Mastering the Task: Open File Explorer as Admin in Windows

Table of Contents

Defining File Explorer and Admin Privileges

Before we dive in, let’s familiarize ourselves with some crucial terms. The File Explorer, often referred to as Windows Explorer, is a file management application included with Microsoft’s Windows OS. It provides a graphical user interface for accessing your device’s file system.

But what about admin privileges? Pretty simple, really. They’re just another term for the specialized access rights and permissions assigned to the administrative user. These rights enable an administrator to perform tasks that a standard user isn’t authorized to, such as modifying system files.

So, why bother with opening File Explorer as an admin? Here’s why: when you log in as admin, you gain access to all files and programs, including those hidden or protected. It helps when you want to tackle tasks that involve system files or when troubleshooting certain problems.

Roles of User and Admin in Windows OS

Since we’re knee-deep into the topic, it’s crucial to grasp the distinction between ‘User’ and ‘Admin’ roles in Windows. Standard users can use most software and change system settings that don’t affect other users or the security of the computer.

On the contrary, an Administrator can make changes that affect other users and the computer’s security. This includes changing the security settings, installing software and hardware, and accessing all files on the computer.

When Admin Access to File Explorer Becomes Necessary

There may be situations where you cannot perform certain actions without admin access. It helps when you need to change files in a program, view files of other accounts, or modify system files. Admin access equips you with the flexibility to dig into the roots of your computer, but it also carries risks, such as unintentional file deletion or malware infiltration.

How to Open File Explorer as Admin

By default, File Explorer opens in the context of a standard user. To use it as an admin:

1. Open the User Account Control and switch to the admin account.
2. Use the Run command by pressing Windows + R and typing `explorer` in the open box.
3. Alternatively, you can use the Command Prompt. Type in `explorer` and press Enter.

Using the Elevated Command Prompt

The Elevated Command Prompt is another handy tool in Windows that provides you with enhanced capabilities. This utility lets you execute commands with administrative privileges. It’s useful when you need to troubleshoot or modify core aspects of the system.

Opening File Explorer using an Elevated Command Prompt simply requires launching Command Prompt as an admin, then typing in `start explorer`, and hitting Enter.

Employing Third-Party Tools

There are several third-party tools available, like Explorer++ or Multi Commander, that come with built-in features to open a directory as an Administrator in File Explorer.

Ensuring Safe Navigation in File Explorer as Admin

While having admin access could feel like possessing a master key, remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Avoid making unwanted changes to directories, and restrict access to your admin account to maintain system security.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, learning how to open File Explorer as an admin can streamline your workflow and troubleshooting efforts. Always remember to use these powers wisely, because even a small error could lead to significant issues.

We hope you found this guide helpful. Feel free to reach out to us at if you have any further queries or need more information.

Tracy here, signing off until the next time we un-complicate one more tech problem for you. Stay tuned!

Author’s Bio: Hi, I’m Tracy, the owner of My goal is to make tech less intimidating and more approachable for all, with easy-to-understand content, troubleshooting guides and how-to articles. I am committed to demystifying intricate tech problems and providing simple, easy-to-follow solutions.