Windows: Running commands and programs as Administrator

In Microsoft Windows, when you try to run a program or perform an operation that requires Administrator privileges, a UAC prompt is shown.

Windows 10 UAC prompt

You may also encounter an error when trying to run a command from the command prompt which requires Administrator privileges.

Windows 10 command prompt error: Administrator privileges required

UAC acts as a safeguard, making sure that you give explicit permission before doing something that might damage your system or corrupt your Windows installation. However, it can also cause frustration and difficulty for some users.

On this page, we discuss how to run programs as an administrator and how to make UAC less of an inconvenience.

Running programs as Administrator
Running commands as Administrator
Configuring a shortcut to always run a program as Administrator
Disabling UAC completely

Running programs as Administrator

If a program requires Administrator privileges to perform certain functions, you need to run the program As Administrator.

From the Start Menu (Windows 10)

When you are running a program from the Start Menu in Windows 10, right-click the program in the list and select Run as administrator.

For example, in the image below, we are running the Windows 10 command prompt as administrator. We'll discuss this more in the next section.

Running a program as administrator from the Windows 10 Start Menu

If you right-click a shortcut in your Start menu and you don't have the option to Run as administrator, that indicates that the program has no functions that require administrator privileges, so the option is not offered.

When you receive the UAC prompt confirming that you want to grant privileges, click Yes.

Running commands as Administrator

In the example above, we ran the Windows 10 command prompt as Administrator. We did this by clicking Start Menu > All apps > Windows System, then right-clicking Command Prompt > Run as administrator.

Running the command prompt as Administrator allows you to run commands that change or edit your system files. For example, in the Administrator command prompt, you can successfully run the sfc command (System File Checker).

You should now be able to execute the command you were trying to run previously when you received the error message. With administrative rights activated, the command should execute successfully.

Configuring a shortcut to always run a program as Administrator

To configure most program shortcuts to always run the program as Administrator, follow the steps below.

  1. Locate the program shortcut, right-click on the shortcut and select Properties.

Note: If the program icon is in the Start Menu, you will first need to right-click the icon and select Open file location. Then begin with the step above.

  1. On the Properties window, click on the Compatibility tab.
  2. Check the box for Run this program as an administrator and click OK to save the shortcut settings change.

Configure Shortcut to Run as administrator

If you do not see a Compatibility tab in the Properties window for a program shortcut, follow the steps below instead to always run the program as Administrator.

  1. Repeat step 1 above to access the Properties window for the program shortcut.
  2. On the Properties window, click on the Shortcut tab.
  3. Click the Advanced button.
  4. On the Advanced Properties window, check the box for Run as administrator and click OK.
  5. Click OK on the main Properties window to save the shortcut settings change.

Configure Shortcut to Run as administrator

Disabling UAC completely

To disable the User Account Control prompt in Windows, follow the steps below for your version of Windows.

Windows 10 & Windows 8

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Click on the User Accounts icon.
  3. Click on the Change User Account Control settings link.
  4. Move the slider down to Never notify and click OK.
  5. Click Yes on the User Account Control window that opens, similar to the picture below.

Elevated command prompt window

Windows 7 & Windows Vista

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Click on the User Accounts and Family Safety icon.
  3. Click the User Accounts option.
  4. Click on the User Account Control settings link.
  5. Move the slider down to Never notify and click OK.
  6. Click Yes on the User Account Control window that opens, similar to the picture below.

Elevated command prompt window

Additional information