I’m mostly posting this to document it to myself, since I always forget, but it might be helpful to any readers, as well. You generally don’t want to be logging in to your computer as a user with admin privileges and a sane OS (like Mac OS or Linux), makes it a fairly painless experience. Windows, on the other hand, can be a real bear on the point. Specifically, Windows Explorer doesn’t like to do the whole “Run as…” thing. I’ve discovered a wonderful little run line that will solve this problem.

In the run line (Windows key, then R or click Start menu then Run…) put in runas /u:administrator "explorer.exe /separate". You’ll want to replace administrator with an appropriate user name if that’s not a valid one. A DOS prompt will appear asking for the password and away you go. This tip thanks to Stack Overflow.

I also found something else handy here: You can input run-line commands into the “location” prompt when creating a shortcut from scratch in Windows. So if you don’t want to type out all that /u:administrator stuff all day (or, well, probably not that frequently and you’d forget it), then you can right-click > New > shortcut and paste your command into the location. Call it whatever you want and then you’ve got a shortcut to an admin Windows Explorer right on your desktop.

I find this so much easier to deal with than any other solution when I need to muck with file permissions or any number of things in Windows. Helpful? Didn’t work for you? Thoughts on the site design? Let me know in the comments.