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Run an application with elevated privileges at Windows startup after logon

If you need to run some application elevated at Windows startup, you might be surprised to learn that this is not a simple task. If you use any modern version of Windows such as Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista, and User Account Control is on, and any shortcut set to 'Run as administrator' in your startup folder will not run! Windows will ignore it! In this article, I will show you a simple solution to resolve the issue.

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  1. Download and unpack Winaero Tweaker app.
  2. Go to Tools \ Elevated Shortcut:Winaero Tweaker ES1
  3. Create a shortcut as described in the following article: Open any program as administrator without UAC prompt. Put this shortcut in the Desktop folder.
  4. Press Win + R keys together on your keyboard and type the following into the Run dialog:
    shell:Startup

    This will open a File Explorer window with the Startup folder open. shell:startup
    Tip: For the complete list of shell: locations, see the following article: Shell commands in Windows 8.1

  5. Copy the shortcut you created at step #2 and paste it into the Startup folder that you just opened.
  6. Reboot your PC and voila - your app will started elevated when Windows starts.

How does this work

There is nothing special under the hood of Winaero Tweaker. It just creates a special task in the Windows Task Scheduler which allows executing apps with admin privileges and bypasses the UAC prompt.

task scheduler
The Task Scheduler has a graphical MMC version (taskschd.msc), and a command line version (schtasks.exe). Winaero Tweaker uses schtasks.exe to run the task it created, so your app will be started without the UAC prompt.

Also, there is another good thing about Winaero Tweaker. By default Task Scheduler run all tasks at Below Normal process priority. But Winaero's ElevatedShortcut fixes this by running the shortcut at Normal priority.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Run an application with elevated privileges at Windows startup after logon”

  1. i just couldn’t resist to add this one-liner

    schtasks /CREATE /TN [task-name] /TR [path\to\exe] /SC ONLOGON /RL HIGHEST

    for anyone looking for a batch-script solution. two things to watch out for though: 1) you’ll need elevated priviledges to create the task in the first place 2) mind that if your [path\to\exe] has spaces in it i.e. needs surrounding quotes and you wish to pass commandline arguments to it, you’re lost with this approach.

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