Multiple user accounts can be set up on a single Windows 10 installation. A user can sign in to their own account where they will have their very own user folder, libraries, and desktop.
Normally, users do not need to run apps as other users. The only exception is when an app requires administrative rights. In this case, a user will want to run an app as an administrator and there is usually an option in an app’s right-click context menu to do so.
Run an app as different user
While uncommon, a user, or even an admin, may need to run an app as another user that’s set up on the same system. The option to do so is also built right into Windows 10 but because it isn’t needed often, it’s not obvious that it’s there.
- Find the EXE or a shortcut to the app that you want to run.
- Hold down the Shift key and right-click the file.
- The context menu will have a Run as different user option. Select it.
- Select the user you want to run the app as.
- Enter the username and password for the user.
Create a shortcut
Another way to run an app as a different user is to modify a shortcut for the app.
- Create a shortcut for the app.
- Right-click the shortcut and select Properties from the context menu.
- Go to the Shortcut tab.
- Edit the target field and enter the following but modify it with the username for the user you want to run the app as.
runas /savecred /user:DOMAIN\USERNAME "path to executable"
Missing ‘Run as different user’ option
Most apps will have a ‘Run as different user’ option in their context menu but most doesn’t mean all. There will be exceptions.
Apps that do not have a ‘Run as different user’ option are apps that do not create a directory and store preferences in the user’s folder under
C:\Users. Likewise, portable apps likely cannot be run as a different user since they’re never installed however, it is worth checking to see if the option is there.
Running apps as a different user allows you to see how the app runs for them i.e., what sort of environment it loads and what its settings for that user are. If a user is unable to launch an app, you can check how the app runs on your own user account but have it load the settings for the other user. It’s a fairly simple way to troubleshoot a problematic app.