“Run as different user” Context Menu Option is Inbuilt in Windows 7

Windows Vista users need to use the RunAs.exe console tool or the ShellRunas shell extension from Windows SysInternals to launch programs as a different user. Windows 7 includes the Run as different user feature as a built-in option in the right-click menu.

From Chris Jackson’s Semantic Consonance:

“Run as different user” option is different than “Run as administrator”, because you don’t have to elevate. You can run as an admin user, but be running as that user with non-elevated credentials. Also, it supports net only credentials, which Run as Administrator doesn’t.

The Run as different user context menu option in Windows 7 is implemented as an extended menu, which is only displayed if you press and hold the SHIFT key when right-clicking on an executable file or its shortcut. This is one of the hidden menu items which I earlier wrote about.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

6 thoughts on ““Run as different user” Context Menu Option is Inbuilt in Windows 7”

  1. This may be obvious to some, but for those of us that don’t do obvious: If you need to change domains, type domain\user in the user name field.

  2. Is there any way that you can set a shortcut in win7 to always run as another user but still prompt for a password.

    Have done a quick scan and can only seem to find always run as admin. I still want the security of requiring a password when running a shortcut as another user.

  3. You wrote “Also, it supports net only credentials, which Run as Administrator doesn’t.”

    Where is the NET ONLY (/netonly) option?

  4. I don;t get any of these options with Shift+Right-click….does something else need to be enabled? I need to run AD as a totally different admin user.

  5. Happened across this thread via Google & figured I’d answer the question about how to make a shortcut that will always run as a specific user & prompt for the password. Yes, it’s a hack, and there are better ways (powershell, for one).

    Make new shortcut and set its target to:
    C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /user:domain\user “someapp.exe c:\somepath\somefile”

    ‘c:\somepath\somefile’ is of course optional, if you need to run your app with some kind of command line parameter.

    Major caveat: this will not work with several/most of the exes in the c:\windows\system32 directory, as these will require elevation and will not work with runas.


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