su - supershell for Windows

This tool is intended for use with Windows 7 or higher

This command line tool evaluates the current privileges. If you are already running in a cmd.exe running with administrator privileges, nothing happens. But if you are not, it will attempt to restart cmd.exe with administrator privileges, in the current directory, much like if you had started cmd.exe with rightclick "Run as Administrator"

So it is not really su, but it does what I often need

Note 1: this is not the same as

C:\...\> runas /user:%COMPUTERNAME%\administrator cmd 

because you need a password for that. You don't need a password for su - just as you don't need a password if you rightclick "Run as Administrator"

Note 2: It should be clear from the above that this will only work if the caller can do "Run as Administrator" in the first place. If you are a lowly user without administrative rights, don't bother!


C:\...\>su.exe /?
su - Version 4.0
Freeware written by Gerson Kurz (

          /CMD: Name of program to run as administrator

If you omit any option, su will start an administrative shell. If you specify /CMD, you can run any program you want as administrator



su is freeware, BSD-licensed.


Historical Note

There used to be a rootshell for nt/2k/xp on this site. Well, actually a shell that runs in the security context of the NT SYSTEM/AUTHORITY, which means the user has ie. the right to use task manager to kill running services. Yipee! Idea originally from some MS sample sourcecode from the MSDN, NT only, adapted to work on both 2000 and XP. Whole lotta fun!

Note 1: You already need administrative (ie. debug) privileges to run it. The whole point is that you run a shell in the security context of the NT SYSTEM/AUTHORITY (the context a System service sees) not the context of an Administrator with GUI login. If that doesn't make sense to you, don't use supershell.

Note 2: This tool hasn't been working since Windows Vista. That means, it hasn't been working since 2007...

Download of the original supershell includes source and binary.

GK, Feb 16, 2014