Do you know all these ways to open an elevated command prompt in Windows?

In my articles, you often see instructions to open the cmd prompt as admin. Usually I mention only one way to open an elevated command prompt, but you can use several ways to perform this action. Today I would like to share with you all the possible cool ways to open an elevated command prompt, including new undiscovered and hidden methods you may not be aware of. Let's explore all of these interesting methods.


How to open an elevated command prompt in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8

Windows 8/8.1 feature a new Start screen. The Start screen comes as a replacement for the good old Start menu. While it has a completely new concept of organizing apps, you are still able to perform the usual handy Windows tricks like adding global hotkeys to launch your favorite apps. Also, it is possible to unlock the "Pin to Start screen" command to all files and folders, which can improve the usability of Windows 8.

Like the Start menu, the Start screen retains the possibility to search for an app or file. So, the first way we will look at to open an elevated command prompt in Windows 8 is from the Start screen's search results.

Method one: open an elevated command prompt in Windows from search results

Switch to the Start screen, i.e. by pressing the "Win" key on the keyboard. Start typing "cmd.exe" right on the Start screen.

Typing Cmd on the Start screen

The search result will appear on the right side of the screen. Here you can:

  • Press the CTRL+SHIFT+Enter keys on the keyboard.
  • Right click on the cmd.exe file in the search results and select "Run as administrator".Run as Admin from search

In both cases, you'll get a UAC confirmation and the command prompt window will be elevated after it.

Method two: the Apps view of the Start screen

This method is quite similar to the first one. On the Start screen which shows the Tiles view, press CTRL+Tab keys on the keyboard. This will switch the Start screen to the Apps view.
All Apps View of the Start screen
Scroll to the right until you will see the Command Prompt item. Then you can launch it by any of these two methods:

  • Press the CTRL+SHIFT+Enter keys on the keyboard.
  • Right click on the Command Prompt item and select the "Run as administrator" command at the bottom on the screen.Run As Admin

Method three: the Power User menu, (the Win+X menu)

This way is the most handy in Windows 8.x. Starting with Windows 8, Microsoft has implemented the Power Users menu, which contains many useful items like Control Panel, Network Connections and so on. It also contains the "Command Prompt (Admin)" item which is exactly what we need.

Win+X menu
To access this menu in Windows 8/8.1, press the Win+X keys on the keyboard. An alternative way is to right click on the Start button in Windows 8.1 or right click the bottom left hot corner.

Tip: You can customize the Win+X menu with our freeware tool called Win+X Menu Editor. Check it out.

Method four: launch an elevated command prompt instance from a non-elevated one

You can launch an elevated instance of the command prompt from a non-elevated one. You might wonder why would you need to do this. Let me you show an example scenario.
Whenever you press the SHIFT key and hold it and then right click on a folder in Explorer, you get the usual "Open command window here" menu item.
Open Command Window Here
This is very handy, you just opened a command window at the path you wanted. Now what if you need an elevated command prompt here? Command Prompt does not provide any way to open an elevated command window at the same path.

To resolve this issue and improve usability, you can use a little application I coded called ELE. It is able to reopen an already opened command prompt as administrator and keeps the current path.

Usage of ELE:
Simple typing ele - opens a new console window as administrator in the current directory.
ele /x - opens a new console window in the current directory and closes the original console window. If ELE is started from a file manager, it just opens a new elevated console at the current path.
Put ele.exe in any folder which is included in your system %PATH% environment variable, e.g. C:\Windows or C:\Windows\system32. That will make it accessible from any folder and you will not need to type the full path to ele.exe every time you want to elevate the command prompt.

Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows Vista

Windows Vista and Windows 7 do not have the Win+X menu and the Start Screen. You can use the search box inside the Start menu instead. Type cmd.exe there and press CTRL+SHIFT+Enter to launch the command prompt elevated.

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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.

9 thoughts on “Do you know all these ways to open an elevated command prompt in Windows?”

  1. “Explorer does not provide any option to open the elevated command window at the desired location.”
    Win 8/8.1: File Button > Open Command Prompt

    1. Ah, right. Command prompt does not provide, Explorer does, only in Windows 8. Which is why ELE is still useful. :)

  2. I have Win-10/64. I do not see a search box anywhere, but then all that stuff was revised with the mid-September-2016 Win-10 update. Can you provide another way to open this Elevated Command Prompt in Win-10? Thank you in advance, and thank you for these detailed How To’s.

  3. Meu computador possui o windows 8.1. Quando o starto entra o reparo automãtico que nao permite a
    incializacao do windows. Como posso reparar esse erro.

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