How to Enable “Run as a Different User” Option on Start Menu

Ever wanted to run a program as a different user from the start menu only to find out that it’s not possible on Windows 10? What if I told you that it’s possible to enable “Run as a Different User”?

You only need one small trick to do it and there are a couple of methods to execute it. To be honest, it was much easier to do that back in Windows 7/8.

Enable “Run as a Different User” The Vanilla Way

Windows 10: How to Enable "Run as a Different User" on Start Menu

Did you know that it’s possible to use this feature without touching any settings at all? It’s a bit more tedious and not available directly in the start menu.

However, it’s still very useful if you’re only intending to rarely use it. That’s because you won’t have to mess with your registry or anything like that.

All you have to do is open your start menu, shift + right click on a non-UWP program of your choice -> More -> Open File Location -> Right Click on the Program -> Run as a Different User. 

The next methods which I’ll mention below actually enable the “Run as a different User” feature for the start menu.

However, the process of enabling them can be much more tedious and even dangerous. It’s a good thing that you only have to go through it once. Unless you mess something up.

Do also keep in mind that for some reason, this feature is not available for UWP apps. UWP stands for Universal Windows Platform. Generally, every app that you can obtain from the Windows Store right now.

Use the Registry

Windows 10: How to Enable "Run As a Different User" Feature on Start Menu

Attention! When messing around with the registry, one wrong move can render your system unusable. And if that happens, I won’t take any responsibility for it.

It’s generally recommended to keep backups before touching your system files, just so that you can be on the safe side. Perform the below-mentioned steps at your own risk.

Open your taskbar search and type regedit. Then open the registry editor through it and do remember to do so with administrator permissions. Then go to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer.

If you can’t find the “Explorer” key, you can create it by clicking Edit -> New -> Key, and use Explorer as its name. That folder/key must be created under the “policies” key/folder.

At that point, you must create a new DWORD value which is named “ShowRunasDifferentuserinStart”.

To do that, go to the explorer key, click on Edit -> New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value, name it “ShowRunasDifferentuserinStart“, and insert “1” as its value data.

Then perform a reboot and you should be good to go. Here are the results on my own Windows 10 installation.

Windows 10: How to Enable "Run as a Different User" on Start Menu

I can now use this feature on my Windows 10 start menu with no problems whatsoever.

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Use the Local Group Policy Director

Windows 10: How to Enable "Run as a Different User" On Start Menu

This is a much easier way of enabling the “Run as a Different User” feature on your Start Menu. It also seems to be much more secure than messing around with the registry.

The only downside to it is that it’s only available for Windows 10 Professional, Education, and Enterprise. And once again, you’ll need administrator permissions.

To use it for our case, type “Edit Group Policy” on the search bar and open the Local Group Policy Editor. 

Next, go to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar. Then double-click on “Run as a Different User”, select Enabled, hit OK, and perform a reboot.

Windows 10: How to Enable "Run as a Different User" on Start Menu

Now you should be all set.

3 thoughts on “How to Enable “Run as a Different User” Option on Start Menu”

  1. hello, there is actually the same key usable under HKLM.. much easier and appropriate if you ask me.. you just need to create the regkey and DWORD 🙂

  2. You don’t need to restart you computer. Just restart Windows Explorer. CTRL+ALT+DELETE and click Task Manager. On Processes tab find Windows Exlorer, right click and restart.

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