In Windows XP all programs were run with administrator rights if you were logged in to the computer with a user account with admin rights to that system. There are obviously some security concerns with this, as any piece of software can potentially do damage to your system. This all changes with Windows Vista and Windows 7 as long as you keep UAC (User Access Control) enabled. UAC prevents software that need to access certain parts of Windows from running without any checks and balances.
By default, all programs are run without administrative rights. There are some cases where it is necessary to escalate the rights of an application so that it runs with these admin rights. A good example of this is Windows’ built-in Command Prompt utility. If you launch the Windows Command Prompt from the Start Menu, it will run with normal user (not administrative) rights. When the Command Prompt is opened this way, you will be allowed to do things like run a directory search or copy files, but not more advanced functions such as restarting Windows services. To allow these commands to run, you’ll first need to open the Command Prompt with administrative rights.
Opening the Command Prompt in Windows 7 with Administrative Rights:
- Click on the Start Menu and browse for the command prompt (Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> Command Prompt), or search for Command Prompt.
- Instead of clicking on the Command Prompt icon to open it, right-click and select Run as Administrator.
- You may get prompted to allow this action, if you do simply click on the Yes button.