A hidden way to open the command prompt in Windows 10

If you follow our articles at Winaero, you might be knowing the many ways in which you can open an elevated command prompt in Windows 10. Here is yet another way, a secret hidden one, which allows you to open an elevated command prompt when all other ways are not accessible.

We will use a hidden, undocumented feature of Task Manager to open the elevated command prompt right from Task Manager.

Run the Task Manager in Windows 10 by right clicking the Taskbar. It might start in the compact view as shown below:Windows 10 task manager simple view

If so, switch it to the "More Details" view using the button in the bottom left corner.Windows 10 task manager full view
Now follow these steps:

  1. Open the File menu and point your mouse to the Run new task item. Do not click it yet.Windows 10 task manager file run
  2. Press and hold the CTRL key on the keyboard.
  3. Do not release the CTRL key and click on the Run new task item.

Instead of the Run dialog, an elevated command prompt will appear on the screen:Windows 10 task manager cmd

Here's how to perform these steps using only the keyboard:

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys together to open the Task Manager.
  2. If the simplified view mode of Task Manager opens, then press the Alt + D hotkey to switch it to the full view.
  3. Press Alt or F10 to activate the Menu bar and the "File" menu item.
  4. Press the down arrow key to expand the File menu and select the "Run new task" item.
  5. Press Ctrl + Enter.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

4 thoughts on “A hidden way to open the command prompt in Windows 10”

  1. Isn‘t this a security risk? I mean, if someone would create a script with malicious code for a program like Autohotkey and then would spread it over the internet. A user would run it but as no UAC prompt is displayed this way so administrator rights are easily gained.

    1. It should only work if you are already in the Administrators group no? If you do this as a regular user then it should not? Need to try on a properly configured machine! :)

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