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How to check if a process is running as administrator on Windows 10

All accounts on Windows 10 are not created equal; there are ordinary user accounts, and there is the admin account. The admin account has far more rights and privileges than an ordinary user account and you need it to make certain changes to the OS e.g., installing a new app, uninstalling an app, or editing the Windows registry.

If you’re running an app with admin rights, or you think you are and you need to confirm it, the process is fairly simple and all you need is the Task Manager.

Check app privileges

Open task manager and go to the Details tab. Right-click the header of any one of the columns on this tab and select ‘Select Columns’. A small window will open listing various columns that you can enable on the Details tab. Look for and enable the ‘Elevated’ column (column names are not sorted alphabetically).

Once the Elevated column has been added, look through the list of items that are running and check their corresponding value in the Elevated column.

For apps that are running with administrator rights, the Elevated column will read ‘Yes’. For apps that are running with normal user rights, the Elevated column will read ‘No’.

Generally speaking, you cannot change how an app or process is running unless you restart it. If you have an app open with normal user rights, and you need to give it admin rights, you’re going to have to close it first and run it again, and this goes both ways. An app running with admin rights cannot be downgraded to normal user rights without first closing it.

For many users, this is a problem because closing the app means there will be a stop in the workflow. If the app is busy with a task, it will have to be interrupted and started again. It is inconvenient but that’s how the system works and there isn’t anything that can be done to change it at its core.

If you often need a certain app to always run with admin rights, but you’re in the habit of just double-clicking it to open it, you can set it to always, automatically run as an administrator. To do that, right-click the app’s EXE and select Properties. On the Properties window, go to the Compatibility tab and enable the ‘Run this program as an administrator’ option. Click Apply, and that will do the trick.

This option may not be present for all apps in which case, you’re going to have to remember to run it as an administrator.

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