Edge (Chromium) warns you if you run it with elevated privileges

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 17, 2019
Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge

The Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser warns users if they run the web browser with elevated privileges.

Microsoft is working on a new Chromium-based version of the Edge browser and has released previews of the browser for Windows already. The company hopes that the move to a Chromium-base will address several issues of the current Microsoft Edge browser, especially web compatibility.

The new Edge browser displays a warning prompt in the interface on launch if it is run with administrative privileges. One of the easier ways to run Microsoft Edge with elevated rights is to right-click on the Edge shortcut, e.g. in the Start Menu, and select "run as adminstrator".

edge administrator mode detected

The message states "Administrator Mode Detected. Close Microsoft Edge and relaunch in non-administrator mode for best performance".

A big "close Microsoft Edge" button is attached to the prompt which closes the browser when you activate it. Users who want to continue running Edge in administrative mode can click on the little x-icon instead to close the prompt.

Edge works like non-elevated copies from that moment on; additional prompts are not displayed.

Microsoft states that running Edge with elevated rights affects performance of the browser negatively. The message may surprise some users as security concerns would be a much stronger case for not running Edge with administrative privileges.

It is generally a good idea to avoid running any process with elevated rights. One of the main reasons for that is security, as any code executed from such a process runs with administrative rights as well.  Malware has more options for exploitation if it runs with elevated rights; programs that you download may be executed with elevated rights if you download and start them in an elevated Edge process.

One of the main security issues on Windows, especially installations by end users, is that administrative accounts are used and not user accounts.

Some programs require elevated rights to function properly. Microsoft's own Disk Cleanup tool requires elevated rights to clean some locations on the device; other backup and cleaning programs, and also security applications, may require elevated rights to function properly as well.

Performance benchmark

Microsoft Edge warning users if Edge is run with elevated rights changes Microsoft indifferent approach to the issue; whether that is caused by Edge performing worse if run in an elevated context, security concerns, or a mix of both, is unclear at this point.

I tested the performance of a non-elevated Chromium-based edge and an elevated version of Edge using the recently released JetStream 2 benchmark.

The non-elevated Edge managed to score 102.715 points, the elevated Edge managed to gain 99.034 points in the benchmark; that is not a huge difference and results do differ slightly even when you run the benchmark using the same browser over and over again.

JavaScript performance on the other hand does not reflect the browser's overall performance.

Closing Words

Generally speaking, it is a good idea to run browsers and other high risk applications in the user context if possible to improve security. It is unclear if Microsoft will display the notification on Windows only.

Now You: do you run your browsers with elevated rights? (via Deskmodder)

Edge (Chromium) warns you if you run it with elevated privileges
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Edge (Chromium) warns you if you run it with elevated privileges
The Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser warns users if they run the web browser with elevated privileges.
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  1. Betty Balzer said on June 19, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    I have the same problem the other mentioned. I cannot open MS Edge in NON ADMINISTRATIVE mode. There is no option for this. I constantly have to get that message out of my way. If I close Edge, the programs I am trying to open just close. I have to click YES twice to get to my programs.

  2. Mark A. said on August 21, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    If you run Edge from the start menu, it runs in Administrator Mode.
    If you run Edge from a pined icon on the icon bar, it runs in Administrator Mode.
    If you open the directory where the Edge files are and double click on msedge.exe, it runs in Administrator Mode.
    If I menu click on Edge and then click on ‘Run in Administrator Mode’, will it run in double Administrator Mode?

    I would like to know if there are any planes to let us run it in a non administrator mode?

    Are there some hidden settings in the registery to do this?

    1. EP said on September 10, 2019 at 6:24 pm

      bug in Chromium Edge versions 77 & 78, Mark

      wait for newer MS Edge Chromium versions like 79 or 80 to come out

  3. Anonymous said on July 23, 2019 at 10:06 am

    If this is such a bad thing, why then when Windows 10 is installed for the first time is the installing user setup as a local admin and never given the choice to switch to a non-admin-user account or recommended to do so?

    Microsoft had something good going here; a decent browser… FINALLY! But now it seems they are reinventing the wheel, just as they did with IE and EdgeHTML. They have to be unique, and oh yes they are that alright, which is why other browsers will always be better. Such a shame.

  4. Sandra Chung said on May 1, 2019 at 3:10 am

    I’m not running Edge with elevated privileges, but I still keep getting that Administrator Mode Detected”. Now, my account is Admin as it’s my computer, but I am not going to make a non-admin user account just to use Edge.

  5. Ansel Spear said on April 18, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I seem unable to find a way not to run Edge in Administrator Mode. Is there a way of disabling it?

  6. Steve#99 said on April 17, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    It you do high end work on windows (network, dev, etc), it is impossible to run as a non admin. This is a bad security model.

    As side projects, many good ms devs have written software to partially mitigate window’s poor security design. Because these methods actually worked, ms removed them from its site – a standard ms move.

    DropMyRights is one of those powerful tools that mitigates some of the risk of browsing with an admin account. Because ms removed it, you have to go to the archive for it. But, the very effective DropMyRights should be on every machine where it is possible to run as admin. You can use process explorer to actually see the sid removed. To see it in actual action, try saving a webpage to the root of your C drive.


    sha256 of msi d16af4917c273db824c25230d2dcbd219b4aedd80a3d2a8bd95a3773d6e3c2c1
    ” of exe 51c079a3aca9959c4575f97bee5436a2dac15f9680afd5f2aa253cc813786004

  7. Yuliya said on April 17, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    The only account on my PCs is the built-in “Administrator” one, so I run everything with admin rights. I noticed that popup while I tried Edge as well, quite annoying.

    1. Hyperyia said on April 18, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      I like run Windows with UAC & LUA fully disabled since Vista was released, it means that i run *everything* elevated by default and i really like it this way, just like on Windows XP with Administrator account.
      The Edge’s pop-up warning to not run it elevated is incredibly stupid if you’re a poweruser who hates UAC like me, and for sure it would bother me if i had to use this web browser daily, fortunately both Chrome and Firefox are still a better choice for me. :p

    2. John Fenderson said on April 18, 2019 at 12:22 am


      Perhaps it is annoying enough to get you to change your practice on this point? Running as administrator when such rights aren’t specifically needed is not something anybody should be doing.

      1. Yuliya said on April 18, 2019 at 10:26 am

        @John Fenderson
        >Perhaps it is annoying enough to get you to change your practice on this point?
        Enabling LUA would be more annoying to me. I use Win7, Server 2008R2 and Server 2016 and I run on all these machines software which would not work without admin priviledges. Always clicking on Ok to elevate the process to admin rights would probably wear my mouse’s left click button, lol. It would be a lot worse, I’m hoping MS will decide to have this thing under a flag or something, or maybe just show it once and then be done with it. Slim chances I’ll be switching from Chromium to chrEdge for personal needs, but I’ll definitely have Edge installed on my systems.

        Sure, I would not recommend to anyone to set their Windows installation as such. It’s one of those “do as I say not as I do” kind of things. I don’t use any a/v, I don’t use a firewall, my updates are done manually, for both the OS and any software I run, etc. That being said, there are some less-intrussive precautions which I take: there’s a hosts file which I use on all my machines and router, no PC is facing the internet directly, all my PCs are on an “isolated network” (in quotes, because what I do is I actually use two routers, for other reasons, but this is just one of the benefits – devices connected to the “slave” router can’t interact with devices connected to the “master” router), alone from my phones or anyone else whom I invite and wants to use my WLAN with whatever they have at hand – tablet, phone, laptop.. Thus far it worked for me. The way I see malware (viruses incuding) is – imagine you have a bear invited into your own home, but that bear is safely tied and won’t reach you while you sleep. But, IT’S A BEAR, who cares it is tied, you don’t invite a bear into your home in the first place!

      2. Allwynd said on April 18, 2019 at 8:07 am

        @John Fenderson,

        Chrome doesn’t bother you, Firefox doesn’t bother you, Opera doesn’t bother you… not a single other browser is bothering you about this… Just because Microsoft excell as screwing something up big time, doesn’t mean people should conform to their methods and change.

        I also run my Windows 7 with an administrator account all the time, never had viruses or anything, despite not even having an antivirus software installed.

        If anything, Microsoft should remove that dumb message and leave people in peace.

      3. Okina Dikku said on August 14, 2019 at 3:24 am

        Win7 with only Admin acct. I don’t use anti virus either. I don’t do things to get one. The other people whose computers I’m IT for are always getting them for me to dispose of, that’s with AV. I don’t get it.

      4. Lennon said on May 25, 2019 at 5:16 pm

        you’re doing it wrong…..plain and simple sir….

  8. ilev said on April 17, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Chrome Version 74.0.3729.75 (Official Build) beta (64-bit) scored 128.149 (20 extension)

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