Run as Administrator Option Missing or Does Nothing; File Association Error


Case 1: When you right-click on an executable file or a shortcut, the Run as Administrator may be missing. From Windows 10 or 11 Start menu, if you right-click a program, click More, and select Run as administrator, nothing may happen.

Right-clicking Start and clicking Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin) may launch some another application or causes the file association error below, with the shortcut name “WinX\Group3\01 – Command Prompt.lnk” in the title.

runasadmin legacydisable error

This file does not have an app associated with it for performing this action. Please install an app or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Apps Settings page.

Also, Ctrl+Shift+Enter may not run an executable elevated or does nothing.

If you create a shortcut to an executable and configure the shortcut properties to run as administrator, the program may still launch unelevated.

tips bulb iconDespite this issue, you can start a program elevated using Ctrl + Shift + Enter method in the Run dialog. You should also be able to start a program elevated via Task Manager (File Menu → “Run New task”.) Additionally, programs that require elevation by default will show the UAC consent dialog and can start elevated.

Case 2: In some cases, the “Run as Administrator” option would be present in the right-click menu. But, when you attempt to run a program elevated by right-clicking on it and clicking Run as administrator, nothing may happen. However, programs that run elevated by default (without needing to launch elevated manually) show the User Account Control (UAC) dialog and start correctly.

The same issue may happen when you access items in the Win + X menu. Some or all of the Win + X shortcuts may fail to work.

This problem has nothing to do with the User Account Control slider level settings.


Case 1: These symptoms can occur if the LegacyDisable registry value has been set for the runas verb for .exe files. The LegacyDisable value disables the action/verb where it’s implemented, thus preventing the user from launching programs in elevated mode.

Despite these issues, programs that run elevated by default (as defined in the manifest), show the UAC prompt and work fine. For example, the Registry Editor always runs elevated when you’re logged on as an administrator.

Case 2: If the “Run as administrator” command in the right-click menu doesn’t work, a buggy context menu handler shell extension added by a third-party program is most likely the root cause. Many programs — e.g., SVN, Airdroid, WinZip, and Notepad++ add context menu handlers.


Solution for Case 1:

To fix the “Run as administrator” issue and restore the missing context menu option, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Go to the following registry key:
  3. In the right pane, right-click LegacyDisable and choose Delete.
  4. Exit the Registry Editor.

Note: If the “runas” key is missing in the above registry location, download and run exe-runas-key.reg (zipped) to restore it. The registry fix applies to all versions of Windows, including Windows 11.

If, for some reason, you’re unable to launch Regedit.exe from Start, try launching it via Task Manager.

  1. Open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc)
  2. Click File, Run new task
  3. Type regedit.exe
  4. Tick Create this task with administrative privileges
  5. Click OK.

That should do it!

Solution for Case 2:

This solution applies if the “Run as Administrator” option exists in the right-click menu, but does nothing when clicked. This is caused by a buggy context menu handler shell extension.

Many programs — e.g., SVN, Airdroid, WinZip, and Notepad++ add context menu handlers. But how to know which particular context menu handler is the culprit?

We’ve seen many shell extension issues in Windows and fixed the problems using the excellent ShellExView utility. Using ShellExView from, you can disable a group of 3rd party context menu handlers at a time, restart explorer, and test. By this procedure, you can easily narrow down the context menu handler shell extension that’s blocking the Run as administrator command.

troubleshoot right click Issues Caused by Shell Extensions - shellexview

(For full instructions, see the article Slow Right Click and Explorer Crashes Caused by Shell Extensions.)

Feedback from Readers

Here are some comments from users who were facing this problem:

I found Airdroid to be the one here which disturbed the context menu. However, uninstalling Airdroid didn’t work because the only thing not removed was C:\Program Files (x86)\AirDroid\Plugins\AirContextMenu.dll so I changed the extension (AirContextMenu.dll.whatever).

Tried so many things… Quick SFV was the culprit.

The more I read about similar problems, it sounded like it had something to do with programs that put items in the context menus. I have a few programs that did that, including 7zip. I also had a program called QuickSFV which put a couple options in the context menu. Once I removed that, my Run as Administrator and Manage options worked again. 7zip context menus are fine, it was the very old QuickSFV program that seemed to screw things up!

I had the same problem with QuickSFV and it caused the issue.

Having run ShellExView and finding the only thing installed at that time other than windows stuff was Avast Antivirus. Disabling the 2 extensions of this plus a reboot fixed the issue.

I suspected a program “Memeo LifeAgent” backup software (which came with Seagate USB drive) and found the context menu handler in the registry, exported it for backup, and deleted the key.

“rinse and repeat” cutting down the list by half each time swapping the selection until finding the culprit. In my case it was “Express Zip File Compression – Context Menu”, left this one disabled (to be uninstalled) and all now works.

i uninstalled Express Zip File Compression and resolved the issue

Going by the users’ feedback, QuickSFV and Express Zip File Compression software seem to be the culprit in most cases.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

2 thoughts on “Run as Administrator Option Missing or Does Nothing; File Association Error”

  1. After trying a dozen or so suggestions, this is the one that finally worked. It worked perfectly and instantaneously for me (no reboot was necessary). Thanks for the article.

  2. Thank you so much Man, have been struggling for it and nothing worked. It got fixed instantly after deleting the key from registry.


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