What is an Elevated Command Prompt? Several ways to open one in Windows 8 and 10

What is an Elevated Command Prompt? Several ways to open one in Windows 8 and 10

by Mihai Neacsu on 26 June 2014 · 8783 views

What is an Elevated Command Prompt

Also called elevated mode, an elevated command prompt is a command line mode introduced in Windows starting with Vista. It's available in Windows 7 and 8/8.1 as well. What it does is allows an user to execute commands with administrative privileges.

By default, the command line in Windows opens without full rights and some advanced commands don't work, in order to protect Windows users or programs on their PCs from running commands that may compromise their OS. To perform such advanced commands (e.g. using the mklink command to move the swapfile.sys to another drive), you must run a command prompt as Administrator, also called Elevated Command Prompt.

Note: If you are opening a command prompt as Administrator from a normal user account, you'll be prompted to enter an Administrator password.

UAC prompt for elevated cmd

Here are several convenient ways to open an elevated command prompt in Windows 8/8.1, or 10:

Option 1. Open an Elevated Command Prompt from Power User menu (Win+X)

1. Press Win+X and choose Command Prompt (Admin).

3 full What is an Elevated Command Prompt Several ways to open one in Windows 8 and 10

Option 2. Open an Elevated Command Prompt using the Search in Desktop

1. Press Win+S or Win+Q. This opens the search box.

2. Type cmd.

3. Right-click the Command Prompt result as shown below and choose Run as administrator.

4 full What is an Elevated Command Prompt Several ways to open one in Windows 8 and 10

or 3.1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter while the Command Prompt result is selected.

4. Click Yes if a UAC prompt appears.

Option 3. Open an Elevated Command Prompt from Metro Start Screen

1. Make sure you are in the Metro Start Screen, pictured below. Press the Win key or click Start if you are on desktop to switch to Metro.

metro start screen

2. Type cmd. There's no need to open anything before typing, just type cmd.

3. Right-click the Command Prompt result as shown below and choose Run as administrator.

cmd in search box

or 3.1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter while the Command Prompt result is selected.

4. Click Yes if a UAC prompt appears.

Option 4. Open an Elevated Command Prompt from Explorer

1. Open Explorer by pressing Win+E,

or 1.1. Open Explorer by pressing Win+X and choose File Explorer.

2. Click on a folder or Drive.

3. From the Explorer's Ribbon (expanded or not) click File > Open command prompt > Open command prompt as administrator, as shown below.

elevated cmd from Explorer

4. Click Yes if a UAC prompt appears.

Option 5. Open an Elevated Command Prompt from Task Manager

1. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

or 1.1. Open Task Manager by Right-click on Taskbar and choose Task Manager.

9 full What is an Elevated Command Prompt Several ways to open one in Windows 8 and 10

or 1.2. Open Task Manager by pressing Win+X and choose Task Manager.

10 full What is an Elevated Command Prompt Several ways to open one in Windows 8 and 10

2. Open File, with Ctrl pressed, click Run new task.

11 full What is an Elevated Command Prompt Several ways to open one in Windows 8 and 10

or 2.1. Open File, click Run new task. Enter cmd, check the box Create this task with administrative privileges, and click Ok.

admin cmd from run new task in task manager

How to tell if you opened an Elevated Command Prompt or a normal Command Prompt

A regular command prompt usually has the window title C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe and opens in C:\Users\YourUser. C will be replaced with your OS partition letter, if your OS is not on partition C.

regular cmd
Regular Command Prompt

An elevated command prompt has the window title Administrator: Command Prompt or Administrator: C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe and opens in C:\Windows\System32. C will be replaced with your OS partition letter, if your OS is not on partition C.

cmd as administrator
Elevated Command Prompt with Admin rights

If you open an Elevated CMD using Option 4 above, the opening path is the location you were browsing in Explorer.

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