Use Windows Key+R to Quickly Launch Apps As Administrator

Launching the command prompt (cmd) and other apps using keyboard shortcuts is the fastest way to launch them as administrator. Here’s how to do it.

The command prompt (aka CMD), regedit, and other core Windows applications normally need to run with Administrator access. Unfortunately, by default, Windows launches these apps without elevated privileges, which is a problem if you’re trying to perform a task like editing the local hosts file. The good news is, running apps as an Administrator is simple; follow the steps below.

How to Save a lot of Clicking With the Windows Key+R Shortcut

Step 1

Hold down the Windows Key and Press R on your keyboard.

windows key + r

Step 2

The run dialog box will open—type in the program’s name you want to run and press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER.

Note: In my example, I’m launching CMD (Windows Command Prompt) as Administrator.

open cmd from the run dialog to automatically open it as an administrator

Now your program is open, and it only took, well, zero mouse clicks! You did all of it with just the keyboard. To top it all off, every program you open up through this run dialog process will automatically be in Administrator power mode.

cmd opened by the run dialog as administrator

Any questions, let us know in the comments. The steps above will work using Windows 7 and later.



  1. Pieter

    Not working for me.
    I don’t see the shield icon and text “This task will …” when hitting .
    Need to do anything special?

    • MrGroove

      Same question to you as I left for SMEE below.

      • Pieter

        all of them are working.
        Win+R just opens the run dialogscreen but without the admin rights.
        Win7 64-bit indeed.

        • EpicArnold

          I think you need to be on an administrator account for the shield icon to appear. Not 100% sure tho I have never used the cheapo versions of windows 7 so it could be that too.

        • lol

          hey what to type so that u would know if how many bits are there, etc.

    • Pieter

      All shortcuts work, I am admin (domain AND local) but it is not showing.

      • George Ain't Curious

        I’m on Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) and mine is working perfectly!

  2. Smee

    Not working for me, either.

    Win7 64bit.

    • MrGroove

      Does Windows Key + D work? Is your windows key functioning properly? Try Windows Key + D or + E or + L

      +D = Minimize everything
      +E = Open Windows Explorer / My Computer
      +L = Lock PC

      Do any of these work?

  3. Dorathy Saner

    Hello i just came across your site from Google but got a wierd popup about cat hospitals which is obviously not related to your website. Is this your advertising or do i have a spyware problem? Thanks.

  4. Legolas

    Old stuff, I know, but I don;t see this info in enough places: Win+R will show ‘This task .. administrative priviliges’ when UAC is completely off. When it’s on, it won’t show that text (and won’t run things with admin privs).

    • Jesse

      Exactly. My Google-Fu took me here. This article is useless to those that don’t disable UAC (which almost no one has any business doing in the first place) and want to efficiently run programs with elevation.

      • Jesse

        Well, I retract that statement if you’re unfortunate enough to be running on Vista. /shrug.

  5. Phil

    BEWARE!! A phone scam group uses Windows key + R to get you to run programs as administrator. I did not know about this. That’s why I got here. Next time they call I will tell them I did it and see what’s next.

    • Austin Ruthruff

      Hi Phil, opening Windows key + R won’t cause any problems as long as you don’t do anything malicious with the programs you open from it.

      Don’t fret amigo!

    • Tiffany

      I got a call yesterday, obvious scam, from some guy who said he was with Microsoft Tech team and my computer had contacted them with a security notification and they were going to help he fix the problem….for a nominal fee of course….so I played along to see how far it would go. This was the first thing they wanted me to do to verify my computers Identifying numbers or something….now I know what to tell them is on the screen when they call again….

    • Renee

      I got that same phone call today. Said he was from Microsoft Tech and he was going to show me what my problem was. I didn’t/don’t think Microsoft works that way so I told him I would call him back. That when he told me I would get a busy signal and could not call him back. So I hung up. I don’t think you should give him any numbers from your computer because I believe they can tap into your computer remotely without you knowing. Thank for this article.

  6. Chuck

    I received a call this evening from a very pushy fellow who asked me to do the very same thing as Renee and Tiffany with the Windows + R keys. It sounded like a scam to me and he became very angry when I “did not do as he instructs me.” Don’t verify anything with these people. They had my address and land line number! Yikes! He eventually hung up on me when I said it sounded like a scam and I would not comply with his demands. Watch out!

  7. Shane

    LOL, I got the same call but they are claiming to be from Windows support and are protecting me from a hacker…….I like to play along and piss them off…”can’t find the window on my key board”…”opened the window but caused a draft so I closed it”…..”cant hear you please speak up”…..until they are eventually yelling at you…then ask them to stop yelling you are only trying to help….lol….great fun

  8. Louanne

    I got a suspicious phone call tonight that was very similar. A woman with a strong Indian accent said she was from Microsoft and had noticed a number of error messages coming from my computer. She could help if I followed directions. She asked me to press the windows key and R. I did not do this and told her I would check it out on my own. She kept telling me not to worry but I hung up on her.

  9. JUDY

    I just got that suspicious phone call today. Heavy India accent said he was from Microsoft and I was being hacked. He asked me to press Windows key + R and tell him what happened. I said nothing. He asked what I saw on the screen, again I said I saw nothing. Again he asked me to be sure to press the buttons at the same time. I said I did and saw nothing. He wanted me to try again but I said I had to put him on hold as I had a customer. Then I hung up on him. He tried calling back but I hung up. If he tries again I will see what info he wants to insert into the open box?

    • Steve Krause

      Yes – It’s a SCAM.

      The WIN+R key will open the run box. He will then ask you to type something and tell him what the screen says. He will tell you something on the screen is actually a virus and then offer to transfer you to someone who can help you. They will then charge you for the tech support and fix something not broken on your computer.

      In the end, they will install a Virus on your computer and charge you to fix something not broken. It’s a very sad SCAM but unfortunately, many people fall for it.

      The scammers are very awful people preying on the unsuspecting. Really, education is the only way to combat them since it’s difficult to block or report the illegal behavior.

      • JUDY

        Thanks. After posting I read another site where the guy described exactly what happened to him when he tried to cancel the purchase. They eliminated some of his programs and then eliminated his internet driver. I do not think I will play with these guys. I knew it was a scam but I was curious of the type.

      • Darrell Goff

        Just got the same call, when I asked him what he was wanting me to do and why he got real pushy and mad and started telling me to act like a man. I laughed at him and told him I’m an IT specialist and I’m not going to enter commands unless I know what they are going to do and why. If they call back I’m going to have some fun with them.

  10. Lloyd

    I received the same call in April, and fell for the scam and pressed Key+R and then typed in MSConfig.exe. When I did a box piped up and was told to click a box on the bottom that says hide all Microsoft Svcs. then do an update and restart the computer.(this from partial notes I took while talking to him) Then they showed me how they were fixing my computer and pointed out a couple of
    items that were “RED” after the scrolling was finished. Then he ask me if he wanted me to fix, I ask how much and that is when I figured he was scamming me, and told him to “GO TO HELL” and hung up on him.
    The last two days I have received 6 calls from this jerk and a female asking me if I remembered them from a previous call, I then got into a name calling shouting match with them because I would not go to my computer and do as they said. Very Persistent he was. I hung up twice and he kept calling back and finally I stopped answering. Today I got another call from the same guy – he ask me why I was getting so mad a him and said that all he was trying to do was help me as someone in Arizona was trying to get my information. I used some very foul words and told him I had reformatted my hard drive and to leave me a long and never call again. So Far no phone calls.

  11. Dennis

    It only works, if the UAC is deactevated, is it active, you don’t see the frame “This task will…” and it won’t run with admin privilegs.

    • Steve Krause

      After typing CMD, press and hold CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER – this will run the program with Administrator privileges.

  12. Aggie

    Hi, I’ve had exactly the same problem. Did that effect your computer? How did you resolved it? Thanks

  13. Jashua

    THANK. GOD. I looked up what Winkey and R does. I got a call from the same man and I instantly hung up on him. He won’t stop calling though…

  14. Srsly

    This does not work…
    However, on Windows 10 you can press Windows key, then start typing what you want to run, and if it comes up, and is selected, then you press Ctrl+Shift+Enter, then it will run as administrator.

  15. Adi

    In the windows run command window the command i typed previously does’nt get recorded,why?

  16. christian

    i dont see a windows key on my computer

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