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Start Windows Explorer with admin privileges in a non-admin account

Start Windows Explorer with admin privileges while using a non-admin account.

This tip was submitted to the tip exchange by Keith Wong. Please let other users know how useful...

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Sometimes, administrators become frustrated when they have to troubleshoot a regular user account because they do not have any admin privileges. Here is a great way start a Windows Explorer session using the 'run as' command.


  1. Find the cmd.exe in C:\Windows\System32\ folder.
  2. Right-click and use 'run as...' option to run it in an account that has admin privileges.
  3. In the command line, change folder to the C:\Program files\Windows Explorer folder.
  4. Type 'explorer.exe' and hit ENTER.
  5. Type in the address box 'C:' as the URL.
  6. You'll get a Windows Explorer session using the admin account that you use in the 'runas' command.

Anything you start from here will have that admin power, including changing file permissions.

This was last published in September 2004

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this is the most awesome way to do this, i have never been able to accomplish this otherwise. Win7, cmd run as admin, cd c:, explorer.exe, then when it opens, as you say, type in C:, or D: in the address bar of explorer, then your in. SWEET!
It doesn't work at all on windows XP !
This was totally pointless circle jerk.

Just go to C:\Windows right-click on explorer.exe and "Run As Administrator".