How to install software without admin rights in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Often you might be faced with the situation where you need to install a software on a Windows 10 PC but you don’t have admin rights on that PC. And without being an administrator, you have zero rights to install a software on the PC.

While the above happens to be a security feature designed to prevent just about anyone to do anything with your PC, there sure is a workaround here so that you can install a software even if you are not the admin on the Windows 10 device.


Learn everything there is to know about the administrator account and how you can enable/disable it right here!


Steps to install software without admin rights on Windows 10

Contrary to what you might be thinking, the process is really simple and easy. And its quick too. Here are the steps.

  • Download the software, say Steam that you wish to install on a Windows 10 PC. It is recommended that you set the download location to desktop for convenience. Else, if it gets downloaded in the Download folder, as is the usual case, drag it to your desktop. This is just for convenience and has no bearing on the actual process.
  • Create a new folder in your desktop and drag the software installer in the folder. If you can’t create a new folder in Windows 10, then take a look at this step-by-step guide that will help you fix the issue.
  • Open the folder and Right click > New > Text Document.
  • Open the text file you just created and write this code:

set _COMPAT_LAYER=RunAsInvoker

start SteamSetup

  • Here SteamSetup is to be replaced with the name of the particular installer that you wish to install.
  • Save the text file with the .bat extension in the same folder location. For that, click on File > Save As.
  • In the Save As dialog box, replace the .txt file extension with .bat.
  • Click on Save.
  • Close the Steam.bat file.

You can only install apps from the Microsoft store? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.


Your next step will be to double click on the bat file to launch the installation process. Follow on-screen instructions and the software will get installed as usual. It’s that simple and easy.

If you’re interested in how to install unsigned drivers on Windows 10, read this article to get all the info that you need.

If you have any more questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below and we will certainly check them out.

FAQ

How can I get the administrator password?

If you lost or forgot your admin password, check out easy solutions to recover your Windows 10 password.

How do I remove the administrator account?

To remove the administrator account from your PC, you have to reset the Windows password and set up a new admin password.

How to install Origin without admin rights?

To install Origin without admin rights, just follow the steps written in this article and replace Steam with Origin.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

59 comments

i don’t understand this part “Here SteamSetup is to be replaced with the name of the particular installer that you wish to install.”

it means that if u want to download something else with these steps, then replace SteamSetup with the name of whatever you’re trying to install.

the code should actually be

set __COMPAT_LAYER=RunAsInvoker
start SteamSetup.exe

if you get an error that it can’t write the file it is because it does not have access to anything outside of your user folder (i.e. C:Program Files). try to install steam to a local folder within your user account such as documents

thank you it worked 2021 febuary for my fav game, deltarune. my parents didn’t want me to install cuz i got bad grades when undertale was installed

This worked a long time ago (i remember using it on my dad’s pc). Seems like windows caught wind of it though. To be fair to the writer, it did work when they used it, but it’s kinda sad this is still up after weeks of people saying it’s faulty. Batch file most likely won’t be the way to go here-on-out, so good luck.

I hate it. It does not even work. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!┻━┻ ︵ヽ(`Д´)ノ︵ ┻━┻ I HATE MY DAD!!!!!!!!!! I CAN’T EVEN INSTALL RAINMETER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh com on……………….

i know how you feel like i wish he would get rid of it but the reason i’ve got it on is that i downloaded a vrius on my old laptop
🙁

opened unlimited amount of command prompts had to delete the text to fix it ahh don’t try this doesn’t work. 🙁

tl;dr- user error, fix the name of what to run

That problem it caused by using your code(the .bat file) on the folder containing it. Defaultly, it should run whatever you use on it, but due to the way the code works, it uses the executable’s path (what folder your .exe is in) to do so, especially if you don’t have a specific name coded for what to run. It will run whatever has the name you put in first, but if there is no name to run, it will instead run whatever is in that file, in this case, itself. When it runs itself, the code for what to choose is already there since the value containing what to run is already occupied by the first iteration of the program. Think of it like a temporary slot for data. Since there is a program, in the eyes of the machine, currently using that value, it wont delete/replace it. Because of this, the new iteration (most recent copy of the .bat that is running)uses the value already there, thus causing an endless loop.

I was able to do all the steps but. it won’t run it pops up saying “Steam needs to be online to update. please confirm your internet connection and try again” I did the steps again and again and it still doesn’t work. why??

well ive always been able to install steam this way but thats really it.
im trying to get optifine With java so im trying to install java and optifine but it dont work

This does not work to download Java for Minecraft as well, despite the games name being taken up in the article

Please help

when it asks you to save it for example, insted of typeing, “AdminCheat” type “AdminCheat.bat” you dont have to call it AdminCheat, but u get what i mean right?

just set ‘.txt’ to all files and add ‘.bat’ at the end of the name of the file. However, I’ve tested this and it still gives you the prompt.

Instead of ‘_COMPAT_LAYER=RUNASINVOKER’ write ‘__COMPAT_LAYER=RUNASINVOKER’.
Basically just add another ‘_’ to the code mentioned by Ivan Jenic in this article. This worked for me.
Thank you so much.

What you said to write was the same the he said to write and you did not change anything in what you said to write… If just adding another ‘_’ where does it go? the front, end, middle, after first word, after LAYER, before the equal sign or after the equal sign???

Unfortunaly this doesn’t work. I follow the instructions but still the admin username and PW pops up when I run the BAT file… -_-

Can you help me cos u seem smart this is what my computer says Windows cant find bluestacks setup make sure you typed the name correctly and then try again

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