Run Windows Explorer as Another User

by Daniel Petri - January 8, 2009

How can I run Windows Explorer as another user (one with administrative privileges)?

Sometimes you'll want to do file and folder modifications, or even partition formatting, but you won't want to do it while logged on as an administrator.

To do so follow the next steps:

  1. When logged in as a normal, non-privileged user, navigate to your system folder, usually C:\WINNT.
  2. Shift-right-click on explorer.exe.
  3. Select "Run As" and provide the credentials for the local admin account.

  1. A dialog box will pop-up asking you for a valid username and password. Enter one of a user that has the required administrative privileges to run and manage that program.

  1. If you give a wrong username or password an error will pop-up:

  1. If you gave a valid username and password then Explorer will open giving you the full permissions to manage it and any programs you run from within that window will run with admin privileges.

That's it.

BTW, it's time you got to know the RUNAS command that's now native in Windows 2000, XP and Windows Server 2003. Open a Command Prompt and run the following command:

runas /user:computername\Administrator command

where computername is the name of your computer, and username is the name of the user you're trying to run the command as (e.g. Administrator). The command is the command you're trying to run (e.g. a batch file, an .exe file or even a control panel applet).

For example:

C:\>runas /user:pro1\Administrator "explorer.exe"
Enter the password for pro1\Administrator:
Attempting to start explorer.exe as user "pro1\Administrator" ...

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