The Fastest Way to Open an Admin Command Prompt in Windows 10

Ben Stegner 22-06-2017

If you haven’t ever visited the Command Prompt, you really should. While its barebones text interface might seem scary at first, its huge list of powerful commands Essential Windows CMD Commands You Should Know The bleak interface of the command prompt is your gateway to advanced Windows tools. We show you essential CMD commands that will let you access them. Read More let you accomplish much with just a few keystrokes. Many of them require you to open the Command Prompt as an administrator. You’ll find several ways to do this, but one of them reigns above the rest as the fastest method.


Simply pressing Windows key + X (or right-clicking on the Start Button) will open the Power User Menu. At the bottom of the top section of items, you’ll see Command Prompt and Command Prompt (Admin) — obviously you’re looking for the bottom one.

Click it, accept the UAC prompt, and you’re right into an admin command prompt. You can also use the arrow keys and Enter to select it without ever taking your hands off the keyboard.

In the Windows 10 Creators Update, you might see Windows PowerShell here instead of Command Prompt. PowerShell is an enhanced version of the Command Prompt Command Prompt vs. Windows PowerShell: What's the Difference? Windows users can get by without using either the Command Prompt or PowerShell. But with Windows 10 and new features around the corner, maybe it's about time we learned. Read More with plenty of its own uses. Indeed, Command Prompt instructions work just fine in it.

But if you’d like put the Command Line proper back in this menu, open Settings, go to Personalization, and click the Taskbar tab. Switch the Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell… option to Off.

It’s worth noting that if you haven’t been using the Power User Menu, you should start integrating it into your daily workflow How to Customize the Quick Access Menu in Windows 10 and 8 The Windows Quick Access menu is not as useful as it could be. We'll show you how to customize and re-organize the Win+X power use menu. Read More . With a quick keyboard shortcut, you can open the most important Settings pages and useful utilities. You don’t have to hunt through menus to open Apps and Features to remove a program, or the Event Viewer to troubleshoot a problem.


Of course, you won’t find every important utility in this menu. But making it second nature will go a long way in helping you get around Windows more easily.

How often do you need an Administrator command prompt? What method were you using to open one before finding this? Tell us what you think in the comments!

Image Credit: Julia Tim via Shutterstock

Related topics: Command Prompt, Windows 10, Windows Tricks.

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  1. John
    June 23, 2017 at 12:31 am

    PowerShell is way better!! I find it hard to believe people still use Command prompt let alone recommend it.

  2. Dreamer
    June 22, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Or just: Windows key + X followed by Shift + A, accept the UAC prompt, and you’re right into an admin command prompt.

    • vferg
      June 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Its always nice to learn about a quicker way to do something you have been doing for years another way. In this case I would always just right click the menu and then select it or just type into search cmd and find it and right click it and run as admin. I use it enough that my main PC just has it pinned to the taskbar but I may just remove it and free up some space after seeing your comment on the 2 quick key combo to open it. And just like said above I really should get into powershell more, even when using regular command prompt commands since they work in it the same anyway it really doesn't make sense not to.

    • Jonathan Michael Peel A-hol
      June 22, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      I don't even know if the shift is needed. I'm sure you can just press A.

      I'm not at a computer right now, so I can't confirm, but I'll remember to try.

      • Sal
        June 23, 2017 at 12:19 am

        I just tried shift needed

    • Gordon Hay
      June 23, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      You don't need Shift either, a single A is enough, and you can also use Alt + Y to confirm the UAC prompt.