Run a program as a different user in Windows Vista

Sometimes, as an administrator, you want to run a program as a different user. The reasons may be that you want the program to save the settings in that users profile or you may want to install a program only for that user etc. Here is how you can run a program as a different user.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt window.
  2. Give the following command and press Enter in the command prompt
    runas /user:[user] [program]

    where [user] is the username of user you want to run program as. The [program] is the full path name of the program you want to run. Suppose you want to run the notepad.exe as a user James, then give the following command :

    runas /user:James notepad.exe
  3. It would ask you for the logon password for that user. Type the password and press Enter. It will run the program as that user.

  4. You can verify the user under which the program is being run using the Task Manager. Press the key combination Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager. In the Task Manager, you would see the program under the Processes tab. You can check the user. In the above example, we ran notepad.exe as the Guest user and here is what Task Manager shows :