Windows Vista Secret #10: Open an Elevated Command Prompt in Six Keystrokes

User Account Control is, as I mentioned in secret #4, an important part of the security protection that Windows Vista offers. For any user with administrative credentials, you can always execute a process with full admin rights by right-clicking on the executable or shortcut and choosing "Run as Administrator".

For myself, I regularly want to open an admin-level command prompt, and it's a distraction to have to move my hands off the keyboard to go through the elevation contortions. So I was delighted to find a little keyboard shortcut for launching an elevated process. Simply press Ctrl+Shift+Enter from the search bar on the start menu with a selected application, and that triggers elevation.

For example, to launch an elevated command prompt, simply press the Win key; type cmd; press Ctrl+Shift+Enter; and then hit Alt+C to confirm the elevation prompt. Six keystrokes to an elevated command prompt!

(Once I've got an elevated command prompt, I always like to execute color 4f as my first input so that this console window is visually differentiated from other non-elevated windows.)