Windows 10 desktop.
Jordan Gloor / How-To Geek
Click the Start button, type "cmd" or "Command Prompt" into the search bar, then right-click "Command Prompt" and select "Run as Administrator." You can also use the Run box or Power User menu to launch a Command Prompt window as Administrator.

Much of the time, opening the Command Prompt as a regular user is all you need. Sometimes, though, you’ll need to open the Command Prompt as an administrator so that you can run commands that require administrative privileges.

Windows 10 offers a lot of different ways to open the Command Prompt, and with a lot of those methods, you can also open the Command Prompt with admin privileges. Here we’re going to focus on three quick ways you can open the Command Prompt with admin privileges on Windows 10.

Open Command Prompt as Admin with the Start Menu

You can also open an administrative Command Prompt using just the Start Menu. Click the Start button, type “command,” and you’ll see “Command Prompt” listed as the main result. Right-click that result and choose “Run as administrator.”

Search "Command Prompt" in the Start Menu.

When you launch the Command Prompt with admin privileges, you’ll likely see a “User Account Control” window asking for permission to continue. Go ahead and click “Yes.”

Once you’ve got the “Administrator: Command Prompt” window open, you can run any command, whether it requires administrative privileges or not.

The Administrator Command Prompt window.

Open Command Prompt as Admin with the Run Box

If you’re used to using the “Run” box to open apps, you can use that to launch Command Prompt with admin privileges. Press Windows+R to open the “Run” box. Type “cmd” into the box and then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to run the command as an administrator.

Enter "cmd" into the Run window.

Open Command Prompt as Admin with the Power User Menu

Windows 10 offers a “power user” menu that you can access by pressing Windows+X or just right-clicking the Start button. In the power user menu, choose “Command Prompt (Admin).”

You’ll probably see PowerShell instead of Command Prompt unless you’re using a really old version of Windows 10. The Creators Update for Windows 10 swapped PowerShell for Command Prompt in the Power User menu, but you can switch back to Command Prompt if you want. Ideally, you should give PowerShell a try — it can do most everything Command Prompt can, and a ton of additional useful things.

And with that, you have three very easy ways to run commands in the Command Prompt window as administrator.

RELATED: 10 Ways to Open the Command Prompt in Windows 10

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Walter Glenn is a former Editorial Director for How-To Geek and its sister sites. He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry and over 20 years as a technical writer and editor. He's written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and edited thousands. He's authored or co-authored over 30 computer-related books in more than a dozen languages for publishers like Microsoft Press, O'Reilly, and Osborne/McGraw-Hill. He's also written hundreds of white papers, articles, user manuals, and courseware over the years.
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Profile Photo for Nick Lewis Nick Lewis
Nick Lewis is a staff writer for How-To Geek. He has been using computers for 20 years --- tinkering with everything from the UI to the Windows registry to device firmware. Before How-To Geek, he used Python and C++ as a freelance programmer. In college, Nick made extensive use of Fortran while pursuing a physics degree.
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