Is there any way to run a set-up or installation wizard without admin rights? I know that you don't need admin rights to download .exe's and .zip's but set-ups and installation guides usually require admin rights.

I'm asking about Windows 10.

closed as too broad by Ramhound, Anaksunaman, bertieb, Twisty Impersonator, djsmiley2k May 15 '18 at 10:25

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It depends on whether or not the installer does anything that requires administrative rights on the operating system.

If it does, then no, you can't install it without admin rights whether that's with the account that you're using or running it as an admin or a different user.

If it doesn't, then yes, you can install it without admin rights. I don't know if this is true today, but it was possible to install CC Cleaner under Windows XP or Windows 7 (can't remember which) without admin rights. I'm a Linux Systems Engineer right now and haven't done Windows desktop support in a while but I believe it's possible to install the software for Xerox's printers without admin rights in Windows 10 (at least it was in Windows 7). Some of the other printer software allows it to be installed without admin rights.

  • Most Windows installers now have admin rights hard coded into the installer (you will get a pop up asking for them during installation), so you may have no option. – Moab May 12 '18 at 23:40
  • @Moab True, but it can't be determined if they all do. I don't have a way of confirming it at the moment but I somewhat remember it being possible to install the software for the Xerox Workcentre 5335 without admin rights. – Nasir Riley May 13 '18 at 0:29

Some packages only need to write data to the unprivileged sections of the User profile. Certain installers will ask whether you want to install for all users or just the current user. With many of these, only installing for the Current User does not require administrative privileges.

Generally, programs written this way do not require significant privileges in the system, and are written to work correctly within the very limited permissions of the standard user directory.

However, this is dependent on the programming of the application and installer itself. You cannot change a software product that requires full permissions and therefore requires administrator privileges to install into a product that does not without changing the code of the application itself and the installer.

So, if a product asks for admin rights to install, you will be generally unable to install it without these rights.


You can install programs to removable media like SD cards or a flash drive and then execute (run) on this computer in question. You may have to use a different computer for the initial installation and then bring the media to your target computer.

  • 1
    That won't work if the application makes system changes such as changing the registry. If it does then the application won't run. Also, if admin rights are required to install it then you'd still need them even if you installed the software on a different computer. – Nasir Riley May 12 '18 at 23:34

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