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Windows 7: Elevated Program Shortcut without UAC Prompt Any User is able to Run

03 Dec 2015   #1
matteoautomata

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Elevated Program Shortcut without UAC Prompt Any User is able to Run

I am trying to make a shortcut to launch a program with admin privileges, with User Account Control (UAC) enabled, from a regular user account.

I had previously used 'runas' to launch a program with admin privileges from a regular user account using a similar method in the "How to Create an Elevated Program Shortcut Any User is able to Run" tutorial to create an elevated shortcut. In my case I am launching Process Explorer as an admin user from a regular user account. I had created a batch file with the command, then created a shortcut to the batch file, although the method in the tutorial where the entire command is just written out as the shortcut target is much simpler.

The 'runas' command used to work fine with UAC turned OFF. However it does NOT work with UAC turned ON. I'm not sure why. If I turn UAC off, it works. But if UAC is turned on, even though the application (Process Explorer) is launched with the admin user account, for system processes it shows <access denied> and no network and no disk information. I have verified the command launches as the admin user, since the admin user account username is listed next to the process, and the name of the admin user account is shown in brackets in the title bar of the application.

Interesting I also tried the Sysinternals 'ShellRunas' utility, which also did NOT work with UAC turned ON. I registered the context menu entry, then I right clicked to select "Run as different user...", and then entered the admin user account credentials, but the application doesn't seem to have the correct permissions either, with showing <access denied> for system processes and no disk/network info, even though it says it is running under the admin user account.



If I right click on the application and choose the "Run as administrator" option (with the little yellow and blue shield), a "User Account Control" dialog pops up, and asks me to enter credentials. I can enter in the admin user account credentials, and then everything works fine with the application permissions.

I don't really want to have to right click, "Run as administrator", and type in a password every time for certain trusted applications that I use frequently.



So I created a scheduled task following the "Elevated Program Shortcut without UAC Prompt" tutorial trying a few different options and created a shortcut to launch that task: (schtasks /run /tn "ProcessExplorer")

'runas' launching app => still get access denied error: (%windir%\System32\runas.exe /user:DOMAIN\AdminUsername /savecred "D:\Downloads\Windows Utilities\Process Explorer\procexp.exe")

'cmd' launching 'runas' launching app => still get access denied error: (%windir%\System32\cmd.exe /c start C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /user:DOMAIN\AdminUsername /savecred "D:\Downloads\Windows Utilities\Process Explorer\procexp.exe")

'cmd' launching app, with "Task Scheduler" "Security Options" to use admin user account whether or not user is logged on => did not launch (%windir%\System32\cmd.exe /c start "ProcessExplorer" "D:\Downloads\Windows Utilities\Process Explorer\procexp.exe")



I realize the warning in the tutorial states the method described will only work with an administrator account, although I thought there might be a work around. I don't want to be logged in as an administrator all the time, and don't want to disable User Account Control, but would like to run certain trusted applications with admin privileges as a standard user. I known can right click and 'Run as administrator' every time and enter credentials to launch the app with admin privileges, but I thought there might be an easier way.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Dec 2015   #2
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Maybe a dumb question, but
did you change the password for the admin account after you created the runas shortcut ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2015   #3
matteoautomata

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I didn't change the password after. Usually if I did change the password the runas command line program will prompt to enter the password. I think that it is because of user account control since when I have user account control disabled the run as command will work fine with the saved credentials however if user account control is enabled the command line run as command does not work. I have just been right clicking and selecting run as administrator with the little blue and yellow shield which grays out the whole screen and prompts for credentials. I guess that is the point of user account control is to increase security but it just makes more work for me where I have to type out my username and password everytime. I had thought about using a auto hot key script to auto fill my password however the auto hot key scripts don't work on any window that is running as the admin account. Oh well
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Dec 2015   #4
Pyprohly

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan
 
 

Hi Matteoautomata,

For the Runas method in the tutorial How to Create an Elevated Program Shortcut Any User is able to Run, you must use the builtin Administrator account and not just any odd user that is apart of the Administrators group.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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