How to Run Cmd As An Administrator

When you try to use the dos command feature in Windows Vista on occasions it will not work because it needs to be run as an administrator. Sometimes you might type a command in, and the dos command box either flashes on the screen or appears to do nothing at all.

How to run the cmd.exe as an administrator in Windows Vista and Windows 7?

  1. Go to the start menu and press on it.
  2. Type cmd into the search bar at the bottom.
  3. Do not press enter.
  4. Look up to the top of the star menu. You should see cmd.exe listed there.
  5. Right click on this. A menu will appear.
  6. Choose to Run as administrator.

You can also go the long way by clicking Start | All Programs | Accessories,
then right-click Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator.

See the screenshot below for more details.

run as admin start menu

Run Cmd as Administrator From Task Manager

Another way to run cmd as administrator is from task manager. All you have to do its open task manager. You can right click on the taskbar and choose Start Task Manager from the menu.

On the applications tab, as shown below, press on new task.

The create new task box will apear. Type in cmd and a Cmd window will open as an admin.

Why do I have to run cmd as an administrator when I am already admin?

Windows Vista does not care if you are admin or not. For certain things to work you will need to run as admin. However if you are an average user you will have to actually type in an administrator password to access certain prive ledges.

See in the screenshots below. The first screenshot shows I am running cmd.exe as an administrator, and the second shows me running cmd as a normal user.

command prompt as a user


How to always permanently run the cmd window as administrator?

If you do not want to have to continually choose run as administrator every time you want to use the cmd window then can set this option as permanent. You must follow these steps to make this work. If you take the shortcut to cmd.exe in the start menu it will not work. You must choose Command Prompt in this case.

Run CMD as Administrator Shortcut

  1. Go to the start menu and press on it.
  2. Go to all programs. Then Accessories.
  3. You should see command prompt listed there.
  4. Right click on this. A menu will appear.
  5. Choose properties from the menu.
  6. The properties for that shortcut will appear.
  7. Go to the shortcut tab.
  8. Click on the Advanced button.


  1. The Advanced Properties will appear.
  2. Put a tick in the box next to Run as administrator.
  3. Press ok.


Now the Command Prompt shortcut will always run as admin.

Notes on running the cmd prompt as administrator.

  • You can also choose to run other programs as administrator the same way.
  • Once you have set the Command Prompt to run as admin you can drag it to your quick launch toolbar. You must drag the right shortcut from the start menu though…The cmd.exe shortcut will not do.
  • Now you are running as admin you should take ownership of your files.
  • After creating a new shortcut edit the shortcut and change the target from %windir%system32cmd.exe to runas.exe /user:domainuser “%windir%system32cmd.exe /k” Then when you click on the shortcut you will be asked for your password to open a cmd as admin.


  1. DD says

    Help! So, yesterday, I did a Google search to make my Internet (which is Chrome) go faster. I cannot remember for the life of me what I did or what page I was on, however it helped! I did some type of DOS command. Any ideas? Maybe cmd, or misconfig or msiexec / regserver. I remember getting a black box and typing in something and then hitting enter and then typing in something again. My Internet has NEVER been faster and I want to know what I did! AHH! Help!

  2. Don S. says

    Nice article. Although this didn’t help me with a couple of problem dll files, it’s good information to know. Ironically, I’m writing this while booted to Ubuntu. Much more straightforward (and strong) security:need to run something as root? Gotta type the root password, and then it runs. Not sure why MS tends to make operating system tweaks harder to find than other systems.

  3. Linda Johnson says

    My computer was shut down incorrectly and now I cannot load Windows 7. I have a Dell Inspiron 1764 about 1 year old. I’m at the MS-DOS prompt trying to figure out what I type into the command to reload my Drivers and Utilities. It has taken me 2 days to get to this point. When I try to boot the system it automatically goes to Dell Startup Screen. I have 2 choices: 1) Windows Launch Startup Repair, 2) or, Start Windows Normally. It goes to Launch Startup Repair. It has run for 2 days to no avail. The system tests were performed and all “PASSed” except ‘SATA DISK’ and it ‘FAILed.’ Can you help?

  4. sohail says

    Thank you so much. It solved my problem. I am using Windows Vista, even I was loged in as administrator but was not able to register ocx and dll files. Through command prompt I was able to register as administrator.