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Run explorer as a different user

    Question

  • Has anyone been able to get explorer to run as a different user from the currently logged on user? We use non-privileged accounts on our domain attached machines. With XP, we used to us runas to start programs with a domain admin user id when needed to perform certain tasks; dns, user account management, file management, etc.
    Since we are testing Windows 7, we have been able to get all other functions to work except file browsing. When attempting to open windows explorer, it always opens as the current user. We have changed the registry key HKCU \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows\ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced \ SeparateProcess = 1.

    Thanks,
    Ken
    Thursday, December 03, 2009 8:21 PM

All replies

  • Has anyone been able to get explorer to run as a different user from the currently logged on user? We use non-privileged accounts on our domain attached machines. With XP, we used to us runas to start programs with a domain admin user id when needed to perform certain tasks; dns, user account management, file management, etc.
    Since we are testing Windows 7, we have been able to get all other functions to work except file browsing. When attempting to open windows explorer, it always opens as the current user. We have changed the registry key HKCU \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows\ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced \ SeparateProcess = 1.

    Thanks,
    Ken

    Did you try it  using explorer.exe /separate ??


    Ricardo Polo "HodracirK"
    Friday, December 04, 2009 11:19 PM
  • I created a shortcut on my desktop with the target explorer.exe /seperate. I right click and run as my administrator account and the explorer just exits. It doesn't give an error. Any ideas?
    Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:41 PM
  • Was this ever resolved? We are running into the same issue in our pilot group.
    Monday, April 02, 2012 11:57 AM
  • I suppose you could run a system cmd process in session 0, then run explorer there.  Or login as a user in the administrators group over remote desktop.

    Or start task manager as an administrator, kill explorer.exe, and run it again as administrator.

    • Edited by JS2010 Tuesday, April 03, 2012 6:24 PM
    Tuesday, April 03, 2012 6:23 PM
  • Yes, you have a typo:

    explorer /sepArAte  (not seperate)

    It works in windows 7 at least.

    Barry

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012 12:47 PM
  • Yes, you have a typo:

    explorer /sepArAte  (not seperate)

    It works in windows 7 at least.

    Barry

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012 12:48 PM
  • Microsoft has disabled the ability to run the explorer.exe process as a seperate user. im not refering to running a separate instance of explorer.exe, but running as separate credentials, i.e. using runas.

    Although not officially supported by Microsoft at this date, if you wanted to get around this limitation, modify the following regkey.

    1. Take ownership of reg key HK_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2}, and grant yourself Full Control. This key controls how explorer is allowed to launch. You have to do this in the advanced permissions/owner page of the folder that contains the runas subkey.
    2. rename the subkey from runas to _runas.

    Once this is changed you can you launch Explorer with a different set of credentials via the runas command, and possibly with a 3rd party application.

    From command prompt you can launch explorer:

    • with runas
      • runas /user:domain\username "c:\windows\explorer.exe /separate"
      • followed by completing       the password prompt.

    I verified in task manager that two explorer processes were running, one with my username and the other with the username that I used in the runas.

    Our organization is currently in the process of submitting a change request to have Microsoft revert their stance on this decision as we too have a vendor whose application runs inside the explorer shell causing us issues on our kiosk computers. If anyone wants to include their support in the ticket to increase the number of people affected by this limitation, that might increase the chance of them reverting their design decision.

    • Proposed as answer by Paul Newell Wednesday, August 14, 2013 1:46 PM
    Monday, July 08, 2013 9:57 PM
  • I know this is an older thread, but thanks, igadget78; your solution worked for me!  None of the others seem to work in Windows 7.

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013 1:54 PM
  • Thanks for your help igadget78. How far did you get with Microsoft reverting their stance on this?
    Tuesday, November 12, 2013 4:53 PM