Recently, I came across a brilliant tip on how to run programs elevated without getting the User Account Control (UAC) prompt. This can be done without turning off the UAC and hence it does not compromise system security.
How to Run Programs elevated without UAC Prompt
You can run apps elevated (as administrator) without getting the UAC elevation prompt when logged in to an administrator account. The trick to bypass UAC is to create a scheduled task (with highest privileges) for each program that you want to run, and then invoke the scheduled task item manually using
schtasks.exe. The following instructions apply to all versions of Windows, including Windows 10.
Step 1: Creating a Scheduled Task
- Launch Task Scheduler (
- Right-click Task Scheduler Library category in the left, and choose New Folder
- Name the folder as MyApps
- Select the MyApps folder
- In the Actions pane on the right, click Create Task…
- Type a name for the task that you want to create.
- Enable the option Run with highest privileges. This is the most important step.
- In the Action tab, click New
- 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 execute a .reg file, select
regedit.exeand mention the parameter as
/s filename.regwith the full path.
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:
Application Command-line used Services MMC mmc.exe services.msc Device Manager mmc.exe devmgmt.msc Registry Editor c:\windows\regedit.exe Admin Command Prompt c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe
Step 2: 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 \MyApps\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 \MyApps\REGEDIT
(If the folder name
\MyApps\ is not mentioned, you’ll see the error message ERROR: The system cannot find the file specified when attempting to run the task.)
If you’ve created the Tasks in the Task Scheduler library (without creating a separate folder in Tasks Scheduler), you can simply mention the task name like below:
SCHTASKS.EXE /RUN /TN task_name
Creating desktop 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 (e.g.,
SCHTASKS.EXE /RUN /TN \MyApps\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 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 an 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.
Here are the shortcuts that I created to launch frequently used programs in my system, and I’ve moved them to the Taskbar 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 frequently used programs elevated without getting the User Account Control prompt and without relaxing the security settings of your computer. Note that the above UAC bypass method works only if you’re logged in as administrator and there is no question of privilege escalation issues here.
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About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.