C# - Force .NET application to run as administrator

C# - Force .NET application to run as administrator

admin, c#

Forcing your .NET applcation to run as administrator is actually pretty straightforward. WIth a small web.config update your app will boot as admin by default.


Running .NET as Admin

  1. First we want to modify the application manifest that is embedded in the program. This will work on Visual Studio 2008 and higher. If your project does not yet have a app manifest file, Go to Project > Add New Item, select "Application Manifest File".
  2. After creating the file, change the requestedExecutionLevel value as shown below.
 <requestedExecutionLevel level="requireAdministrator" uiAccess="false" />

Checking Admin In C#

Below are two methods, the first method AdminRelauncher shows how to re-launch the application with elevated privileges. The second method IsRunAsAdmin is fairly self explanatory.
    private void AdminRelauncher()
        if (!IsRunAsAdmin())
            ProcessStartInfo proc = new ProcessStartInfo();
            proc.UseShellExecute = true;
            proc.WorkingDirectory = Environment.CurrentDirectory;
            proc.FileName = Assembly.GetEntryAssembly().CodeBase;
            proc.Verb = "runas";
            catch(Exception ex)
                Console.WriteLine("This program must be run as an administrator! \n\n" + ex.ToString());
    private bool IsRunAsAdmin()
        WindowsIdentity id = WindowsIdentity.GetCurrent();
        WindowsPrincipal principal = new WindowsPrincipal(id);
        return principal.IsInRole(WindowsBuiltInRole.Administrator);

    Things to Note

    • User will always receive a UAC prompt when launching the application
    • If you receive the error “ClickOnce does not support the request execution level 'requireAdministrator.'”
      • Go to the Security tab, uncheck "Enable ClickOnce security settings"