windows 7 - Drag and Drop File into Application under run as administrator

  • Chris Dwyer

    Whenever I have an application running (Visual Studio 2008, Notepad, etc.) under "Run as Administrator", I cannot drag and drop files from Windows Explorer into the application.

    I've tried running Windows Explorer as administrator, but to no avail.

    Is there a way to get drag and drop to work when my applications are under "Run as Administrator"?

  • Answers
  • A Dwarf

    The problem is tied to how security permissions work. The ability to drag and drop from a normal applications to an elevated one would break the security model behind UAC. However, I'm unclear as to why a UAC prompt isn't shown, thus allowing for a temporary elevated operation (much like any linux user experiences every day). This is definitely something that Microsoft needs to work on. What troubles me is that this problem is already old. Vista behaved the same.

    There's 2 things you can do (one ugly, one annoying)

    • Ugly: Disable UAC. But you lose all the extra security it offers.
    • Annoying: Use another File manager and run it too as an Administrator

    Why another file manager? Because you can't actually elevate Windows Explorer. Despite seeing the option in the context menu of the Windows Explorer icon and a UAC prompt being displayed, the fact is Windows Explorer will not be elevated.

  • Salar Khalilzadeh

    This is a workaround according to ADwarf "Annoying" solution: open Notepad with "Run as Administrator". Click on open in file menu and enter * in file name and press enter. Now you can drag files from there to your app. Notepad open browser doesn't support multiply file selection, but you can use other programs in the same way to use drag and drop!

  • John M. Black

    There was an update to Visual Studio 2005 published 2 years ago that fixed many UAC problems on Vista, and that same update fixes the same problems on Windows 7.

    It is not a critical update so you wouldn’t get it automatically, and it was not included with VS2005 SP1. They’re not actively publicizing this update now b/c they just want everyone to go to VS2008. So chances are you don't have it.

    Explanation at

    Download at

    Here's what that update fixes, when running Visual Studio in normal user mode with UAC turned on:

    • Drag/drop files from an explorer window
    • Launching VS (as a normal user) by launching shortcuts to solutions/projects or associated file types
    • DLL/EXE registrations still fail (rightly so, since those are system-level changes.)

    If you're running VS as an administrator, the window is still locked down to drag/drop and shortcuts, and DLL/EXE registrations work correctly without having to completely turn off UAC.

    Note: VS will still warn you about administrator mode when you launch it, but now you can probably ignore that warning permanently.

  • Community

    Windows 7:

    Launch PowerShell using Run As Administrator


    taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

    start-process explorer.exe

    or launch cmd (Command Prompt) using Run As Administrator


    taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

    start explorer.exe

    All your new Explorer windows will now be elevated and you can drag and drop from them into other elevated applications. I tested and verified this prior to posting.

  • Related Question

    windows 7 - Run As Administrator Settings Under Shortcut
  • Chris Dwyer

    There are two checkboxes for Run As Administrator in the Properties dialog for a shortcut in Windows 7. One is under the Shortcut tab in the Advanced Properties dialog, and the other is under the Compatibility tab.

    I've seen this under Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. It might be in Vista and other versions, but I'm not sure.

    What is the difference between these two settings?

  • Related Answers
  • Josip Medved

    Difference comes with programs that cannot work in compatibility mode (all programs that are included with Windows - e.g. PowerShell). For those programs you can only select it through Advanced button on shortcut tab.

    Additionally, compatibility settings are applied on executable it-self. Once you select program to be run as administrator in compatibility mode, all instances, regardless of shortcut you use, will run as administrator.

    Setting it under shortcut tab allows for finer grade control.