How can I tell in my scripts if PowerShell is running with administrator privileges?

I need to know because I'm trying to run a program that requires the ability to open protected ports.

[bool](([System.Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent()).groups -match "S-1-5-32-544")

Breaking apart what this does:

  • [bool] - Cast the end result to a bool.
  • [System.Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent() - Retrieves the WindowsIdentity for the currently running user.
  • (...).groups - Access the groups property of the identity to find out what user groups the identity is a member of.
  • -match "S-1-5-32-544" checks to see if groups contains the Well Known SID of the Administrators group, the identity will only contain it if "run as administrator" was used.
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    Instead of just posting a line of code, can you please explain what it does? This helps future visitors in understanding and adapting it, if necessary. – slhck May 3 '14 at 15:53
  • BOOO. Give this man more upvotes – Kolob Canyon Oct 24 '17 at 18:58
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    I prefer the answer by @Bill_Stewart below since it is free of magic strings. – 8DH Apr 20 '18 at 6:49
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    Instead of using -match and typecasting: [Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent().Groups -contains 'S-1-5-32-544' – Maximilian Burszley Oct 20 '19 at 4:23
  • @MaximilianBurszley Nice one! Definitely an improvement over all those other multi-line solutions! – not2qubit Oct 14 at 22:55
([Security.Principal.WindowsPrincipal] `
  [Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent() `

This retrieves the current Windows identity and returns True if the current identity has the Administrator role (i.e., is running elevated).

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    While the accepted answer is correct, this answer is much more clear, especially to someone who may read your script six months from now. – Patrick Seymour May 20 '14 at 19:52

In Powershell 4.0 you can use requires at the top of your script:

#Requires -RunAsAdministrator


The script 'MyScript.ps1' cannot be run because it contains a "#requires" statement for running as Administrator. The current Windows PowerShell session is not running as Administrator. Start Windows PowerShell by using the Run as Administrator option, and then try running the script again.

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  • what if you want a function that exits if not ran by admin? – Kolob Canyon Oct 24 '17 at 18:58
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    @KolobCanyon - There's no such thing as running only a PowerShell function elevated; the entire PowerShell process is either elevated or not. – Bill_Stewart Nov 5 '17 at 23:27
  • @Bill_Stewart yes, but you can return if the user is not admin :) – Kolob Canyon Nov 6 '17 at 21:39
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    @KolobCanyon - you can only elevate the PowerShell process; you cannot elevate a single function. That's why the #Requires -RunAsAdministrator is useful: It prevents the entire script from running if you're not elevated. – Bill_Stewart Nov 6 '17 at 21:45
  • @Bill_Stewart Yeah, I'll have to use that at some point. – Kolob Canyon Nov 6 '17 at 21:52

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