When I open cmd through start menu, it opens up as normal -- default directory is c:\users\username

but when I pin cmd to task bar and open it, it opens with default directory as c:\windows\system32. Also opening through task bar doesn't ask me for confirmation of whether I want to run as admin or not?

Please help me in this regard...

  • Does the titlebar say "Administrator" when it starts in system32? – gronostaj Nov 3 '13 at 11:28
  • No, it doesn't say that. – chanzerre Nov 3 '13 at 14:01

It does sound like you've pinned the elevated command prompt instead of the standard user prompt.

To check this, right-click on the taskbar icon, then right-click on the "Windows Command Processor" option, and click the "Properties" option. The field that matters is the "Start in" field (if the properties menu doesn't automatically open there, this is under the "Shortcut" tab). The "Start in" field should read "C:\Windows\System32" or "%HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%". If it reads "C:\Windows\System32", it's probably running as admin by default.

I would recommend altering it to the aforementioned system variables "%HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%". If you're uncomfortable with that, unpin it from the taskbar, then, using the search bar in the start menu, search for "command prompt". Pin that to the taskbar & it should run as a standard privilege user.

An associate of mine had the same issue recently.


it depends on elevation. If you run as administrator, then it opens in default admin location (C:Windows\system32) if you run as user then it starts in its default directory (C:Users\Username). non elevated cmd starts in user because user does not have elevated rights so it doesn't start in the admin area (system32). so it sounds like you pinned the elevated cmd link.

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