I have multiple accounts under several domains. I often need the ability to run as my other accounts for admin/access ability

typically, I do this without an problem. It is only with 1 out of 20 computers I deal with on a daily basis and ironically my own.

To access my different usernames I do: Shift right click on CMD.exe and select "Run as different user" in cmd, type: "explorer" / "explorer.exe" / "explorer /separate" "Control" and so on. (on a non affected computer, this works like a charm!)

Once the Window has separated/launched Explorer.exe, it should open as the secondary user name I was promoted for. However, it will simply separate as the current user (What I logged in onto Windows)

I have tried many other ways, run in cmd: "runas /user:domain\username" "explorer"


runas /user:domain\username "C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe /separate"

no change

Please help, it such a pain having to constantly log off to access the needed account for a second and then go back.

Again, I don't get any errors while separating, the window separates just fine. CMD takes my password fine and it acts as if cmd is under that different user. But it really inst. Once in Windows explorer, I can still see the desktop from the Current user logged onto Windows, when in fact, I should be seeing the profile from that other user.

  • It doesn't work to type in "explorer" in a running cmd to launch an explorer window and why not use the quick switch? What do you actually want to access using the explorer? Did you consider using another utility?
    – Seth
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


I'm really not sure how this even works on the other computers for you but afaik to allow an explorer.exe to run seperated from the first instance you have to go to:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{CDCBCFCA-3CDC-436f-A4E2-0E02075250C2} and Remove (better rename) the Key RunAs (you have to first take ownership of this key)

After reading a bit more about this, I found that instead of deleting the key after taking ownership you could also launch dcomcnfg.exe (via run) and then expand "Component Services" -> "Computers" -> "My Computer" -> "DCOM Config" there search for "Elevated-Unelevated Explorer Factory" open its properties and select the option "The launching user" from the "Identity" tab. It will only allow you to change it if you took the ownership before launching dcomcnfg.exe however and I do not really see any difference in directly editing the registry. It even deletes the RunAs key and does not replace the value as one might expect.

  • Just wanna say someone edited this link to msfn.org in (I don't know why), and while I checked it and it seems to be consitent with what I wrote and may even have more info, it is not really the source of my knowledge about this so I cannot say whether everything there is correct or easy to read or something. I also found this link when I googled for some additional insight after posting the first draft but it didn't really strike me super helpful (as it's the case most of the times with traditional forums, too hard to parse for info).
    – Syberdoor
    Sep 21, 2016 at 8:23

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