Unknown Publisher requires Elevation on Windows 7 – Self Created EXE

· Windows

This has been bugging me for the past two days. I tried to create executables (EXEs) from both “Bat to Exe Converter” and SharpDevelop. Every time I created an EXE, it would have this wonderful little UAC shield on the icon:


When I double clicked on the EXE, I received a message stating that file has an unknown publisher and it requires administrative credentials. The file does nothing more than display text on the screen so I had no idea why I could not run the simple file. I’ve also created hundreds of EXEs before on the same computer so something was not correct.

I thought the recent anti-virus component addition caused a UAC setting to change. Fortunately, I stumbled upon (not the one you think) this article on SuperUser.com:



Before a 32 bit process is created, the following attributes are checked to determine whether it is an installer:

  • Filename includes keywords like “install”, “setup”, “update”, etc.

Since I created the file with the word “install”, Windows 7 assumed it required admin permissions and took it upon itself to require admin permissions to run the file anyway. I created the EXE with a different name and it worked as expected!


Here’s the Microsoft article that explains it:


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About Joseph Spurrier

I'm passionate about building solutions to automate tasks and improve efficiency. Tech guy. Traveler. Runner. Guitar player. Scotch and beer enthusiast. Keybase GitHub Gists LinkedIn Twitter

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