Fix: An administrator has blocked you from running this app

Running or installing an app in Windows 10 should be an easy process but certain things occur which simply won’t let us do that. Similar issues follow after the release of any new operating system and it usually takes a while before Microsoft resolves them on their own. However, before they release a fix, you are pretty much on your own.

The reason for this is the fact that they try to improve their security by blocking certain third-party software from launching trying to protect your computer but they end up making things difficult for you.

“An administrator has blocked you from running this app” Error

This particular error is bound to appear each time you try to install some new programs on your Windows 10 PC. This occurs because Windows was reportedly quite weak in handling malicious software so Microsoft wanted to improve this security with the new Windows 10 update. However, the update seems to be harsh to third-party executables and Windows blocks them by default using its new Windows Defender and SmartScreen.

Even though the error message may appear when you try to install verified programs, don’t simply ignore it and check whether the app you wanted to install is malicious after all. Let’s see what you can do to resolve this issue.

Solution 1: Using the Hidden Administrator Account

Even though you are probably the only user of the PC and even if you are confident that you have administrator permissions, you will still need to use an alternate Administrator account to install a program.

  1. Type “Command Prompt” in your Search bar, right-click on it, and select “Run as administrator”.
  2. Copy and paste the following command in Command Prompt and click Enter. You should be able to see the “The command completed successfully” message in no time.

net user administrator /active:yes

  1. Sign out of your current session by clicking on the Windows logo in the lower left part of your screen. Click on the account logo and select “Sign out”.
  2. Sign in to your Administrator account and wait for a couple of minutes.
  3. Locate the file you want to install and install it without any problems.
  4. Sign out of the Administrator account and go back to your original account.
  5. In order to disable this hidden Administrator account, you will need to access Command Prompt with admin right and paste the following command:

net user administrator /active:no

Solution 2: Disabling Windows SmartScreen

Windows SmartScreen is a built-in component in all Windows operating systems starting from Windows 8. It is could-based and it serves to protect your computer. However, it may prevent certain executable files from opening at all in order to protect you. That is why you will need to disable it or work around it in order to install some apps.

  1. Locate the file you want to run or install, right-click on it, and select Properties.
  2. Locate the checkbox next to “Unblock” and check it.
  3. This should bypass SmartScreen since we have marked this file as safe.
  4. Try running the file now.

If the issue persists, you might want to consider disabling Windows SmartScreen briefly in order to run the file. Please re-enable it again or you risk exposing your Windows PC to malware.

  1. Open Windows Defender Security Center by searching for it or by right-clicking on the shield icon in the right part of your taskbar and selecting “Open”.
  2. Expand the menu on the right by clicking on top of it and open “App and browser control”.
  3. Locate the “Check apps and files” section and turn it Off.
  4. Try running the file now.

After you have finished installing or running a file, make sure you re-enable Windows SmartScreen by following the same steps, but this time, click on “Block” in the “Check apps and files” section.

Solution 3: Running the File via Command Prompt

Running Command Prompt with admin right can give you some more control over your PC and we are going to use this in order to run this problematic file and bypass the “An administrator has blocked you from running this app” error.

  1. First of all, locate the problematic file, right-click on it, and select Properties.
  2. Copy the full location of the file.
  3. After that, run Command Prompt with admin rights by right-clicking on it and selecting this option.
  4. Paste the location of your file and add the name of the file with .exe at the end.
  5. Click Enter and check to see whether it will run.

Solution 4: Disabling Antivirus

If you are using a third party Antivirus on your computer it is possible that it might be blocking you from accessing the files and the “An Administrator has Blocked you from running this app” error message might be triggered. Therefore, it is recommended to disable the Antivirus installed on your computer and check to see if the issue goes away. If it does, add an exception for the application that you are trying to run or keep the Antivirus disabled.

For Disabling

  1. Rightclick on the “Antivirus” icon in the system tray.
  2. In most antivirus software there is an option to disable the antivirus from there
  3. If no option is available, search the web for the directions to disable your antivirus.

Adding an Exception

  1. Open the Antivirus software and click on the “Scan” option.
  2. Click on the “Add an Exception” option and select the “Add Folder” option.
  3. Select the folder in which the application has been installed.
  4. Try to run the application and check to see if the issue persists.

Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.