How to Install Fonts Without Administrator Access

Install Fonts Without Admin Access

If you work in the marketing realm you might not always have administrator access to your computer. I know at one of my jobs I don’t. Now coming from a background in IT and working multiple helpdesk jobs I totally agree with this policy. They don’t do it just to annoy you. To put it simply, people are stupid and this policy prevents people from destroying their computers. However, there are always ways around these things if you don’t have time to ask IT and so I am going to show you how to install any font on your PC without having administrator rights. Sometimes you just gotta have a certain font, whether it is for a new FB ad or a lead page banner. In fact it has been proven that certain fonts can actually improve your conversion rate.

I’ve tested this on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. It should work on Windows XP as well.

Step 1

First you need to download and install the free Platform software. (Note: You don’t need administrator access for this part)

Download Here:

Step 2

When installing choose “Select a custom location…” (this is required if you don’t have administrator access)

portableapps custom location

Step 3

Then select a location to install that you have permissions to modify. I suggest either choosing your desktop or your “My Documents” folder. In my example I will be using my desktop.

portableapps destination folder

Step 4

After you have it installed and running we need to create a “Fonts” folder within the Data folder (it may already exist):


fonts folder portableapps

Step 5

Now copy your custom fonts you want to use into the “Fonts” folder you just created.

copy fonts

Step 6

Now close and restart the PortableApps platform.

exit portableapps platform

The fonts should now be usable in other programs such as Photoshop or Word.

usable fonts

And that’s it! You can now install any font you want without bothering IT and not having administrator access. As always feel free to comment below and I greatly appreciate any shares!

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52 thoughts on “How to Install Fonts Without Administrator Access”

  1. Thank you so much for this! I was trying to use photoshop at school and it wouldn’t allow me to install the font required by a document! a question: for InDesign, we can place fonts in a directory called “Document Fonts” present at the same location as the document. Can something similar be done for PS?

    • Hey amol… I don’t think that can be done with Photoshop. If the font breaks when you open the PSD up on a different computer, the only way I have found that works is the solution above.

  2. Just had to post a comment to thank you for this trick. Several college computers restrict custom fonts which break several documents of mine, luckily thanks to this trick it’s no longer an issue.

    • Awesome… yes coming from an IT administrator background I know how frustrating it can be for those using computer labs. Glad this was helpful, have a great weekend!

  3. I tried using a method I learned at school from another student in my Illustrator class. That method didn’t work on 10, and your method did, so thank you so much!

  4. Guys make sure the when you open the files they are the same name as the actuall name and also if its something TFF make it lowercase make sure there only text files

  5. Thank you so, so much. You have made my working life a whole lot easier. This is one of the most useful posts I have ever read. Fantastic!

  6. My laptop has .exe files blocked as well. They can be used, but only by being pasted into and run from Word. This works all the way up until the very end and running the actual file, which Word won’t open either. Does that mean there is no workaround?

    • Haha, I wrote this back when I worked in a corporate environment. So I know how it goes… sometimes just using your own computer can be frustrating with limitations IT puts in place. I also used to work IT though, so I kind of have two perspectives.

  7. IT had about a 3 weeks ago put admin locks and I found I could no longer load any programs on the computer. Today I went to load a font and found I was blocked from doing that too! Found this article and downloaded and followed the directions and was able to load the font I needed and use it in Illustrator. I still am waiting to hear back from IT. But that can take 24 hours. In the mean time I can load any new fonts I need and use them.

  8. Holy hell, I thought all these comments were fake and this was some type of spam………this is the real deal ladies and gentlemen, my group policy can suck it!

    • Haha, your comment just made my day :) Yes, I too once worked in a corporate environment. Suck it IT! Although I used to work IT as well haha.

  9. I work in IT, and have root access to thousands upon thousands of production servers, but someone thinks I can’t manage my own laptop and even locks down font installation. Thank you for this “bypass”. I’m getting by with portable applications and workarounds like this. Keep up the good work.

  10. Works great, thanks!
    Also portableapps can apparently install a good bunch of games on a work PC, hehehe…
    A lot of good old classics among them too, what a gem!

  11. Hey Brian,
    It worked almost perfectly! The only issue I have with it is the fonts seem to leave when the program is closed. Is there any way to make them work while it’s closed? Thanks for the great instructions!


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