XDA Basics: How to run an app as an administrator on Windows 11

XDA Basics: How to run an app as an administrator on Windows 11

In Windows 11, just like previous versions of Windows before it, you can have different user accounts on the same PC. Some of these accounts can be administrator accounts, and others might just be regular accounts. That’s because some apps – particularly ones that can change important system files – sometimes require administrator permission to run or to make specific changes. Even if you have an administrator account, many times Windows 11 apps won’t run with administrator permissions by default, so as to prevent apps from making potentially harmful changes to your PC without your consent.

For example, the Windows Terminal can run without administrator permissions, and some features can be used that way, but many of the things you can do with it do require you to run it as an administrator. Otherwise, they just won’t work. If you want to run an app as an administrator, here’s how you can do it.

Running an app as an administrator once

If you just want to run a specific app as an administrator occasionally, you can specifically ask it to run as an administrator whenever you need to. Doing this is very simple:

  • On the Start menu, desktop, or File Explorer, right-click the app you want to run. Then, click Run as administrator (in the All apps list on the Start menu, this option is hidden behind the More dropdown menu).

    On the desktop and File Explorer, you can also press Ctrl + Shift while clicking an app to run it as an administrator.

  • Click Yes in the User Account Control prompt. If you’re not using an administrator account, you’ll need to provide a password for one of the administrator accounts on the PC.

Do note, however, that not every app will give you the option to run as an administrator. Particularly, apps built on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) or WinRT don’t offer this option. These apps are designed to work in a more limited scope for security reasons, so they don’t even have the option. These are mostly apps you’ll find in the Microsoft Store, so if you downloaded something using your web browser, you should be able to run it as an administrator just fine.

Always run an app in administrator mode

For some apps, you may want to always run them as administrator, so it can get tedious to do the process above every time. If you want a specific app to always run as an administrator, you can make that happen, at least, for some apps. Here’s how:

  • Find the app you want on the desktop or using File Explorer. If the app you want is on the Start menu, right-click it and choose Open file location. If you can’t see the option, you may not be able to run the app as an administrator.
    Option to open file location on Start menu

    • For some apps that don’t show the Open file location option on the Start menu, another option is to use the Task Manager. While the app is running, open the Task Manager and locate the app there. You can then right-click the process and choose Open file location there to find where the app is. This won’t work for every app, however.
      Option to open file location in Task Manager
  • Right-click the app and choose Properties in the context menu.
    Context menu with Properties option highlighted
  • In the Properties window, switch to the Compatibility tab at the top.
  • Here, toggle the option that says Run this program as an administrator.
    Properties window with setting to run app as an administrator enabled
  • Click OK to save your changes and close the Properties window.
  • If the app is currently running, you’ll need to close it and re-launch it for it to run with administrator permissions.

From now on, that program will always run as an administrator. You’ll have to accept the User Account Control prompt every time you run the app, you can’t work around that.

Certain apps, such as the Windows Terminal we mentioned above, can’t be located in the File Explorer normally, but you can still set them to run as administrator from within the app itself. Many apps offer this option in their settings, but that will look different for each app.


And that’s all you need to know about running Windows 11 apps as an administrator. As we’ve mentioned, this can enable certain features in some apps. but you’ll need an administrator account to do so. Speaking of things that require an administrator account, why not check out how to enable God Mode on Windows 11 to gain quick access to various system settings?

And while we’re on the topic of accounts, we also have a guide on how to set up a child account on Windows 11. This can be very helpful if you have a PC you share with the rest of your family.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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