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My Windows 7 computer is connected to a Windows network at the workplace. There are two domains in use on this network, EMPLOYEES and TESTERS. I have logins on both domains, for example EMPLOYEES\Joe and TESTERS\TestJoe.

If I am logged into a computer as EMPLOYEES\Joe, how do I launch a Windows Explorer instance with the privileges of TESTERS\TestJoe? Note that I can switch user and login as TESTERS\TestJoe on this computer without any problem.

I have tried the suggestions given in this post, and they do not work.

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Some clarification on what you're trying to accomplish with this might help you get an answer faster. Are you trying to get access to network shares? –  Pär Björklund May 31 '11 at 11:28
    
Par Bjorklund: Yes, network shares is my prime concern. –  Ashwin May 31 '11 at 13:07

4 Answers 4

You don't need to run explorer.exe as a different user just to connect to a network share with different credentials.

In an explorer window you can click on "Map network drive", fill in the path and and make sure to check "Connect using different credentials". When you click the finish button you will get prompted for the credentials you want to use to connect the current share.

You can also accomplish this with the net command on the command line.

net use x: \\server\share /user:testuser@example.com password
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  • Go to the Start button;
  • Type in Explorer;
  • Shift Right-Click "Windows Explorer";
  • Run as different user.

That user will also need privileges to access the file system on the local machine, and perform any futher operations you'd like to execute.

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While @Matt has the process right, @Pär Björklund is correct when it comes to network shares. You can connect using someone else's credentials. If that is all you need, I would go with that answer. –  Doltknuckle May 31 '11 at 18:52
    
This is what I was going to suggest. –  ekaj Mar 15 '12 at 17:21

It seems that windows actively resists the ability to launch Explorer as a different user. I resolved this issue on my Windows 7 system by doing the following:

  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
  2. rename the subkey from runas to _runas. If you receive an error doing this, then you probably didn't complete step one correctly

Once this is changed you can you launch Explorer with a different set of credentials via the run as command or with the freeware tool CPAU from Joeware.

From command prompt you can then launch explorer:

  • with runas
    • runas /user:domain\username "c:\windows\explorer.exe /separate"
    • followed by completing the password prompt.
  • with cpau
    • cpau.exe /u domain\username /p password /ex "E:\Windows\explorer.exe /separate"

Note:

  • You have to use the explorer option /separate to force explorer to launch as separate process. see also
  • The advantage of using cpau over runas is that with cpau you can specify username and password in the command prompt.
  • Other then using cpau for my own use, I am not affiliated with Joeware.
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This one works for Windows 7, 8.0 and 8.1

Start Regsitry as an Adminstrative User. navigate / find ID HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} Take ownership of Node and assign full rights of the registry node. rename Node RunAs to _RunAs. Close Regedit.

Now goto c:\Windows\Explorer.exe and create a shortcut to desktop(use Sent To)

Right click and run as Administrator. This should open explorer as a seperate user.

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