Quick Ways to Open the Windows Vista/7 Command Line with Administrator (Elevated) Privileges

Many of the applications of the command line are involved with administrative tasks. In Windows XP systems, that generally presents nothing new. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, however, User Account Control (UAC) will require that you elevate the command line to run as administrator even when you are logged into an administrator account. I described one way to do this in a previous tip. If you need to use the command line frequently with administrator privileges, you might want a quicker method. Here are two ways to save time.

Windows Vista/7 keyboard shortcut for running command line as administrator

1.    Open the Start menu
2.     Enter “cmd” (without quotes) in the box labeled "Start search" (Vista) or "Search programs and files" (Windows 7)
3.    Then press the keyboard combination Ctrl+Shift+ Enter. (Hold down all three keys.)
4.    Answer “Yes” when the UAC dialogue comes up, You can also use the keyboard combination Alt+C to confirm.

Create a shortcut for a command line prompt with elevated privileges

If you are like me and use the command line a lot, consider creating a shortcut that will directly open a command prompt possessing administrative privileges.

1.    Right-click an empty spot on the Desktop
2.    In the context menu, select “New”
3.    Select “Shortcut”
4.    In the box labeled “Type the location of the item”, enter “cmd.exe” (without quotes)
5.    Press “Next”, give the shortcut a name and choose “Finish”
6.    Right-click the new shortcut icon
7.    Choose "Properties" from the context menu
8.    Click the button “Advanced”
9.    Put a check by “Run as administrator”
10.    Click “OK”

Now you have a shortcut that will open the command prompt with administrative privileges when double-clicked. This shortcut can be pinned to the Start menu or (Windows 7) the Taskbar or left on the Desktop. Note that you will still get the UAC message when you open the command prompt.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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