Gone with Windows 7 : RunAs for Explorer

Summary:One of the most useful support tools for Windows XP that we've used over the years, is the ability to run Windows Explorer as an administrator account, while having a restricted user logged in. This allows an administrator to perform Explorer-related tasks while leaving the end user logged in.

One of the most useful support tools for Windows XP that we've used over the years, is the ability to run Windows Explorer as an administrator account, while having a restricted user logged in. This allows an administrator to perform Explorer-related tasks while leaving the end user logged in.

This is accomplished by using the command "runas /user:administrator explorer.exe". It is a great tool and we almost use it daily on XP computers.

But, with Windows 7, suddenly this no longer works. Running Explorer with RunAs, simply opens a new instance of Explorer as the currently logged in user. Back when we started migrating users from XP to 7, we searched and searched for the solution for Windows 7 that works like XP. But, even today, none has been found. The workaround? To use Switch User and log in to the PC as an administrator account, and run Explorer. But, the drawback is when trying to switch back to the regular user that is logged in, their password needs to be typed in. This is counterproductive if the user is not at their desk while the admin is troubleshooting.

So, with enhanced "security features" in Windows 7, some features have completely disappeared. I'm guessing there are some 3rd party solutions available, but we normally try to avoid these due to adding costs and other issues into the mix.

Topics: Open Source

About

I have been a systems administrator of both Windows and Linux systems for over 17 years, in educational institutions, enterprises, and consumer environments. Throughout the years running Linux and Windows side by side, I have seen Linux countless times surpass Windows in performance, reliability, cost savings, and more recently user expe... Full Bio

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