I came across a brilliant tip on how to run programs elevated without getting the User Account Control (UAC) prompt, in the Huddled Masses Blog. This can be done without turning off the UAC and hence it does not compromise system security. The trick is to create a scheduled task (with high privileges) for each program that you run frequently, and then invoke the scheduled task item manually using schtasks.exe.

Creating a Scheduled Task

1. Open Task Scheduler from Control Panel or by running the command control schedtasks from Start, Search box.

2. Right-click Task Scheduler Library category in the left, and choose New Folder

3. Name the folder as MyApps

4. Select the MyApps folder

5. In the Actions pane on the right, click Create Task…

6. Type a name for the task that you want to create.

7. Enable the option Run with highest privileges. This is an important step.

8. Select the Action tab

9. Click New

10. Click Browse… to select the program (Example: Regedit.exe) you want to run, and mention the parameters required if any, for the application. (For example, to run a .REG file, select Regedit.exe and mention the parameter as "/s filename.reg")

To run Services MMC applet, browse and select MMC.EXE and type services.msc in the Add arguments (optional) field.

Some of the programs that I use frequently are:

ApplicationCommand-line used
Services MMCmmc.exe services.msc
Device Managermmc.exe devmgmt.msc
Registry Editorc:\windows\regedit.exe
Admin Command Promptc:\windows\system32\cmd.exe
Visual Studio%programfiles% \ microsoft visual studio 8 \ common7 \ ide \ devenv.exe

Launching a Scheduled Task item manually

To run a scheduled task item manually, use the schtasks.exe command-line tool that comes with Windows. For example, to launch the Services console task that you already created, use the following command:

SCHTASKS.EXE /RUN /TN SERVICESMMC

Note: Where SERVICESMMC is the Taskname (see Fig 1). You’ll need to enclose the task name within double-quotes if the task name contains blank spaces in between. (Example: SCHTASKS.EXE /RUN /TN "Name of the Task")

To launch the Registry Editor task, run the following command:

SCHTASKS.EXE /RUN /TN REGEDIT

Creating Shortcuts to run each Task

You can create a Desktop shortcut for each scheduled task item you’ve created earlier. Right-click on the Desktop and choose New, Shortcut. Type the command-line (say, SCHTASKS.EXE /RUN /TN REGEDIT). Mention a name for the shortcut and click Finish.

Run the task minimized

As Schtasks.exe is a console utility, you’ll see the Command Prompt window opening and closing quickly whenever you run the shortcut. So, you may configure the shortcut to run in a minimized window state, in the the shortcut properties.

  • Right-click on the shortcut and click Properties.
  • In the Run drop-down options, choose Minimized
  • Click OK.

Note: In the shortcut properties, you may want to click Change Icon and assign appropriate icon for the shortcut. The icons should be present inside the executable itself, in most cases. For Regedit.exe, browse to Regedit.exe and choose an icon. You may also browse the shell32.dll and imageres.dll files for additional icons.

Editor’s Note: Here are the shortcuts that I created to launch frequently used programs in my system, and I’ve moved them to the Quick Launch Toolbar for easy access. Note that you can also Pin the shortcuts to the Start menu if you wish.

This way you can launch your frequent programs elevated, without getting the User Account Control prompt and without relaxing the security settings in your computer.


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7 Comments

  1. said this on Wednesday, November 13th 2013 4:40 pm

    […] steeds aanzetten met een pop-up bij het opstarten van Total Commander. Er bestaat een methode om programma’s op te starten zonder dat UAC je een melding geeft. In Total Commander 7.55 beta is dit probleem […]

  2. Claus Riis
    said this on Tuesday, April 2nd 2013 1:37 am

    Sadly this trick does not work on Windows 8 as MS has introduced UAC for schtasks.exe

  3. Alex
    said this on Tuesday, August 28th 2012 11:43 am

    worked for me and do not see the UAC prompt, but I did something wrong, I put the “regedit” as instructed, but delete it, and put it back, and now the UAC Prompt appears as before. can anyone help?

  4. Charles
    said this on Wednesday, January 18th 2012 11:40 pm

    great fix – nothing on the MS site worked for me – this does

  5. john21
    said this on Tuesday, December 6th 2011 12:56 pm

    what is difference between turning off UAC and running everything with max. security credentials?

  6. Gui Talarico
    said this on Thursday, February 17th 2011 4:39 am

    Shortcut path NEEDS to include folder:

    [will not work]
    SCHTASKS.EXE /RUN /TN Cmd

    [will work]
    SCHTASKS.EXE /RUN /TN \MyApps\Cmd

  7. Tony
    said this on Friday, August 6th 2010 9:08 am

    Awesome!!! Works awesome for Everything search app!
    You are my hero!!!

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