How to run script with elevated privilege on windows

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

I am writing a pyqt application which require to execute admin task. I would prefer to start my script with elevate privilege. I am aware that this question is asked many times in SO or in other forum. But the solution people are suggesting is to have a look at this SO question
Request UAC elevation from within a Python script?

However, I am unable to execute the sample code given in the link. I have put this code on top of the main file and tried to execute it.

import os
import sys
import win32com.shell.shell as shell
ASADMIN = 'asadmin'

if sys.argv[-1] != ASADMIN:
    script = os.path.abspath(sys.argv[0])
    params = ' '.join([script] + sys.argv[1:] + [ASADMIN])
    shell.ShellExecuteEx(lpVerb='runas', lpFile=sys.executable, lpParameters=params)
    sys.exit(0)
print "I am root now."

It actually ask permission to elevate but print line never get executed. Somebody can help me to run the above code successfully. Thanks in advance.

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

Thank you all for your reply. I have got my script working with the module/ script written by Preston Landers way back in 2010. After two days of browsing the internet I could find the script as it was was deeply hidden in pywin32 mailing list. With this script it is easier to check if the user is admin and if not then ask for UAC/ admin right. It does provide output in separate windows to find out what the code is doing. Example on how to use the code also included in the script. For the benefit of all who all are looking for UAC on windows have a look at this code. I hope it helps someone looking for same solution. It can be used something like this from your main script:-

import admin
if not admin.isUserAdmin():
        admin.runAsAdmin()

The actual code is:-

#!/usr/bin/env python
# -*- coding: utf-8; mode: python; py-indent-offset: 4; indent-tabs-mode: nil -*-
# vim: fileencoding=utf-8 tabstop=4 expandtab shiftwidth=4

# (C) COPYRIGHT © Preston Landers 2010
# Released under the same license as Python 2.6.5


import sys, os, traceback, types

def isUserAdmin():

    if os.name == 'nt':
        import ctypes
        # WARNING: requires Windows XP SP2 or higher!
        try:
            return ctypes.windll.shell32.IsUserAnAdmin()
        except:
            traceback.print_exc()
            print "Admin check failed, assuming not an admin."
            return False
    elif os.name == 'posix':
        # Check for root on Posix
        return os.getuid() == 0
    else:
        raise RuntimeError, "Unsupported operating system for this module: %s" % (os.name,)

def runAsAdmin(cmdLine=None, wait=True):

    if os.name != 'nt':
        raise RuntimeError, "This function is only implemented on Windows."

    import win32api, win32con, win32event, win32process
    from win32com.shell.shell import ShellExecuteEx
    from win32com.shell import shellcon

    python_exe = sys.executable

    if cmdLine is None:
        cmdLine = [python_exe] + sys.argv
    elif type(cmdLine) not in (types.TupleType,types.ListType):
        raise ValueError, "cmdLine is not a sequence."
    cmd = '"%s"' % (cmdLine[0],)
    # XXX TODO: isn't there a function or something we can call to massage command line params?
    params = " ".join(['"%s"' % (x,) for x in cmdLine[1:]])
    cmdDir = ''
    showCmd = win32con.SW_SHOWNORMAL
    #showCmd = win32con.SW_HIDE
    lpVerb = 'runas'  # causes UAC elevation prompt.

    # print "Running", cmd, params

    # ShellExecute() doesn't seem to allow us to fetch the PID or handle
    # of the process, so we can't get anything useful from it. Therefore
    # the more complex ShellExecuteEx() must be used.

    # procHandle = win32api.ShellExecute(0, lpVerb, cmd, params, cmdDir, showCmd)

    procInfo = ShellExecuteEx(nShow=showCmd,
                              fMask=shellcon.SEE_MASK_NOCLOSEPROCESS,
                              lpVerb=lpVerb,
                              lpFile=cmd,
                              lpParameters=params)

    if wait:
        procHandle = procInfo['hProcess']    
        obj = win32event.WaitForSingleObject(procHandle, win32event.INFINITE)
        rc = win32process.GetExitCodeProcess(procHandle)
        #print "Process handle %s returned code %s" % (procHandle, rc)
    else:
        rc = None

    return rc

def test():
    rc = 0
    if not isUserAdmin():
        print "You're not an admin.", os.getpid(), "params: ", sys.argv
        #rc = runAsAdmin(["c:\\Windows\\notepad.exe"])
        rc = runAsAdmin()
    else:
        print "You are an admin!", os.getpid(), "params: ", sys.argv
        rc = 0
    x = raw_input('Press Enter to exit.')
    return rc


if __name__ == "__main__":
    sys.exit(test())

Method 2

in comments to the answer you took the code from someone says ShellExecuteEx doesn’t post its STDOUT back to the originating shell. so you will not see “I am root now”, even though the code is probably working fine.

instead of printing something, try writing to a file:

import os
import sys
import win32com.shell.shell as shell
ASADMIN = 'asadmin'

if sys.argv[-1] != ASADMIN:
    script = os.path.abspath(sys.argv[0])
    params = ' '.join([script] + sys.argv[1:] + [ASADMIN])
    shell.ShellExecuteEx(lpVerb='runas', lpFile=sys.executable, lpParameters=params)
    sys.exit(0)
with open("somefilename.txt", "w") as out:
    print >> out, "i am root"

and then look in the file.

Method 3

I found a very easy solution to this problem.

  1. Create a shortcut for python.exe
  2. Change the shortcut target into something like C:\xxx\...\python.exe your_script.py
  3. Click “advance…” in the property panel of the shortcut, and click the option “run as administrator”

I’m not sure whether the spells of these options are right, since I’m using Chinese version of Windows.

Method 4

Here is a solution with an stdout redirection:

def elevate():
    import ctypes, win32com.shell.shell, win32event, win32process
    outpath = r'%s\%s.out' % (os.environ["TEMP"], os.path.basename(__file__))
    if ctypes.windll.shell32.IsUserAnAdmin():
        if os.path.isfile(outpath):
            sys.stderr = sys.stdout = open(outpath, 'w', 0)
        return
    with open(outpath, 'w+', 0) as outfile:
        hProc = win32com.shell.shell.ShellExecuteEx(lpFile=sys.executable, \
            lpVerb='runas', lpParameters=' '.join(sys.argv), fMask=64, nShow=0)['hProcess']
        while True:
            hr = win32event.WaitForSingleObject(hProc, 40)
            while True:
                line = outfile.readline()
                if not line: break
                sys.stdout.write(line)
            if hr != 0x102: break
    os.remove(outpath)
    sys.stderr = ''
    sys.exit(win32process.GetExitCodeProcess(hProc))

if __name__ == '__main__':
    elevate()
    main()

Method 5

Here is a solution which needed ctypes module only. Support pyinstaller wrapped program.

#!python
# coding: utf-8
import sys
import ctypes

def run_as_admin(argv=None, debug=False):
    shell32 = ctypes.windll.shell32
    if argv is None and shell32.IsUserAnAdmin():
        return True

    if argv is None:
        argv = sys.argv
    if hasattr(sys, '_MEIPASS'):
        # Support pyinstaller wrapped program.
        arguments = map(unicode, argv[1:])
    else:
        arguments = map(unicode, argv)
    argument_line = u' '.join(arguments)
    executable = unicode(sys.executable)
    if debug:
        print 'Command line: ', executable, argument_line
    ret = shell32.ShellExecuteW(None, u"runas", executable, argument_line, None, 1)
    if int(ret) <= 32:
        return False
    return None


if __name__ == '__main__':
    ret = run_as_admin()
    if ret is True:
        print 'I have admin privilege.'
        raw_input('Press ENTER to exit.')
    elif ret is None:
        print 'I am elevating to admin privilege.'
        raw_input('Press ENTER to exit.')
    else:
        print 'Error(ret=%d): cannot elevate privilege.' % (ret, )

Method 6

  1. make a batch file
  2. add python.exe "(your py file here)" with the quotation marks
  3. save the batch file
  4. right click, then click run as administrator

Method 7

I can confirm that the solution by delphifirst works and is the easiest, simplest solution to the problem of running a python script with elevated privileges.

I created a shortcut to the python executable (python.exe) and then modified the shortcut by adding my script’s name after the call to python.exe. Next I checked “run as administrator” on the “compatibility tab” of the shortcut. When the shortcut is executed, you get a prompt asking permission to run the script as an administrator.

My particular python application was an installer program. The program allows installing and uninstalling another python app. In my case I created two shortcuts, one named “appname install” and the other named “appname uninstall”. The only difference between the two shortcuts is the argument following the python script name. In the installer version the argument is “install”. In the uninstall version the argument is “uninstall”. Code in the installer script evaluates the argument supplied and calls the appropriate function (install or uninstall) as needed.

I hope my explanation helps others more quickly figure out how to run a python script with elevated privileges.

Method 8

Also if your working directory is different than you can use lpDirectory

    procInfo = ShellExecuteEx(nShow=showCmd,
                          lpVerb=lpVerb,
                          lpFile=cmd,
                          lpDirectory= unicode(direc),
                          lpParameters=params)

Will come handy if changing the path is not a desirable option
remove unicode for python 3.X

Method 9

Make sure you have python in path,if not,win key + r, type in “%appdata%”(without the qotes) open local directory, then go to Programs directory ,open python and then select your python version directory. Click on file tab and select copy path and close file explorer.

Then do win key + r again, type control and hit enter. search for environment variables. click on the result, you will get a window. In the bottom right corner click on environmental variables. In the system side find path, select it and click on edit.
In the new window, click on new and paste the path in there. Click ok and then apply in the first window. Restart your PC. Then do win + r for the last time, type cmd and do ctrl + shift + enter. Grant the previliges and open file explorer, goto your script and copy its path. Go back into cmd , type in “python” and paste the path and hit enter. Done

Method 10

It worth mentioning that if you intend to package your application with PyInstaller and wise to avoid supporting that feature by yourself, you can pass the --uac-admin or --uac-uiaccess argument in order to request UAC elevation on start.

Method 11

I wanted a more enhanced version so I ended up with a module which allows:
UAC request if needed, printing and logging from nonprivileged instance (uses ipc and a network port) and some other candies. usage is just insert elevateme() in your script: in nonprivileged it listen for privileged print/logs and then exits returning false, in privileged instance it returns true immediately.
Supports pyinstaller.

prototype:

# xlogger : a logger in the server/nonprivileged script
# tport : open port of communication, 0 for no comm [printf in nonprivileged window or silent]
# redir : redirect stdout and stderr from privileged instance
#errFile : redirect stderr to file from privileged instance
def elevateme(xlogger=None, tport=6000, redir=True, errFile=False):

winadmin.py

#!/usr/bin/env python
# -*- coding: utf-8; mode: python; py-indent-offset: 4; indent-tabs-mode: nil -*-
# vim: fileencoding=utf-8 tabstop=4 expandtab shiftwidth=4

# (C) COPYRIGHT © Preston Landers 2010
# (C) COPYRIGHT © Matteo Azzali 2020
# Released under the same license as Python 2.6.5/3.7


import sys, os
from traceback import print_exc
from multiprocessing.connection import Listener, Client
import win32event #win32com.shell.shell, win32process
import builtins as __builtin__ # python3

# debug suffixes for remote printing
dbz=["","","",""] #["J:","K:", "G:", "D:"]
LOGTAG="LOGME:"

wrconn = None


#fake logger for message sending
class fakelogger:
    def __init__(self, xlogger=None):
        self.lg = xlogger
    def write(self, a):
        global wrconn
        if wrconn is not None:
            wrconn.send(LOGTAG+a)
        elif self.lg is not None:
            self.lg.write(a)
        else:
            print(LOGTAG+a)
        

class Writer():
    wzconn=None
    counter = 0
    def __init__(self, tport=6000,authkey=b'secret password'):
        global wrconn
        if wrconn is None:
            address = ('localhost', tport)
            try:
                wrconn = Client(address, authkey=authkey)
            except:
                wrconn = None
            wzconn = wrconn
            self.wrconn = wrconn
        self.__class__.counter+=1
        
    def __del__(self):
        self.__class__.counter-=1
        if self.__class__.counter == 0 and wrconn is not None:
            import time
            time.sleep(0.1) # slows deletion but is enough to print stderr
            wrconn.send('close')
            wrconn.close()
    
    def sendx(cls, mesg):
        cls.wzconn.send(msg)
        
    def sendw(self, mesg):
        self.wrconn.send(msg)
        

#fake file to be passed as stdout and stderr
class connFile():
    def __init__(self, thekind="out", tport=6000):
        self.cnt = 0
        self.old=""
        self.vg=Writer(tport)
        if thekind == "out":
            self.kind=sys.__stdout__
        else:
            self.kind=sys.__stderr__
        
    def write(self, *args, **kwargs):
        global wrconn
        global dbz
        from io import StringIO # # Python2 use: from cStringIO import StringIO
        mystdout = StringIO()
        self.cnt+=1
        __builtin__.print(*args, **kwargs, file=mystdout, end = '')
        
        #handles "\n" wherever it is, however usually is or string or \n
        if "\n" not in mystdout.getvalue():
            if mystdout.getvalue() != "\n":
                #__builtin__.print("A:",mystdout.getvalue(), file=self.kind, end='')
                self.old += mystdout.getvalue()
            else:
                #__builtin__.print("B:",mystdout.getvalue(), file=self.kind, end='')
                if wrconn is not None:
                    wrconn.send(dbz[1]+self.old)
                else:
                    __builtin__.print(dbz[2]+self.old+ mystdout.getvalue(), file=self.kind, end='')
                    self.kind.flush()
                self.old=""
        else:
                vv = mystdout.getvalue().split("\n")
                #__builtin__.print("V:",vv, file=self.kind, end='')
                for el in vv[:-1]:
                    if wrconn is not None:
                        wrconn.send(dbz[0]+self.old+el)
                        self.old = ""
                    else:
                        __builtin__.print(dbz[3]+self.old+ el+"\n", file=self.kind, end='')
                        self.kind.flush()
                        self.old=""
                self.old=vv[-1]

    def open(self):
        pass
    def close(self):
        pass
    def flush(self):
        pass
        
        
def isUserAdmin():
    if os.name == 'nt':
        import ctypes
        # WARNING: requires Windows XP SP2 or higher!
        try:
            return ctypes.windll.shell32.IsUserAnAdmin()
        except:
            traceback.print_exc()
            print ("Admin check failed, assuming not an admin.")
            return False
    elif os.name == 'posix':
        # Check for root on Posix
        return os.getuid() == 0
    else:
        print("Unsupported operating system for this module: %s" % (os.name,))
        exit()
        #raise (RuntimeError, "Unsupported operating system for this module: %s" % (os.name,))

def runAsAdmin(cmdLine=None, wait=True, hidden=False):

    if os.name != 'nt':
        raise (RuntimeError, "This function is only implemented on Windows.")

    import win32api, win32con, win32process
    from win32com.shell.shell import ShellExecuteEx

    python_exe = sys.executable
    arb=""
    if cmdLine is None:
        cmdLine = [python_exe] + sys.argv
    elif not isinstance(cmdLine, (tuple, list)):
        if isinstance(cmdLine, (str)):
            arb=cmdLine
            cmdLine = [python_exe] + sys.argv
            print("original user", arb)
        else:
            raise( ValueError, "cmdLine is not a sequence.")
    cmd = '"%s"' % (cmdLine[0],)

    params = " ".join(['"%s"' % (x,) for x in cmdLine[1:]])
    if len(arb) > 0:
        params += " "+arb
    cmdDir = ''
    if hidden:
        showCmd = win32con.SW_HIDE
    else:
        showCmd = win32con.SW_SHOWNORMAL
    lpVerb = 'runas'  # causes UAC elevation prompt.

    # print "Running", cmd, params

    # ShellExecute() doesn't seem to allow us to fetch the PID or handle
    # of the process, so we can't get anything useful from it. Therefore
    # the more complex ShellExecuteEx() must be used.

    # procHandle = win32api.ShellExecute(0, lpVerb, cmd, params, cmdDir, showCmd)

    procInfo = ShellExecuteEx(nShow=showCmd,
                              fMask=64,
                              lpVerb=lpVerb,
                              lpFile=cmd,
                              lpParameters=params)

    if wait:
        procHandle = procInfo['hProcess']    
        obj = win32event.WaitForSingleObject(procHandle, win32event.INFINITE)
        rc = win32process.GetExitCodeProcess(procHandle)
        #print "Process handle %s returned code %s" % (procHandle, rc)
    else:
        rc = procInfo['hProcess']

    return rc


# xlogger : a logger in the server/nonprivileged script
# tport : open port of communication, 0 for no comm [printf in nonprivileged window or silent]
# redir : redirect stdout and stderr from privileged instance
#errFile : redirect stderr to file from privileged instance
def elevateme(xlogger=None, tport=6000, redir=True, errFile=False):
    global dbz
    if not isUserAdmin():
        print ("You're not an admin.", os.getpid(), "params: ", sys.argv)

        import getpass
        uname = getpass.getuser()
        
        if (tport> 0):
            address = ('localhost', tport)     # family is deduced to be 'AF_INET'
            listener = Listener(address, authkey=b'secret password')
        rc = runAsAdmin(uname, wait=False, hidden=True)
        if (tport> 0):
            hr = win32event.WaitForSingleObject(rc, 40)
            conn = listener.accept()
            print ('connection accepted from', listener.last_accepted)
            sys.stdout.flush()
            while True:
                msg = conn.recv()
                # do something with msg
                if msg == 'close':
                    conn.close()
                    break
                else:
                    if msg.startswith(dbz[0]+LOGTAG):
                        if xlogger != None:
                            xlogger.write(msg[len(LOGTAG):])
                        else:
                            print("Missing a logger")
                    else:
                        print(msg)
                    sys.stdout.flush()
            listener.close()
        else: #no port connection, its silent
            WaitForSingleObject(rc, INFINITE);
        return False
    else:
        #redirect prints stdout on  master, errors in error.txt
        print("HIADM")
        sys.stdout.flush()
        if (tport > 0) and (redir):
            vox= connFile(tport=tport)
            sys.stdout=vox
            if not errFile:
                sys.stderr=vox
            else:
                vfrs=open("errFile.txt","w")
                sys.stderr=vfrs
            
            #print("HI ADMIN")
        return True


def test():
    rc = 0
    if not isUserAdmin():
        print ("You're not an admin.", os.getpid(), "params: ", sys.argv)
        sys.stdout.flush()
        #rc = runAsAdmin(["c:\\Windows\\notepad.exe"])
        rc = runAsAdmin()
    else:
        print ("You are an admin!", os.getpid(), "params: ", sys.argv)
        rc = 0
    x = raw_input('Press Enter to exit.')
    return rc
    
if __name__ == "__main__":
    sys.exit(test())

Method 12

This worked for me:


import win32com.client as client

required_command = "cmd" # Enter your command here

required_password = "Simple1" # Enter your password here

def run_as(required_command, required_password):
    shell = client.Dispatch("WScript.shell")
    shell.Run(f"runas /user:administrator {required_command}")
    time.sleep(1)
    shell.SendKeys(f"{required_password}\r\n", 0)


if __name__ = '__main__':
    run_as(required_command, required_password)

Below are the references I used for above code:
https://win32com.goermezer.de/microsoft/windows/controlling-applications-via-sendkeys.html
https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/python-cookbook/0596001673/ch07s16.html

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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