Run Windows command prompt cmd as admin

In a normal command line of Windows you can not start actions that need special rights. If you need admin rights, you have to run the Windows command prompt cmd as admin.

For this purpose, since in Windows there is an “admin shell”. This is a command line that has particularly high privileges and is therefore combined with a confirmation prompt before execution.

In Windows 7 command prompt cmd.exe start as admin

  1. Click on the start menu.
  2. In the field Run the command cmd a.
  3. Press the key combination [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Return].
  4. Now confirm the security prompt and you’re good to go.


In Windows 10 run Windows command prompt cmd as admin

  1. First press the key combination [Win]+[X], which invokes the admin menu.
  2. Click on the entry Command prompt (administrator).
  3. Confirm the security prompt and you can work with the admin shell.

Tip: It is even faster with [Win]+[X] followed by a keystroke on [A].

In Windows 10 you can start the admin version of the command prompt directly from the Win-X menu.

Why an extra command prompt for administrators?

The command prompt cmd.exe opens the access to the innards of Windows. You can use the command line to access the system directories of Windows or of programs, for example. Changes in these directories can have fatal consequences for the operation of your Windows computer – up to complete failure. By the way, this is the same on Linux systems: as soon as you are logged in as “root” – i.e. supreme administrator – you have the possibility to completely destroy the system.

For this reason there are two variants of the command line. In the normal version you can not do so much damage. Therefore, you should use this variant whenever possible if you have something to do on the Windows shell. Only if there is no other way, you should switch to the administrator version of cmd.exe change.

Read more power tips about the Windows command prompt here.