When you open most programs in Windows, they don’t run as an administrator even if you’re signed into an admin account. Known as User Account Control (UAC), this protects your PC from granting unneeded privileges and potentially compromising its security.
However, oftentimes you need to run a program as an administrator to make changes or troubleshoot. Here’s a quick reference list of some ways to do so.
The Standard Method: Right-Click and Run
Whether you want to launch a program from your desktop, Start Menu, or File Explorer, right-clicking on it will show a Run as administrator option. Once you click this, you’ll see the UAC prompt to run the program with admin rights.
This is reliable, but does take a few extra clicks.
The Fast Keyboard Method: Ctrl + Shift + Enter
As with many operations, you can use keyboard shortcuts to launch programs as an administrator more quickly. To do so using only the keyboard, press the Windows key to open the search bar, then you can immediately start typing the name of the program you want to open.
Once it’s highlighted, hold Ctrl + Shift and press Enter. This will launch the UAC prompt, and you can press the Left arrow key followed by Enter to accept it without touching the mouse.
You can also hold Ctrl + Shift when clicking a program icon to run it as an administrator.
The Geeky Method: Task Manager
For something a bit different, you can launch programs as an admin through the Task Manager. Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut to open it, and expand it with More details if needed.
Click File > Run new task and enter the name of the executable you want to run. Use the Browse button to locate it on your PC if needed. Make sure to check Create this task with administrative privileges, and click OK to run it.
Remember that if you don’t have admin rights, you won’t be able to open anything as an administrator anyway.