ExecTI – Run Programs as TrustedInstaller

Starting with Windows Vista, even if an app is running elevated, it may have no access to certain Registry keys and files. A new security model introduced in Windows Vista comes with a special user account, TrustedInstaller, which is set as the owner for such files and Registry keys. However, if you execute a program as TrustedInstaller, then you are able to access these protected resources. To simplify running apps as TrustedInstaller, I coded ExecTI, a lightweight, tiny software, which allows you to do exactly that using a nice GUI.


ExecTI is my latest project. I got tired of having to take ownership and grant administrator privileges for protected Registry keys and files during the various tests I perform on my Windows PC. I also wanted to create such an app a long time ago, but always postponed it due to lack of time. Finally, I am happy to share it with you.

Here is how ExecTI looks:

ExecTIalpha

Ha-ha, now seriously. This:

ExecTI Run As TrustedInstaller

It has a simple user interface. The application has no other dialog, and options at all. It allows you to browse for an executable file (exe, cmd, or bat file), or you can type the command directly in the text box.

It is possible to enter the command with command-line arguments. For example, you can type:

regedit.exe -m

To open yet another instance of Registry Editor.

Here is how you can test the functionality of this app. Run the Registry Editor app using the Run dialog (Win+R) and go to the following Registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PropertySystem\SystemPropertyHandlers

Open The Key

As you can see, you cannot modify anything under this key. That is because it is owned by TrustedInstaller (see the screenshot below):

Cannot Edit The Value

Now, run Registry Editor with ExecTI. Voila, you can make any changes under that Registry key!

Can Edit The Value

ExecTI supports Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10. It should work under Windows Vista too, but I am not able to test it there.

Before you download the app, here is the note of caution:

Running programs under TrustedInstaller privileges, especially a file manager app or Regedit.exe can be VERY risky and harmful for your OS. It is like a God mode in a first-person shooter game, where nothing can stop your actions, so if you execute a malware infected file as TrustedInstaller, it can cause damage to the Windows operating system. Use this mode only if you perfectly understand what you are doing and if there is no simpler way than running it as Trusted Installer.

Download ExecTI here:

Download ExecTI

Please report any bugs that you find, and share your impressions and suggestions in the comments.

9 thoughts on “ExecTI – Run Programs as TrustedInstaller

  1. Anton

    Very nice! This in combination with 7-zip is the ultimate tool for managing all hidden/protected files.

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thanks

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  2. jupe

    thanks, very useful

    keep up the good work

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thanks for the kind words.

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  3. MazTerGee

    ExecTI – Run as TrustedInstaller – great app works a treat,,, but I’m a command line person mainly, are you able to create a command line version to execute apps and commands directly i.e. execti reg add “HKLM” etc etc , would be happy to make a donation for a working command line version that can create registry entries via command line in Protected Registry keys.

    The ExecTI allows manual adding of Windows Defender Exclusions for example.. to be able to do this via command line would be awesome.

    thanks for your hard work on all your apps you build, and advice you give,

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    1. jupe

      I would also like a command line ability added to the next version if possible so that I can make a direct shortcut

      eg: c:\apps\ExecTI.exe regedit.exe

      negating the need to open the UI

      but I still love this app as is too and greatly appreciate you making it available for everyone.

      Thanks again, your apps rock!

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      1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

        Thank you for kind words.
        I will consider adding the command line options.

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  4. myzikant

    Does not start the Registry Editor
    http://jpegshare.net/images/c8/50/c850ed760184be18539ede99941f3f4e.png

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      very strange.
      try to type regedit.exe directly, without path.
      which operating system you are using?

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