Windows 10: Open command prompt window as administrator

This blog post describes several ways how to open a command prompt windows as administrator (with administrator credentials). This has been asked many times in MS Answers forums.


The command prompt window in Windows 10 provides a nice way to make adjustments to the system (for example, copy files, opens the registry editor or other tools etc.). Some tasks requires administrative privileges. Then there's the suggestion "open the command prompt as an administrator" found on many places in the internet. Inexperienced users tries to log into an administrator account and wonder if commands are rejected. What worked in Windows XP fails since Windows Vista. Here are different ways to invoke an administrative command prompt window in Windows 10.

Use the quick start menu

On desktop systems with the keyboard and mouse it's common to access an administrative command prompt window via the quick start menu.

1. Press the key combination Windows + X or right click on the Start button.

quick access menu

2. Then select the command Command prompt (Admin) and confirm the UAC prompt.


The quick access start menu launches the console windows with administrator privileges.

On a Tablet PC with touchscreen, press your finger a few seconds on Start button. After releasing a context menu will be visible you can select the command shown above by tapping.

Open command prompt via taskbar's search box

Alternatively, you can type the command cmd into the taskbar's search box. Then cmd.exe should be displayed as search results on the Start menu.

Then select these result with a right mouse button click and choose the context menu entry Run as administrator using the left mouse button.

It is faster, to press Ctrl + Shift + Enter,  after entering cmd in the taskbar's search box. In both cases, the prompt UAC shows and you need to confirm the request.

Invoke command prompt window via Explorer

You can also open Windows Explorer window and select the Windows drive within the left navigation pane (otherwise the command prompt command will be greyed out).

Select the File tab, and then select the menu entries Open command prompt and  Open command prompt as administrator. Then confirm the UAC prompt.

So you can open the command prompt window via Explorer with or without administrative privileges. An administrative command prompt windows is indicated by the word "Administrator" in title text. I hope that it is clear how an administrative command prompt in Windows can be opened.

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