1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

How To Open an Elevated Command Prompt in Windows 8 & 8.1

Run the Command Prompt as an Administrator in Windows 8

By

Elevated Command Prompt in Windows 8

Elevated Command Prompt (Windows 8)

Some commands, like the sfc command and the manage-bde command, can only be executed from within an elevated Command Prompt in Windows 8. An elevated Command Prompt simply means running the Command Prompt program with administrator privileges.

Most Windows 8 commands don't need to be run in an elevated Command Prompt, in which case you can open Command Prompt normally in Windows 8.

Some commands, however, like the reagentc command, will produce an error message like This command can only be executed from an elevated command prompt. if you try to run it from a standard Command Prompt.

Some related errors include You must be an administrator running a console session in order to use the [command]. and Check that you have administrative rights on the computer.

If you see a message like any of the above, don't worry, because the solution is pretty easy. See either set of instructions below for help opening an elevated Command Prompt in Windows 8:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Opening an elevated Command Prompt in Windows 8 only takes a few seconds the short way, and only a bit longer the long way.

Applies To: You can open an elevated Command Prompt this way in any edition of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

Here's How (Short Way):

  1. Swipe up to open the Apps screen. If you're using a keyboard, click the arrow icon at the bottom of the screen to open Apps.

    Note: Actually, if you're using a mouse and keyboard, there's an even quicker way to open an elevated Command Prompt in Windows 8. See Tip #2 near the bottom of the page for more on that. It works with a touch-only interface too, but it's a little harder that way.
     
  2. On the Apps screen, locate the Windows System heading. You may need to swipe or scroll to the right depending on the size of your screen.
     
  3. Press and hold, or right-click, on Command Prompt.
     
  4. Press or click on Run as administrator from the menu that appears at the bottom of the screen.
     
  5. Press or click on Yes if you're prompted with a User Account Control message.

    Note: If your Windows 8 account does not have administrator privileges, you may be prompted with a different message here, asking for credentials from another account on your computer that does have administrator privileges before you'll be allowed to open an elevated Command Prompt.
     
  6. An elevated Command Prompt window will appear.

    Since you're now running the Command Prompt program as an administrator, you can execute any Windows 8 command without worrying about permission restrictions.

Here's How (Long Way):

It might seem strange to describe a "long way" to open an elevated Command Prompt in Windows 8, considering how easy the "short way" is, described above. However, the following procedure is good to know because it demonstrates how you could open any program as an administrator.

  1. Access Run from the Apps screen or press the WINDOWS and R keys together with your keyboard.
     
  2. Type the following in the Open text box and then press or click the OK button.

    taskmgr

    This will open Task Manager.
     
  3. In Task Manager, press or click File and then Run new task.

    The Create new task window will appear.

    Note: Don't see the File menu? Click or press on the More details arrow at the bottom of the Task Manager window to show a more advanced view of the program, including the File menu.
     
  4. In the Open text box, type the following:

    cmd

    ...but don't do anything else just yet.
     
  5. Check the Create this task with administrative privileges. box.

    Note: Don't see this box? That means that your Windows 8 account is setup as a standard account, not an administrator account. Your account must have administrator privileges to be able to open an elevated Command Prompt this way. You'll need to follow the Short Way described above, or use Tip #2 below with a keyboard.
     
  6. Now click or press on OK and then follow whatever User Account Control requirements appear next.
     
  7. An elevated Command Prompt window will now appear, allowing unrestricted access to executing commands in Windows 8.

Tips:

  1. There's a very easy way to tell if the Command Prompt window you've opened is elevated or not:

    Elevated: The window title says Administrator: Command Prompt
    Not Elevated: The window title says Command Prompt only
     
  2. If you're using a keyboard with Windows 8, you can open an elevated Command Prompt quickly from the Power User Menu. Just press the WINDOWS and X keys together and then click on Command Prompt (Admin). Click Yes to the User Account Control message that appears.

    In Windows 8.1 and later, right-clicking on the Start button brings up this menu too, as does a press-and-hold or any other right-click action.
     
  3. Not using Windows 8? See How Do I Open an Elevated Command Prompt? for links to steps specific for your operating system.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.