How can I run a program not as Administrator?

I already tried

runas /user:guest notepad

But I need to provide a password and I don't know it.

p.s.: I only have the default console and PowerShell available.

3 Answers 3


You are running a Server Core edition of Windows?

  1. First you need to enable and set the password of the guest user. You can do that using this command:net user guest * .

  2. And then you can use the run as command: run as /user:guest notepad.And then enter the password you set in step 1

Please notice: The guest account is by default disabled. You have to enable it first using this command. You also need administrator privileges to be able to do this.

net user guest /active:yes

runas will always prompt for a password, but if the account has no password (like Guest) you can just leave it blank and hit enter. The program should run anyway.

If the account you're trying to run as has a password, and you don't know it, you're out of luck. But if you already have administrator access, you can either change that password or create a new user with your desired privilege level to run the command.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to automate the password entry, and this is intentional; see this blog entry.

  • There is a way to automate it, using /savecred. Mar 6, 2011 at 17:58

You can run as the current user, but under a different trust level, without needing to enter your password again:

  1. Start cmd.exe as Administrator (as you normally do).
  2. Call runas /showtrustlevels You will get something like:

    The following trust levels are available on your system:
    0x20000 (Basic User)

  3. Now call runas /trustlevel:0x20000 "cmd.exe"

  4. You will now get a new Command Prompt window called cmd.exe (running as DOMAIN\Username with restricted privileges)
  5. You can now use this window to run any command without escalation.

You can also run other commands without escalation at step 3. For example: runas /trustlevel:0x20000 "notepad.exe"

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