Logging In from the Command-Prompt

IT folks – ever needed to log in as someone else, but didn’t want to reboot (or log out of) the computer you’re working on? Maybe you’re working on someone’s computer and need to access a shared drive that only admins like you can access. Maybe you’re just lazy and don’t want to wait for an actual logoff.

Whatever the case may be, you can easily accomplish this using Task Manager and the command prompt:

1) Open a command-prompt window.
2) Open Task Manager (if you use CTRL+SHIFT+ESC you’ll need only one hand!)
3) Kill the EXPLORER.EXE process.
4) At the command prompt, type the following:

runas /user:RESOURCE\USERNAME explorer.exe

5) You will be prompted to enter the password for the user. Do so, and Explorer will reopen under that user’s account.

So – for example, you could enter

runas /user:DOMAIN\Administrator explorer.exe



runas /user:LOCALMACHINE\Administrator explorer.exe


to run Explorer as a domain or local administrator.

Remember that this is not a full logoff\login procedure, so the desktop\icons\installed program list won’t change as it would with a standard logoff\login.

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