Privileges - Open The App

How to Always Run as Administrator in Windows 10 with Advanced Shortcut Properties

If you have an app that needs admin privileges every time it runs, it can be a real bother to remember to right-click it every time. To avoid this, you can set it to always ask for admin privileges on launch. You’ll still have to accept the UAC dialog, but it saves you a couple of clicks.

  1. Right-click your app shortcut and click “Properties”

     

    Windows 10 - Right Click on App Shortcut - Properties

  2. Open the “Shortcut” tab and press the “Advanced…” button

    Windows 10 - Right Click on App Shortcut - Properties - Shortcut - Adavanced

  3. Tick “Run as administrator” and press “OK”


    That’s all there is to it. It’ll automatically ask you to give admin consent whenever you start the app.

    Windows 10 - Right Click on App Shortcut - Properties - Shortcut - Adavanced - Check or Uncheck Run as Admin

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How to Always Run as Administrator via Compatibility Properties

If you don’t have a shortcut to the app, you can make it always run as an administrator through the compatibility tab in its properties:

  1. Right-click your app and select “Properties”



    Windows 10 - Right Click on App Shortcut - Properties

  2. Open the “Compatibility” tab and tick “Run this program as an administrator”


    Press “OK” to apply the changes.

    Windows 10 - Right Click on App Shortcut - Properties - Compatibility - Check or Uncheck Run as Admin

  3. Optional: Choose whether to apply the changes to all users


    If you want a different setting for different users, you can press the “Change settings for all users” button at the bottom of the “Compatibility” tab.

    Windows 10 - Right Click on App Shortcut - Properties - Compatibility - Change Settings

  4. Tick or untick “Run this program as an administrator”


    Unticking the box will only run the app as an admin automatically for you. Everyone else will have to do it manually. Press “OK” to apply the changes.

    Windows 10 - Right Click on App Shortcut - Properties - Compatibility - Change Settings - Check or Uncheck Run as Admin

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    Windows 10 - Right Click on App Shortcut - Properties - Compatibility - Change Settings - Check Run as admin - Greyed

How to Always Run an App as Administrator in Registry Editor

If the above methods aren’t working for you, you can turn to the registry editor instead. Doing so is a little more intimidating, but if you follow the tips in our safe registry editing guide you’ll be just fine.

  1. Open the Registry Editor


    Press Start and then type “Regedit”. Click the top result.

    Windows 10 - Open Regedit

  2. Navigate to the app compatibility registry key and add a new string value


    In the top bar of your Registry Editor, paste the following:

    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers

    Right-click the empty space in the main pane and choose “New > String Value”.


    Windows 10 - Regedit - Go to the Location - New String Value

  3. Type the path to your program exe as the file name

    In our case, that’s C:/Program Files/Paint.net/UpdateMonitor.exe.

    Windows 10 - Regedit - Go to the Location - New String Value - Rename

  4. Double-click the new string and enter “~RUNASADMIN” in the value data field


    Press “OK” to apply the change. When you next start your app it should run as an admin.

    Windows 10 - Regedit - Go to the Location - New String Value - Rename - Edit String - RUNASADMIN Value Data

How to Enable the Hidden Administrator Account or Disable UAC Entirely

That closes up this tutorial on how to run as administrator in Windows 10, but there are further tweaks you can make. If you accept the significant security risks, you can, for example, learn how to disable UAC prompts entirely. If regular admin access isn’t cutting it, you can also enable the hidden administrator account for extended privileges.

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