What is “Run as Administrator” and why would you use it?

Sometimes on your PC you’re told that you can’t do something because you don’t have “Administrative” rights.  This can be confusing though, especially if you’re the main or even the only person who uses the PC, so surely you must already be an administrator and able to do what you need to… surely?

When you are the only person using a PC, or it’s your own PC and you’re the main user, you don’t automatically have complete administrative rights to do everything you want.  This is for reasons of security, and Windows protects critical functions and features that can be abused by malware to perform actions such as make the computer unstable, encrypt your files, or hijack the PC completely.

If you find that there is something you do need administrative rights for, such as running the System File Checker to repair a problem with Windows, then you can achieve this by right-clicking (touching and holding) the icon for the app or feature you need.  A pop up menu will then appear in which you will see a Run as administrator option.

You will be prompted by a User Account Control (UAC) security prompt, but will then have full administrator permissions for that app, for as long as the app is open.

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