Windows: Running commands and programs as Administrator

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

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

Windows 10 UAC prompt

Similarly, you may encounter a permissions error when trying to run commands in a Command Prompt window that require Administrator privileges. This is because UAC blocks the Command Prompt from running Administrator commands unless you run the Command Prompt as Administrator.

Windows 10 command prompt error: Administrator privileges required

UAC acts as a safeguard, requiring your explicit permission to run any software that can modify the Windows system.

On this page, we discuss how to run programs as an Administrator, and how to modify the behavior of UAC, or disable it entirely.

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

Running programs as Administrator

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

To run a program as Administrator in Windows 10, right-click the icon in your Start Menu 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 it does not have the Run as administrator option, that function is not available for that program.

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 1

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 2

Disabling UAC

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 at the User Account Control prompt.

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 at the User Account Control prompt.

Additional information