Add Run as different user to Start Menu in Windows 10

Runas Icon

Since its very first version, Windows NT has allowed the user to launch apps with different permissions and credentials than the current user. Using it, you can start a batch file, an executable file or even an app installer as another user. In this article, will see how to add the Run as command to the context menu of your Start menu items in Windows 10.
There are two ways to run a process as a different user in Windows 10. This can be done using the context menu in File Explorer or with a special console command.

I've reviewed them in detail in the following article:

How to Run an App as a Different User in Windows 10

Having this ability is very useful in a wide range of situations. For example, if you are working under a limited user account, but need to install an app or open an MMC snap-in like Disk Management, you can run the required app under another user account which has administrator privileges. It is especially useful when an app doesn't ask for administrative credentials and just refuses to start. Another good example is when you have configured an app to work under a different user profile, so other apps and users won't have access to its configuration data. This improves the security for apps which deal with very sensitive data.

In Windows XP, Vista and 7, you had the ability to launch an app as a different user directly from the Start menu. In Windows 10, the Start menu is completely different. It has nothing common with the its previous implementations. It is a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app which combines the list of installed apps with Live Tiles and shortcuts pinned to the right pane. Unfortunately, it doesn't include the Run as context menu command any more.

For your convenience, you might want to add it. This is possible with a simple Registry tweak.

To add the Run As command to Start Menu in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
  3. On the right, create a new 32-Bit DWORD value ShowRunAsDifferentUserInStart. Set its value data to 1.
  4. Restart Windows 10.

The described Registry tweak will enable the command Run as different user for apps in the Start menu in Windows 10, as shown below.

The command will be enabled for all user accounts.

Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value. Tip: You can go to a Registry key with one click.

It is possible to enable the Run as different user command for individual user accounts. Here is how it can be done.

Add "Run as different user" to the Start menu for the current user

  1. Open the Registry editor.
  2. Go to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer.
  3. Create the 32-bit DWORD value named ShowRunAsDifferentUserInStart and set it to 1.
  4. Sign out and sign in to your user account. Alternatively, you can restart the Explorer shell.

Tip: You can switch between HKCU and HKLM in Windows 10 Registry Editor quickly.

Note: If you don't have theHKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer key, then just create it.

Finally, if you are running a Windows 10 edition which includes the Local Group Policy editor app, you can activate the Run as different user context menu command in the Start menu using the GUI. Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

Add "Run as different user" to the Start menu with Group Policy

  1. Press Win + R keys together on your keyboard and type:

    Press Enter.

  2. Group Policy Editor will open. Go to User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar. Enable the policy option Show "Run as different user" command on Start as shown below.

Use Winaero Tweaker to save your time

To save your time, you can use the Winaero Tweaker app. It allows adding the Run as a different user command to both the Start menu and the context menu.

You can download the app here: Download Winaero Tweaker.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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