Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

Press Windows+R to open a Run box, enter the executable name, then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to run an application as administrator. You can also open Task Manager to run a new task.

The Run box is a convenient way to run programs, open folders and documents, and even issue some Command Prompt commands. You can even use it to run programs and commands with administrative privileges.

What Is the Run Box, and Why Should You Use It?

A Run box is a small window that allows you to start a program by entering the executable name. It can be handy in a pinch if the Windows user interface is experiencing a bug, or if you happen to know precisely what you’re looking for.

The Run box, also called the Run dialog, has been around since the early days of Windows. It’s become a less-used feature since Windows 7 enhanced the Start menu search to accommodate most of what you can do with the Run box, but the Run box can still be useful. You can even use it to quickly open hidden system folders with the Shell command.

We’re going to look at how to run a program or command as an administrator. This will work in just about any version of Windows, including Windows 10 and Windows 11 as well as older versions of Windows like Windows 7.

RELATED: How to Open Hidden System Folders with Windows’ Shell Command

How to Launch a Run Box from Anywhere

To open a Run box, press Windows+R.

Type the name of whatever command—or program, folder, document, or website—you want to open. After typing your command, hit Ctrl+Shift+Enter to run it with admin privileges. Hitting Enter runs the command as a normal user.

And by the way, if you favor using the Start menu search over the Run box, the Ctrl+Shift+Enter trick will work there, too. Just search for the app or command, highlight using your keyboard arrows, and hit Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Use the Run Box From Task Manager

You can also open a Run box from within Task Manager. The Task Manager looks a little different on Windows 10 and Windows 11, but the functionality is the same.

On Windows 10, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager, then click File > Run New Task.

On Windows 11, open up the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc, then click the”Run New Task” button.

Tick the box that says “Create This Task With Administrative Privileges,” enter the program you want to launch, then click “OK.”

The run box will close, and your desired application will launch with administrative privileges. If you type it incorrectly, you’ll get a message like: “Windows cannot find X. Make sure you typed the name correctly, then try again.”

The Run box isn’t the only way to launch an application in a pinch, however. You can also start a program by typing its name into File Explorer‘s address bar.

RELATED: 10 Windows File Explorer Features You Should Be Using


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