How to run Explorer.exe as Another User RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • How can I launch explorer.exe in Windows 7 (x86 or x64) as a different user?

    I'm looking for something that

    • doesn't require making questionable and/or unsupported registry changes
    • doesn't require installing or otherwise leveraging a third-party application
    • will work across all systems within the organization
    Thursday, January 10, 2013 6:47 PM

All replies

  • just for a once off?

    try from the command line: runas /user:DOMAIN\USER explorer.exe  (Swap in your Domain and Username e.g.\Rory)

    You'll then get prompted for a password and it should launch.


    Thursday, January 10, 2013 8:41 PM
  • Hi Rorymon - thanks for the response!

    Yes, for a one-off.  Unfortunately that doesn't work.  I've tried the following before posting with no positive results:

    1. runas /user:domain\user explorer.exe = Explorer.exe runs but not as domain\user
    2. runas /user:domain\user cmd & then running explorer.exe = cmd runs as domain\user; Explorer.exe runs but not as domain\user
    3. runas /user:domain\user cmd & then runas /user:domain\user explorer.exe = cmd runs as domain\user; Explorer.exe runs but not as domain\user
    4. right clicking on explorer.exe & doing a run as a different user = Explorer.exe runs but not as domain\user

    Lets take the 'cmd' scenario (#2 and #3 above): when cmd is running as domain\user, I can launch just about anything else and it runs as domain\user.  I can launch various snap-ins, control panel applets (.cpl files), notepad, iexplore.exe etc. and they all run under the domain\user context.  This problem is unique to Explorer.exe.

    Friday, January 11, 2013 1:56 PM
  • After reading numerous questions with the same problem, this is by design. You cannot RunAs explorer.exe a different user. There are proposed hacks of Windows in some results from an Internet search.

    Not wanting to mess with my default Windows implementation it seems the best method is to map a drive using alternate credentials. The File Explorer GUI offers a dialog or you can use the command:

    NET USE Z: \\server\share /USER:domain\username

    George Perkins

    Friday, November 17, 2017 4:03 PM