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I'm accustomed to opening a shell in Windows with the keyboard, but when I want admin privileges, the only way I know is to right click on the start menu icon.

There must be a keyboard-only way, right?

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up vote 19 down vote accepted

Option 1 - requires that you use the Vista-style Start Menu

  • Hit Windows key
  • Type cmd
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter
  • Done!

Option 2 - works with Classic Start Menu, requires Quick Launch to be enabled

  • Create a shortcut to cmd.exe on your Quick Launch bar
  • Right-click the shortcut, select Properties, Advanced, and check the "Run as administrator" box
  • Quick Launch icons can be launched using Windows key + NUMBER, where NUMBER is the position of the icon, so if your new cmd shortcut is the 1st icon, use Win + 1
  • Done!
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For which versions of windows are these options working ? Would be nice to precise. Typically, the first one requires Vista, it's written, but second for example doesn't work for XP. Does it work on Vista, or only Windows 7 ? – Gnoupi Aug 25 '09 at 15:17
XP doesn't apply since you don't need to run as administrator, and the solution will work in Vista and up? – BinaryMisfit Aug 25 '09 at 15:39
In a properly configuerd XP environment you do often need to runas admin. – EBGreen Aug 25 '09 at 16:37
TBH, I don't think the question is relevant to XP. My answer applies to Vista and 7. – ThatGraemeGuy Aug 25 '09 at 18:21

Do this:

  1. Press WINDOWS + R to open the run prompt
  2. Type runas /user:ADMINUSERNAME cmd.exe
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i'm using ColorConsole instead of the windows command prompt (the reason being not so much the variety of colour schemes but the favorite commands, copy/paste, tabbed interface and HTML export. you're probably asking this question to save time, so CC will save you even more). i have set CC to run always as admin from the advanced shortcut properties menu, of course you can do that with CMD.EXE too. just create a new shortcut for cmd.exe, make it to run always as admin and assign a hotkey to this shortcut.

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already discussed good options (possibly better than mine) however I personally press start / Windows flag button on my keyboard and type cmd, then press the context menu button (between right windows flag and Ctrl then press down and enter.

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