Windows: Starting applications with admin-privileges

Usually you shouldn’t do your daily work under an admin-account for security reasons. But from time to time you will have the need to run a certain application or command with administrative privileges.
To keep you from the hassle of switching between your normal- and admin-account you can use the “RUNAS”-command on the command line:

runas /user:johndoe_admin "C:\path\to\your\adminrights_needing_tool.cmd"

After “/user:” you have to enter the name of your admin-account. Press ENTER and you will be prompted for the password of that account. After that the called program will be started and executed with admin-privileges until you terminate it.

It may be helpful to have a Windows command-shell that is already started with admin-rights, so that every command executed under that shell is “admin” too. You can create a link for the following command to get that shell:

runas /user:johndoe_admin "cmd /T:E0"

The parameter “/T:E0” sets the background-color of that shell to yellow so that you can easily distinguish it from your normal shells and are aware of the excessive rights bound to that shell.

It could be the fact that you are not able to start the explorer.exe with admin-rights. This as annoying when you must set some directory or file permissions or have to use the control panel. The solution for this is to create a link to the Internet Explorer (iexplore.exe):

runas /user:johndoe_admin "c:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE -e c:"

This command opens the IE with admin-rights, points it to drive “C:” and makes it behave just like the normal file-explorer. As here is no way to make this “admin-explorer” look differently, you should be careful and close it as soon as you no longer need it.


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