Running as administrator simply means that you are in logged into your Microsoft Windows computer as the administrator role which has the ability to install programs and do anything else. The administrator is the account that can make all changes to the computer. However, security experts warn against running in an administrator account because if a virus gets into the computer, it typically functions off of a permission based system. In other words, because the administrator can do anything on a computer, a virus can execute anything if it comes in through the administrator account.
Therefore, the other way to “run as” administrator without having to be an administrator is to use the “run as” feature. What this allows you to do is install software even when you’re not on the administrator account. The way it works is you punch in the administrator name and password when it asks for it and that verifies that you have permission to install. This way, you aren’t logging in as the administrator, but you still have administrator powers. And doing it is very simple.
The first step is to right click on the file that you want to run. For example, if you downloaded AOL Instant Messenger and you want to install it, right click on the file of AIM. You’ll see a list of different tabs you could click. The one that you’re looking for is the “Run as Administrator.” When you click this, it prompts the computer to install the program because you have permission.
However, before it will install, you need to put in the administrator password and username. Punch those in and then hit enter. This specific program at this specific time will recognize the administrator and begin installation. However, that doesn’t mean that you’ve made your account an administrator account. If you tried to install another program without clicking “Run as Administrator,” it wouldn’t work. You have to do this each and every time.
Protecting the computer is important. The Run as Administrator feature allows you to protect your computer, still have the ability to install programs, and limit the amount of times you need to log out of one account and into the administrator account. It’s a simple trick to keep your computer safe.