How to Launch Administrator Command Prompt in Windows 8 File Explorer

There are many registry hacks to simplify our Windows 8 experience. If you’re a command-line fanatic, you’ll love this nifty trick that allows you to launch the administrator command prompt through the right-click option while navigating the File Explorer. All you need is a bit of tweaking by accessing the Registry Editor. However, before moving forward, make sure you are logged in as an Administrator in the UAC (User Account Control).

The command prompt is usually activated via the popular “Win + R” key combos. When you press the “Window key + R”, the Run dialog box pops up and you simply type cmd or cmd.exe and the Command Prompt box shows up. Want a quick access? Check out the tutorial below.

Note: we are assuming that you know the nooks and crannies of the Registry Editor and perhaps already have an intermediate or advanced knowledge of adding and editing strings and keys.

1. On the keyboard, press “Win + R.”

2. Once you see the box, type regedit in the search box.

Type 'regedit' in the search box.

3. The User Account Control may ask you to make changes to the computer. Click “Yes.”

4. The Registry Editor will be launched. Go to this address: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell

Go to: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell

5. Under this folder create a new key and label it “runas.”

Create a new key and label it, 'runas.'

6. Double-click the “runas” folder and check if there’s a “Default” key. Right-click it and choose “Modify.”

Right-click it and choose 'Modify.'

7. Once you click “Modify,” the “Edit String” box shows up.  Type “Open Administrator Command Prompt Here” in the Value data box.

Type 'Open Administrator Command Prompt Here' in the Value data box.

8. Next, in the same folder, create a new string value (right-click the “runas” folder and choose New and select String Value). Label it as “NoWorkingDirectory.”

Choose New and select String Value.

9. Your Registry Editor window should look like this (see below).

Your Registry Editor window should look like this.

10. Under this path, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\runas , create another key and label it as “command.”

Create another key and label it as 'command.'

11. Double click the folder and you’ll see the Default string value. Right click and choose “Modify.” Under the Value data, enter cmd.exe /k cd %1 and click OK.

Enter the following value data.

13. Exit the Registry Editor and reboot your computer. Afterward, open the File Explorer to see the changes.

1. After reboot, launch the File Explorer and right click a file to test the hack.

Right-click a file to test the hack.

2. A successful registry edit will show you a quick access to the Administrator Command Prompt whether you right click a folder or anywhere in the File Explorer.

A successful registry edit.

Note: make sure you have the Administrator rights.

If the above method that requires you to edit the registry is not something to your preferences, here is an easier way to open Command Prompt in Windows Explorer. No hacks required, and it works out of the box.

1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder location where you want to open in Command Prompt.

2. In the folder address bar, type cmd and press Enter.


The command prompt magically opens in the folder location.

There’s nothing fancy or spectacular about this hack. However, if you want to expand your right-click options in the File Explorer, you can make some edits in the Registry Editor and simply apply the abovementioned steps; instead of launching the Administrator Command Prompt via the keyboard, this shortcut does the trick. Just make sure that you have the Admin rights when you try or apply this hack. Meanwhile, if you know of another way to do this, feel free to drop it in the comments.