Feb 242013
 

ElevatedShortcut is a free portable utility for Windows 7 and Windows 8 to create a new program shortcut (or modify an existing one) which suppresses the usual User Account Control (UAC) prompt i.e. the program will be launched elevated (with admin rights) – without a prompt.

UAC is a useful security measure to limit software to standard user rights – it asks you to authorize an increase in elevation to administrator privileges when required. However, by definition, it can be pretty ‘naggy’ – so much so that many users turn it off completely which is a security risk. A more secure alternative is to keep it enabled but bypass it for your most commonly used programs that require elevation.

ElevatedShortcut – this utility makes it easy to create, modify and remove shortcuts which open a program elevated and without UAC interaction. All elevated shortcuts are created using Windows Task Scheduler – this means that you will still be able to use them even if you subsequently delete the ElevatedShortcut utility.

A good example would be to use it to create a shortcut to an elevated Command Prompt or to open Regedit without having to confirm with UAC every single time.

An optional feature is the addition of Explorer context menu integration for exe, cmd, bat and com files i.e. right click on one of these program file and select ‘ElevatedShortcut’ from the context menu to open the utility, with the target path of the program file already populated.

Download – the utility is available for download as a zip file from the developers here (it’s the grey download button within the table of program info).

After extracting, run the program from within the W7 or W8 sub-folder as appropriate to display the main menu as shown below:

elevated1

Main menu

Here you have four options:

1. Create a new shortcut – browse to/select the target path of the program and select a folder where you wish to store the shortcut e.g. the desktop. If you don’t input a folder name the shortcut will be saved in the same directory as the ElevatedShortcut utility. You can also enter command line arguments if required:

elevated2

Creating new shortcut

2. Modify an existing shortcut – browse to/select the shortcut and the utility will change it to an elevated shortcut (it also appends ‘Elevated’ to the shortcut name to identify it more easily).

3. Remove a shortcut you previously created – select a shortcut and the utility will delete it and its associated Task. Note that manually deleting a shortcut will not remove its entry from Task Scheduler – you could do this manually too but it is far easier to let the utility delete both at the same time:

elevated3

Deleting shortcut(s)

4. Settings – this option lets you change the language (English, Russin or Czech) or add/remove Explorer context menu integration.

Conclusion

ElevatedShortcut is a great utility for those who wish to keep UAC active for best security but also use shortcuts to quickly open common programs (like CMD) as administrator – without having to confirm with UAC.

[More info at developer site here.]