How do I run as a different user on a shortcut in Windows 7?

On Windows XP, I had the ability to mark a shortcut as being run by a different user, so that every time I ran it it would prompt me for a username/password. This let me have two shortcuts for things like SQL Server Management Studio, one for my normal account and one for my domain administrator account which has access to production servers.

I can get to the 'Run as different user' option with Shift + right-click, but I can't see an option anywhere that would let me mark the shortcut as doing this every time.

  1. Right-click > New > Shortcut
  2. For Target, type "runas /user:domain\user program.exe"

I think you can replace "domain" with the computer name if you want it to use a local account.


The link above is for XP, but I was able to do this in Windows 7. When you double-click the shortcut, it will open a cmd that will prompt you for the user's password. What's interesting is that it doesn't display asterisks (or anything) as you type in the password. However, I did just test it and it is accepting the password you type.

  • Not as good as what was in XP IMO but a perfectly acceptable workaround - thanks! – PhilPursglove Mar 26 '10 at 15:46
  • This doesn't work on win 10: The requested operation requires elevation – Aaron Oct 29 '15 at 20:40

To add to what the above user said:

C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /storecred /user:Domain\UserName "mmc %windir%\system32\dsa.msc"

(This "mmc %windir%\system32\dsa.msc" is for running active directory users and computers as an example)

  • 1
    Using the "/savecred" (or "/storecred"?) switch is a huge potential security hole. See my answer here: superuser.com/a/903881/229612 (and includes a working solution to the problem of running a program with elevated rights). – C. M. Apr 20 '15 at 17:37

You can use ShellRunas from Microsoft SysInternals. You can use "ShellRunas program.exe" in the shotcut to get the same behavior you had in XP.

EDIT: Apparently you have to type in the user name every time, so it's not exactly the behavior you wanted.

#Create a Desktop Shortcut with Windows PowerShell
    $ShortcutFileName = (Get-Item $TargetFile).Basename
$ShortcutFile = "$env:Public\Desktop\$ShortcutFileName.lnk"
$WScriptShell = New-Object -ComObject WScript.Shell
$Shortcut = $WScriptShell.CreateShortcut($ShortcutFile)
#Run as different user, saves the password  
$a="runas.exe /savecred /user:$RunAsUser ""$TargetFile"""
$Shortcut.TargetPath = "runas.exe"
$Shortcut.Arguments = "/savecred /user:$RunAsUser ""$TargetFile"""
$Shortcut.IconLocation = $TargetFile

You can download detail SQL script from how to create a shortcut to run an application as a different user(PowerShell)

  • Please don't copy and paste your answer across multiple questions. Preferably you should tailor your answer to suit the specific use case that OP needs, and if the questions need exactly the same answer then chances are they should be flagged as a duplicate. – Mokubai Dec 13 '16 at 7:40
  • Additionally you've left out the important information of just how to actually use this script and what it does. – Mokubai Dec 13 '16 at 7:47

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