I am a beginner and am trying to understand how to use the runas command in Windows Powershell.

When I type the following command into Powershell:

runas /user:<localmachinename>\administrator cmd

I am asked to enter a password. When I do so, I am told that:

1326: Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password.

Also, when I type this command into Powershell:

runas /user:AdministratorAccountName@ ComputerName

I get:

RUNAS ERROR: Unable to acquire user password

I can't see the password when I type it in. But I have done it multiple times correctly and always get those messages.

Would appreciate some help on this.


  • Have you tried runas /user:$($env:COMPUTERNAME)\Administrator cmd? Jan 2, 2015 at 16:25
  • or /user:.\Administrator. Scratch that - just tested it, Mathias' suggestion works, mine doesn't.
    – Jeeva
    Jan 2, 2015 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


You could try

runas /user:administrator cmd

without the backslash before administrator. That works for me – when I replace administrator with a valid user name for an administrator on my computer, of course.

When it comes to the other command you tried:

runas /user:AdministratorAccountName@ ComputerName

it should read

runas /user:ComputerName\AdministratorAccountName

where ComputerName is a valid computer name and AdministratorAccountName is a valid name of a user account.


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