Q: I have a legacy in-house application that requires administrator privileges to run on my Windows 7 machine. Each time I start the application I can use the "Run as administrator" option in the application or application shortcut's context menu, but is there a way to configure this application to automatically run with administrator privileges when I double-click its icon?

A: Yes, in Windows 7 you can configure an application to always run with an administrator access token. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the application icon or its shortcut and select Properties.
  2. In the Properties dialog box, click the Compatibility tab.
  3. You can then choose one of the following options:
    • To apply the setting only to the currently logged-on user, select the Run this program as an administrator check box and click OK, as Figure 1 shows.

      Application Compatibility Options

      Figure 1: Setting the Run this program as an administrator option in a program's properties.

    • To apply the setting to all users and regardless of what shortcut is used to start the application, click Change settings for all users to display the Properties dialog box for the application's .exe file. Then select the Run this program as an administrator check box and click OK twice.

Another, less straightforward, option is to use the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) to develop an application compatibility shim that you then link to your application. You can download the latest version of ACT from the Microsoft Download Center.