Allow Users to Run Programs as Administrator without Giving Them the Password

How to Allow Users to Run Certain Programs as Administrator without Giving Them the Password

If you are sharing your PC with the other users, then it is only natural to have multiple user accounts with limited capabilities. In addition, I also encourage users to enable and use a standard user account rather than the default administrator account in Windows.

Of course, using a standard user account with limited capabilities has its own downsides. For instance, you cannot use certain programs or change certain settings in a program without the administrator password. However, if you are an administrator and want your users to run programs as an administrator without giving them the actual admin password, then here is how you can do it.

To allow users to run certain programs with administrator rights, we are going to use a free and portable utility called RunAsTool. To start, download it from the official website and unpack it to a location where every user in your system can access it.

Being a portable application, there is no need for any installation. Just open the unpacked folder and execute the .exe file.

RunAsTool-execute-application

As soon as you run the application, RunAsTool will prompt you to select an administrator account. Just select the admin account from the drop-down menu, enter the admin password and click on the “Apply” button.

RunAsTool-enter-admin-password

The above action takes you to the application’s main window. Here you can add the applications you want users to use as an administrator.

RunAsTool-main-window

To add an application, simply drag and drop the executable. As you can see from the below image, I’m adding Task Manager. When Task Manager is opened with limited capabilities, you cannot end certain processes and also cannot change the startup state of certain applications.

RunAsTool-drag-and-drop-application

Alternatively, you can add applications to RunAsTool by navigating to “File” and then selecting the option “Add File.”

RunAsTool-add-file

Once you are done adding the application, you can configure a few settings in the right pane. The good thing is that the settings are optimally configured by default, so don’t mess with them unless you know what you are doing.

RunAsTool-options

After configuring the RunAsTool, simply close the application.

Now, whenever a user wants to launch a program as an administrator, they first need to launch the RunAsTool application. From there they can execute the application. For instance, if I want to run Task Manager as an administrator, then I will double-click on Task Manager inside RunAsTool.

RunAsTool-open-application-as-admin

The action will launch Task Manager as an administrator without any UAC prompts.

RunAsTool-app-opened

Don’t worry, only an administrator can add, edit or delete the programs in the RunAsTool utility.

As an administrator, if you want to add, edit or delete the applications in the utility, then launch RunAsTool, navigate to “File” and select the option “Launch Edit Mode.”

RunAsTool-launch-edit-mode

This action will prompt you for the administrator password. Simply give the details and press the Enter button to work with RunAsTool.

RunAsTool-select-admin

Now, if you ever want to delete an application from RunAsTool, select the application and press the “Delete” button on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can also select “Remove” from the “Edit” menu. If you want to remove all the added applications from RunAsTool, then select the option “Remove All.”

RunAsTool-remove-app

Finally, if you want to delete everything, including the data stored by the RunAsTool, then select the option “Remove Data and Exit” from the “File” menu.

RunAsTool-remove-data

The above action may show you a warning window; just click on the Yes button, and all your data will be removed. If you want to use the tool again, then you need to reconfigure it from scratch.

RunAsTool-select-yes

This free tool may look simple but is quite handy as it lets you launch different programs as an administrator without needing an admin password each and every time. I personally use this application to launch different applications like Task Manager, Services, etc. Do give this app a try and see if it fits your needs.

Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above application.

15 comments

  1. I used to be able to use a program called Makereadable that would let me print your articles to a pdf for reading later or to re-read, it still works with other email newsletters I receive but not yours(MakeTechEasier. Any ideas why it no longer work with your newsletters? I really enjoy MakeTechEasier articles but still would like to archive them for future reference.

    Norm

  2. I’m the sole user of my PC so unless I’m overlooking something (and please comment if I am), I have no use for this program.

    • Well, it depends on your applications and usage. For me, I use WAMPserver regularly and every time I launch it, I have to enter the administrator password. But when I use it with RunAsTool, I don’t have to do it each and every time. The same is applicable to other built-in applications like Task Manager or Services where you have limited rights as a standard user.

      • I never understood if I only have no user accounts on my PC, why Windows would ask if I’m the Administrator? Shouldn’t I be by default?
        Anyway, your reply suggested some use for us sole users, so thanks, Vamsi!

        Dan

        • Although it is convenient to run as Administrator all the time, you are better protected against exploits when running as a normal user. Many exploits rely on the access an Administrator account provides to successfully compromise a machine.

          • Good point, Art. I’ll only request to run as an Administrator when necessary. However, now that I think about it, won’t a hacker be able to make the same request?
            Dan

          • Dan, when using the RunAsTool, a hacker will indeed have the same access you do as a user, without entering an administrator password. The advantage is that only programs you specifically allow can run as administrator without entering that password. Of course, those are likely to be the very programs that access sensitive locations on your machine! So, you’re reducing the attack surface, but still trading security for convenience. As with all security, it’s really about risk management.

  3. Will this work for all users of a PC? For example, I work in a college environment where we have students login with their individual accounts to any one of our 1,200+ academic lab computers. I’d love to be able to have users login as a standard user while being able to run certain programs as administrators.

    • Yes, as long as users can access this little program, they can execute allowed programs as an administrator.

  4. How secure is this program?

    There are several aspects to this question – two obvious ones being:
    – where does the program store the admin password and how easy is it to retrieve?
    – what guarantee is there that the program doesn’t inform hackers of the admin password via internet?

    This program whilst it seems nice and convenient, raises a lot of security questions.

    A much safer method of allowing (different levels of) privileged access is to use the Windows user privileges (hierarchy of grouped users) – although harder to establish since it requires careful thinking, it will be more secure than what is proposed here.

Comments are closed.

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