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How to Run File Explorer as Admin on Windows 10 and Windows 11

Running File Explorer as an administrator in Windows 10 and Windows 11 unlocks a world of possibilities, empowering you to effortlessly perform tasks that require elevated privileges. Here’s a straightforward and easy-to-follow guide to help you harness this powerful capability in both operating systems:

Windows 10

  1. Open Task Manager:

    • Right-click on the taskbar and select ‘Task Manager’ or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. End File Explorer Process:

    • In the Task Manager, go to the ‘Processes’ tab.
    • Find ‘Windows Explorer‘ in the list.
    • Right-click on ‘Windows Explorer’ and select ‘End task‘.
  3. Run File Explorer as Administrator:

    • In Task Manager, go to the ‘File‘ menu and select ‘Run new task‘.
    • Type exe in the text box.
    • Check the box next to ‘Create this task with administrative privileges’.
    • Click ‘OK’ to restart File Explorer with admin rights.

Windows 11

  1. Open Task Manager:

    • Right-click on the Start button or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. End File Explorer Process:

    • In Task Manager, switch to the ‘Processes’ tab.
    • Locate ‘Windows Explorer’.
    • Right-click on it and choose ‘End task’.
  3. Run File Explorer as Administrator:

    • In Task Manager, click on ‘File’ in the top left corner and select ‘Run new task’.
    • Enter exe in the dialog box.
    • Tick the ‘Create this task with administrative privileges’ checkbox.
    • Click ‘OK’ to restart File Explorer as an administrator.

 

Run File Explorer with Admin Rights

  1. From Windows Folder:

    • Navigate to C:\Windows in File Explorer.Run as administrator option for File Explorer EXE
    • Right-click on explorer.exe and select “Run as administrator”.
    • Accept the UAC prompt.
  2. Using Task Manager:

    • Open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc).
    • Choose “Run new task” (Windows 11) or go to File > Run New Task (Windows 10).
    • Type explorer.exe and check “Create this task with administrative privileges”.Opening File Explorer from Task Manager
    • Click OK.
  3. Via Command Prompt:

    • Open Command Prompt as admin (search for cmd, then select “Run as administrator”).Opening Command Prompt as admin from Windows 11 Start menu
    • Type explorer.exe and press Enter.
    • A File Explorer window with admin rights will open.

Note: Running File Explorer with elevated privileges only affects the specific instance. Other instances running with normal privileges won’t be elevated.

 

Important Notes

  • Running File Explorer as an administrator allows you to access and modify system files and other protected areas of the OS. This should be done with caution to avoid unintended system changes.
  • Some system tasks might require administrative privileges and running File Explorer as an administrator can facilitate these operations.
  • It’s advisable to revert back to the non-administrative File Explorer for regular use to avoid accidental system modifications.

Now you know how to run File Explorer as an administrator on both Windows 10 and Windows 11. Remember to exercise caution when working with elevated privileges.

1 Comment

  1. That my work if you only want an explorer window open as admin. That is not always convenient. To be able to open File Explorer as admin you need to rename a value in this registry key, after changing the owner to an admin account you are able to use. I found this on the web years ago but can no longer find it.

    Rename the following key:

    HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}\RunAs
    to
    HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}\_RunAs

    You will likely have to go in as an administrator and take ownership of that registry key before you can modify it, as by default, only TrustedInstaller can modify it.
    This will stop the mechanism that launches explorer.exe from always launching it as the current interactive user.

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