Open a Command Prompt with Administrator Rights in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8

Update for Windows 8: It turns out that Windows 8 has an administrator command prompt just a right-click away!

In Windows Vista, when you open a command prompt using the good ol’ cmd command from the Run box, you get a command prompt just like in XP. This command prompt, however, won’t allow you to do anything that requires administrative rights: User Access Control will commence to giving you plenty of non-graphical text feedback.

Lucky for us, there’s an easy solution to opening a command prompt with administrative rights that doesn’t even require you to use a mouse!

  1. Press the Windows key.
  2. Type cmd (which will appear in the Windows Search box) [Update for Windows 8: In Windows 8, you just start typing cmd at the Start Screen after hitting the Windows Key]
  3. You’ll see cmd show up in the search results. If it is not already highlighted, use the arrow keys to do so.
  4. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter

That’s it! You’ll have a command prompt with administrative rights. Note: You’ll know you have the admin-enabled prompt because your current working directory will be C:\Windows\System32 instead of the regular default of C:\users\%username%.



Thank you  Jerry.  Last week lightning hit the power lines behind the house and took out much of the network infrastructure, including two PC’s, in spite of the fact that they were on surge protectors.  The router and hub were replaced easily enough, and XP recognized them immediately but Vista refused to release the IP address and locked everything out.  I could not load the software for the new router.  For the XP vets out there, this answer is just too easy.

Thanks again.

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