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How Do I Open an Elevated Command Prompt?

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Elevated Command Prompt in Windows 7

Elevated Command Prompt in Windows 7

Question: How Do I Open an Elevated Command Prompt?

Some commands available in the Command Prompt in Windows require that you run them from an elevated Command Prompt. Basically, this means running Command Prompt with administrator privileges.

You'll know if you need to run a particular command from within an elevated Command Prompt because it'll clearly tell you that in an error message after running the command.

For example, when executing the sfc command in a normal Command Prompt window, you'll get a message similar to You must be an administrator running a console session in order to use the sfc utility. Re-opening Command Prompt as an administrator and re-executing sfc will solve the problem.

Regardless of how the message is phrased, or what Command Prompt command we're talking about, opening an elevated Command Prompt is very easy.

Answer: In most versions of Windows, you can open an elevated Command Prompt by choosing the Run as administrator option from the Command Prompt's shortcut.

The specific steps involved in opening an elevated Command Prompt differ somewhat depending on which operating system you're using:

Don't let the discussion above convince you that you should, or need to, run Command Prompt as an administrator for most commands. You don't, and you'll know when you need to if you're told to after running a command. For almost all Command Prompt commands, it's perfectly okay to execute them from a normal Command Prompt window. See How Do I Open Command Prompt? if you need help.

Tip: If you plan on frequently using an elevated Command Prompt then you should consider creating a new shortcut to Command Prompt that automatically starts the program with administrator level access. See How To Create an Elevated Command Prompt Shortcut if you need help.

Important: To be able to open an elevated Command Prompt window, either a) your Windows user account must already have administrator privileges, or b) you must know the password to another account on the computer that has administrator privileges. Most home computer user's accounts are setup as administrator accounts.

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