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How to run apps with TrustedInstaller privileges on Windows 10

The admin account on Windows 10 that a user uses doesn’t give you full control over the OS. You will be able to modify most aspects of the OS but there are still many areas that are locked down. These areas, or functions are controlled by a different ‘user’ i.e. TrustedInstaller. Processes and locations that are owned by TrustedInstaller cannot be modified by the admin user. In order to modify any of these processes you need to either take ownership from TrustedInstaller or you need to run the app with TrustedInstaller privileges. Here’s how you can run apps with TrustedInstaller privileges.

Run with TrustedInstaller privileges

In order to run apps with TrustedInstaller privileges you need to download a free app called PowerRun. By default, any app that you add to it can be run with TrustedInstaller privileges. It has buttons for directly launching the Registry editor and the Command Prompt with TrustedInstaller rights. For all other apps, you can click the plus button at the top, select the EXE of the file, and then run it via PowerRun.

You can also drag & drop files and processes (from one app to this one), to add it.

PowerRun can also be used to run apps with normal system admin rights. To do this, you need to modify its INI file. This file is located in the same folder that you extract PowerRun to. You can open it with Notepad. Look for the TrustedInstaller= line and replace the 1 value with 0, save the change to the file, and close and re-run the app.

You can also edit the list of apps from the INI file. Look under [FileList] and add or remove the apps you want to add. Notice the 1 value that precedes a file name. This indicates that it will be run with TrustedInstaller privileges.

A word of caution

PowerRun makes it easy to modify files and processes that would normally require a few extra steps. That said, TrustedInstaller isn’t something Windows 10 added to annoy users. It’s meant to offer extra protection and unless you know what you’re doing, you should not try to modify anything that TrustedInstaller owns.

This app should not become your go-to tool for opening apps. For one, you’ll run into problems when you try to modify anything that the TrustedInstaller user doesn’t own. Secondly, it’s just bad practice to use an app that will lift any and all warnings that alert you to the fact you may be modifying critical aspects of the OS.

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