Fix: ‘You Must Be An Administrator Running A Console Session in Order To Use The SFC Utility.’

Just because you type “sfc /scannow” at the command line doesn’t imply the SFC programme will automatically begin scanning for and fixing any errors you may have caused.

Even when using a seemingly harmless command like “sfc /scannow,” you may get a wide variety of unexpected results.

The error “You must be an administrator running a console session in order to utilise the SFC tool” is the most common response from the system when most users attempt to run this command, therefore that’s what we’ll be covering here.

You Must Be An Administrator Running A Console Session in Order To Use The SFC Utility.

Windows users often encounter a myriad of issues that require a bit of tinkering. One useful tool in their troubleshooting arsenal is the System File Checker (SFC) utility.

But sometimes, when attempting to deploy it, users get a stumbling block: the “You Must Be An Administrator Running A Console Session in Order To Use The SFC Utility” message. Let’s delve into this error, understand its origins, and chart out solutions.

The Root Cause of the Error Message

The SFC utility requires heightened permissions to scan and fix protected system files. Thus, when you try to run SFC without proper permissions, Windows ensures that unauthorized users can’t make potentially harmful changes.

Why Do I Keep Getting a Message Telling Me That User Must be an Administrator?

You need to be the system administrator or have authorization to view the system files using the command prompt if you receive this error message. If you double-click or right-click and select open on a command prompt, it will launch in standard mode.

The CMD will open as a regular Command Prompt unless you right-click it and select Run as administrator. To make modifications to the system or to execute system files, you must launch CMD in elevated mode. The answer to your problem is provided in the next section.

Method 1: To Open a Command Prompt with Admin Privileges

The SFC Utility command can only be executed from an elevated command prompt, or a prompt that has been granted administrative privileges.

Since SFC Utility is a system command, it can only be accessed and used when CMD is invoked in an administrative capacity. In order to accomplish that, please refer to the instructions below.

Step 1: You must be in CMD when this occurs; exit the programme.

Step 2: To find CMD, use the start menu or the search bar.

Step 3: Select right-click menu from CMD

Step 4: Choose “Run in elevated mode”

Step 5: Validate User Control by selecting “Yes”

Step 6: Press the “sfc /scannow” key to proceed.

Step 7: A check of the system will begin.

Method 2: As an Added Bonus, We’ll be Using The High Command Setting by Default.

Follow the instructions below to ensure that CMD opens in administrator mode every time:

Step 1: Find the CMD command by using the start menu or the search bar.

Step 2: Open the file location by right-clicking CMD.

Step 3: Right-click the “CMD” shortcut, and then select “Send to > Desktop.”

Step 4: Select “Properties” by right-clicking the shortcut.

Step 5: If you go to the “Shortcuts” menu, then “Advanced,” you can customise your shortcuts.

Step 6: Proceed by selecting “Run as administrator.”

Step 7: To save the settings, select “OK”

Step 8: This shortcut will now always launch with administrative privileges.

Method 3: The Problem With Command Prompt in Administrator Mode

If you are logged in to the command prompt as an administrator and you are still receiving this message, try restarting the command prompt. A third-party app called NSudo is an option you can investigate. The equivalent of Trusted Installer privileges will be granted.

Step 1: Get NSudo Download.

Step 2: Right-click on the file after downloading, then select “Run as Administrator.”

Step 3: Open the software now, and select the “Enable all privileges” menu item.

Step 4: Just hit “Run” after typing “cmd” into the run box.

Step 5: Rerun the “sfc /scannow” command once Command Prompt has been started.

Step 6: See if the problem still exists by checking it out.

Try starting Windows in safe mode and executing the SFC Command if that doesn’t work.

How Do I Use the SFC Utility?

Using the SFC tool is straightforward:

  1. Click on the Windows Start button and type in “cmd.”
  2. Right-click on “Command Prompt” and choose “Run as administrator.”
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.

The utility will then scan and repair any detected system file issues.

Running Console as an Administrator

To run any console as an administrator in Windows:

  1. Locate the application shortcut (like Command Prompt or PowerShell).
  2. Right-click on it.
  3. Choose “Run as administrator” from the context menu.

This grants the application elevated permissions.

Duration of an SFC Scan

An SFC scan’s duration can vary. Typically, it takes anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the system’s performance, the number of files to scan, and the underlying hardware.

The SFC Command Line

The primary command for the System File Checker is sfc /scannow. However, SFC offers other variations, such as:

  • sfc /verifyonly: Scans and reports issues without fixing them.
  • sfc /scanfile=[path]: Scans a specific file and fixes it if necessary.
  • sfc /offbootdir=[dir] /offwindir=[dir]: Used to run SFC offline.

Can I Use My Computer While SFC Is Running?

Yes, you can continue to use your computer while the SFC utility is running. However, the system might be slightly slower due to the resources the scan consumes. It’s advisable to save any important work in case a restart is needed after the scan.

Admin Console Session in Linux

Linux, unlike Windows, uses a different method to grant administrative rights:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. To gain superuser privileges, type su and enter the root password when prompted.
  3. Alternatively, use the sudo command before any command that requires elevated privileges. For instance, sudo apt-get update.


System maintenance tools, like the SFC utility, are vital in ensuring a computer runs efficiently. Understanding the ins and outs of these tools not only aids in their effective deployment but also contributes to a seamless computer experience.

Whether you’re a casual user or a tech enthusiast, familiarizing yourself with these aspects of your OS can be a genuine game-changer.