Every so often I try to find an easy answer to this, but I just can't. I'd like to log in as a standard user account for the added security it brings. I'm also a developer and often need to run applications as an admin, most often Visual Studio.

My big problem is this, when I run VS (et al.) as the "Administrator" user, the Administrator's profile is loaded and I effectively lose my environment like my document folders, desktop, libraries, user-level environment vars, etc.

So, how can I run an application like Visual Studio with admin rights but under the standard user's profile? Or am I doing this wrong?

  • How exactly are you going about running VS "as the Administrator user"? Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 1:03
  • 3
    When logged in as the standard user you should be able to right click any shortcut on the desktop or start menu and Run as Administrator. Further if you hold down the Shift key and right click you will have an additional entry on the right click menu to run it as a completely different user.
    – cybernard
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 1:35
  • 2
    For a standard user both these solutions will get him another users profile which is exactly what he wants to avoid... If you trust ms you can just enable UAC and use an admin user... that way you are not really a full admin in terms of security and the run as administrator will give you more rights while keeping the profile...
    – Syberdoor
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 12:20
  • I use the same method that cybernard mentions or VS has a similar self-escalation method. But @Syberdoor is correct--both those methods load the admin's profile. And it's not that I don't trust MS, it's just that the privilege escalation vulnerabilities bypass the UAC prompt.
    – N Jones
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 16:51


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