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Posted 19 Jan 2011
Licenced CPOL

Is Your App Running As Administrator?

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How to make your app detect whether or not it's running in admin mode.
Once again, I was working on a future CodeProject article, and decided that I wanted to force one of the applications in the solution to be run in admin mode so that the processing in that application could be performed without interference from the UAC. Because the whole application needs to run in admin mode, and because there may be times when I might want to run several subsequent forms from the Main method, I put this code into the Main method so that the form(s) won't even run if the app isn't in admin mode. Doing it this way also keeps me from having to add special code to any form that might become the main form. Here's the main method, in all it's glory.

using System.Security.Prinicipal;

static void Main()

        WindowsIdentity  identity  = WindowsIdentity.GetCurrent();
        WindowsPrincipal principal = new WindowsPrincipal(identity);
        if (!principal.IsInRole(WindowsBuiltInRole.Administrator))
            MessageBox.Show("You must run this application as administrator. Terminating.");

        Application.Run(new FormMain());
    catch (Exception ex)
        if (ex != null) {}


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

John Simmons / outlaw programmer
Software Developer (Senior) Paddedwall Software
United States United States
I've been paid as a programmer since 1982 with experience in Pascal, and C++ (both self-taught), and began writing Windows programs in 1991 using Visual C++ and MFC. In the 2nd half of 2007, I started writing C# Windows Forms and ASP.Net applications, and have since done WPF, Silverlight, WCF, web services, and Windows services.

My weakest point is that my moments of clarity are too brief to hold a meaningful conversation that requires more than 30 seconds to complete. Thankfully, grunts of agreement are all that is required to conduct most discussions without committing to any particular belief system.

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionHow can you detect if another application is running as administrator? Pin
nagarsoft31-Oct-13 0:31
membernagarsoft31-Oct-13 0:31 
AnswerRe: How can you detect if another application is running as administrator? Pin
John Simmons / outlaw programmer3-Nov-13 5:04
memberJohn Simmons / outlaw programmer3-Nov-13 5:04 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Carsten V2.03-Jul-12 19:32
memberCarsten V2.03-Jul-12 19:32 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Pranit Kothari17-May-12 6:50
memberPranit Kothari17-May-12 6:50 
QuestionNice Pin
zenwalker19857-Mar-12 5:32
memberzenwalker19857-Mar-12 5:32 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 Nice work... Pin
Pravin Patil, Mumbai1-Nov-11 18:51
memberPravin Patil, Mumbai1-Nov-11 18:51 
GeneralIf you need full administrative rights for your app to run t... Pin
motific31-Jan-11 6:29
membermotific31-Jan-11 6:29 
GeneralRe: Or, you have a very good reason for needing thoose permissio... Pin
John Simmons / outlaw programmer3-May-11 6:33
mvpJohn Simmons / outlaw programmer3-May-11 6:33 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 Very nice Pin
kunal_shivalkar24-Jan-11 6:10
memberkunal_shivalkar24-Jan-11 6:10 
GeneralJohn, Thanks for sharing this tip. I see one issue I had to ... Pin
linuxjr19-Jan-11 16:09
memberlinuxjr19-Jan-11 16:09 

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