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Run Command Prompt as Administrator

Eleanor writes:

I went to do something the other day on my computer and it asked me for an “elevated prompt”. What is that?

Hi, Eleanor! Thanks for writing.

I don’t know how long you have been using your computer, but if it’s been more than 24 hours, you should have run across some type of security warning by now. That’s because with Vista came security requirements beyond the realm of imagination. At first I thought that Vista and Windows 7 were just pretty paranoid operating systems, but now since all of this bad ‘ware stuff, I have (kind of changed) my mind.

Anyway, Windows prompts you for an elevated prompt (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun) when it requires administrative – or elevated – privileges and you are not in a position (like king – Oops, I meant administrator) to carry out whatever task it is that you are trying to do.

A Command Prompt lets you change settings, run programs, access files, etc. The thing is, a standard Command Prompt window (see screenshot below) only runs commands that don’t require Administrator privileges. A lot of troubleshooting depends on using the Command Prompt and you may have to be king – oops, I did it again – or an Administrator to carry those command out. Enter the elevated prompt.

This is a standard Command Prompt window:

Obviously you don’t want to have to go running to an administrator every time you have an elevated command prompt request, so there are ways to get those privileges so that you don’t have to.

The first (really easy) way to get an elevated – or Administrator – prompt:

Go to your Start button and left-click. Then left-click on All Programs.

Now find and left-click on Accessories (right-side of the Start menu), and then right-click on Command Prompt. Now left-click on Run as Administrator.

For the heck of it, note the tops of each window.

The standard command prompt window will have this at the top:

The Administrator (elevated) Prompt window will have this at the top.

The second (really easy) way to get an elevated (Administrator) prompt:

Left-click on your Start button and then type in cmd.exe in the Search box. In the menu that pops up you will see Run as Administrator. Left-click on that.

You now have your elevated prompt.

Okay, Eleanor, there you go! An elevated prompt is simply a prompt at a king’s – excuse me! – Administrator’s – level. And using either method above will get you one.

~ Lori Cline