Run Applications with System Level Privileges using ETS

There are many levels of access that Windows allows to users in order to protect the system files and functions from being altered accidentally. Usually you have a standard or administrator level Windows user account. But there are many functions and settings that Windows makes invisible to these accounts which are otherwise accessible to the System level account that is used internally by Windows. Now you can run almost any application elevated to the System level privileges using the free ETS (elevate to system) program.

You can download EST from the website of FoolishIT. The download is a portable application of very small size. You can extract the contents of the downloaded ZIP file and run ETS.exe from there. The program has to be run with administrator level privileges. In general, you can just double-click on ETS.exe but you can also right-click on it and select Run as administrator from the context menu.

Run Applications with System Level Privileges using ETS

The ETS application is very simple to use. You have to either type in the full pathname of the program that you want to elevate to System level, or you can click on the Browse button to select it. For example, if you want to run Windows Registry Editor with System privileges, then just select regedit.exe from your Windows folder. You can also specify extra parameters that the target program can take. After this, click on the Elevate button to launch the selected program with the System privileges.

The applications launched with System level privileges are run under the username NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM. You can easily check whether the application run through ETS is actually running with System level access. Just launch the elevated command prompt and type in the following command:


This would produce a list of all the programs that are running with System level access. You can check your program in the list. In the following snapshot, you can see regedit.exe in the list. This is the program that I launched through ETS.

Run Applications with System Level Privileges using ETS

For the ordinary user, ETS does not give any advantages in everyday computing. But for the power users, ETS can be an easy way to run programs at the System level elevation to explore and access the functions and settings that are usually invisible even to the administrators.

You can download ETS from