SOLVED! Program Won’t Run Unless Administrator Windows 10

All in all, Run as administrator is a command available in every version of Windows. As the name suggests, Run as administrator opens programs with administrator privilege and allows them access to restricted parts of Windows. Usually, Windows users only need to use Run as administrator with selective programs at selective times. Nonetheless, reports about program won’t run unless administrator Windows 10 still pop up every now and then.

The Root Of The Problem


The number one suspect is corruption of the user account. If your account is corrupted, it’s natural for operations to experience issues. One of the results of user accounts becoming corrupted is that programs won’t run without administrator privileges. Hence, it is a good idea to think about the account.

Corrupted System Files

One cause of the error is corruption in system files. Since system files dictate the performance of Windows. Thus, corrupted system files would cause things to go haywire. For instance, if system files become corrupted, the operating system could get confused on which programs require administrator privileges and start asking for those repeatedly.

Malicious Programs

Though most of today’s computers have antivirus programs, threats could sneak past their defense on occasions. As they infect computers, the first thing malicious programs would do is make changes to your system without you knowing. That would explain why you need administrator status for everything out of the blue.


The registry is the part of the system that manages how programs are run. If some keys inside it were set to wrong values, it could cause this problem. Thus, it is recommended to take a look at your registry if program won’t run unless administrator Windows 10.


Certain services have been reported to be possible culprits as while active, they will prevent other programs from being run without administrator rights. Such services can be hard to identify and may require trial and error to neutralize.

What Must Be Done

Give Account Some Thought

First of all, make sure you are currently logged into Windows as an Administrator account. To check, do these steps:

  • Step 1. Open Control Panel via the Search bar.
  • Step 2. Click “User Accounts” then “User Accounts” once more.
  • Step 3. Check whether or not your account has an “Administrator” text under your email on the right side. If you do not see the “Administrator”, you are using a Standard or a Guest account. Try switching to an admin account.

If the issue disappears when you use an admin account, that means there is something wrong with the original account. In that case, you should create a new account:

  • Step 1. Open “Add, edit, or remove other users” using the Search bar.
  • Step 2. Click “Add someone else to this PC”.
  • Step 3. Follow the steps in this window to add a new account.
  • Step 4. Click the new account > Change account type.
  • Step 5. Click Administrator > OK.

Now reboot your computer and log in as the new user. You can use the new account as a workaround. If you wish to fix the original account, I recommend contacting Microsoft customer support to find a solution.

System File Checker And Deployment Image Servicing and Management

System Files Checker, or SFC, is a built-in Windows utility that scans the system for corruption and takes care of it. Here’s how to use it:

  • Step 1. Run Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Step 2. Type “Sfc /scannow” and hit Enter.

Wait until the process completes and see how things turn out. If the issue persists, give Deployment Image Servicing and Management, or DISM, a go as well.

  • Step 1. Run Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Step 2. Type “dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth” and hit Enter.
  • Step 3. Type “dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth” and hit Enter.
  • Step 4: Close Command Prompt then restart your computer.

Scan Computer

Malware, worms viruses, … are the last things you want on your computer. They can cause a great many problems and program won’t run unless administrator Windows 10 is a prime example. Therefore, it is a good idea to run a full system scan using your antivirus program.

If nothing is found, I recommend giving Microsoft Safety Scanner a try. The Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free official security tool with the ability to perform various specific system scans for malicious programs. It does not conflict with your antivirus software in any way. Follow the instructions on the site and see if your current problem is indeed caused by malware.

Make Use Of Registry Editor

As stated earlier, specific keys in the Registry might have wrong values which mess up everything on your PC. Take a look at your Registry and fix them as needed. Be mindful that the registry is a sensitive part of the system and requires the utmost caution. Make a backup of your registry as a precaution and do the following:

  • Step 1. Type “regedit.msc” into the Search bar and hit Enter.
  • Step 2. In Registry Editor, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes key. If you see a .exe key here, remove it.
  • Step 3. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.exe.
  • Step 4. Click the .exe key and check the values on the right. It should be “(value not set)”. Apply changes if necessary.
  • Step 6. In the same directory, click “OpenWithList”. The value should also be “(value not set)”. Apply changes if necessary.
  • Step 7. Go back to .exe key but now click “OpenWithProgids”. There should be one default “(value not set)” and one exe file value with REG_NONE type.

If any of the above values does not check out for you, change them to the desired values. If you don’t have experience with managing Registry, I recommend getting assistance from someone who does. Feel free to use the system restore point if things don’t go as planned.

Perform A Clean Boot

Clean boot means that you boot up Windows without third-party programs or services running. This will help you narrow down the one that is causing the problem. You could simply boot in Safe Mode but then you would not be able to open programs to check the problem. To perform a clean boot:

  • Step 1. Type “msconfig” into the Search bar and hit Enter.
  • Step 2. In System Configuration, go to Services tab.
  • Step 3. Check the “Hide all Microsoft services” box at the bottom left.
  • Step 4. Click “Disable all”.
  • Step 5. Now open Task Manager, go to Startup tab and disable all Services.
  • Step 6. Reboot your pc and check.

If you no longer need to run as admin for programs, that means one of the services is the culprit. Go back to the msconfig’s Services tab and Task Manager’s startup tab and start enabling services selectively to determine precisely which service is causing this.

What Should I Do When Both DISM And SFC Scan Show Errors? 

As with other commands in Command Prompts, make sure that you type the commands accurately. A single mistake will invalidate the command and errors endue. You can also copy the commands and paste them into Command prompt to minimize the odds of errors.

How Do I Navigate Around The Registry?

You can expand the keys one by one and head toward the target like what you do in Windows Explorer. Alternatively, you can also copy the directory you want, paste them into the bar at the top and press Enter.

What Must Be Done When The Issue Persists No Matter What?

If you truly have exhausted all of your options, you can settle for a workaround. The catch is that it’s not that programs do not work, but rather they only work when you run them as administrator. Thus, you can set all of your programs into running as administrator by default.

  • Step 1. Right-click a program’s .exe file and choose Properties.
  • Step 2. Check the “Run as administrator” box near the bottom of the Compatibility tab.

If you are annoyed by the constant confirmation messages to run as admin, you can disable them by:

  • Step 1. Open User Account Control Settings via the Search bar.
  • Step 2. Slide the slider to the bottom or near the bottom.

Now programs should be run as admin by default and the pop up will no longer appear.

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