Article ID: 294676 - View products that this article applies to.

Important Notice for users of Windows XP: Support for this product ends April 8, 2014. To ensure that you will receive all important security updates for Windows you need to upgrade to a later version such as Windows 7.

For more information, refer to this Microsoft web page: Support is ending for some versions of Windows

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In Microsoft Windows 2000 and in Windows XP, you can run programs as a different user than the currently-logged on user. To do this in Windows 2000, the RunAs service must be running, and to do this in Windows XP, the Secondary Logon service must be running. The RunAs and Secondary Logon services are the same service but they use different names. This step-by-step article describes how to enable and use the Run As command on a Windows 2000-based computer or a Windows XP-based computer.


  • A computer that is running a version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
  • Administrative permissions on the computer.

Enable the RunAs service on a Windows 2000-based computer, or the Secondary Logon service on a Windows XP-based computer

To have us enable the RunAs service for you, visit the "Fix it for me" section. If you prefer to fix this problem yourself, visit the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.

Fix this problem
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  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Next, visit the "Did this fix the problem?" section.

Let me fix it myself

By default, the service that is required to run the Run As command is started automatically when you install Windows. However, the service can be disabled by an administrator. If the service is disabled, you can enable the service again. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Log on to the computer as Administrator, or log on as a user who has administrative permissions.
  2. Right-click the My Computer icon, and then click Manage.
  3. In Computer Management, expand the Services and Applications node, and then click Services.
  4. Perform one of the following steps, depending on which operating system that you have:
    • Windows 2000: In the details pane, right-click the RunAs service, and then click Properties.
    • Windows XP: In the details pane, right-click the Secondary Logon service, and then click Properties.
  5. In the Properties dialog box, set Startup type to Automatic, and then click Start.
  6. After the computer starts the service, click OK to close the Properties dialog box, and then close Computer Management.
The service that is required to run the Run As command is now running on your computer.

Use the Run As command by using a shortcut

  1. Locate the shortcut item. Click Start, point to Programs, and then locate the shortcut item in the Programs menu.

    If the shortcut is not located in the Programs folder of the Start menu, browse to the correct location of the shortcut.
  2. Press SHIFT and hold while you right-click the shortcut item, and then click Run as.
  3. Perform one of the following steps, depending on which operating system that you have:
    • Windows 2000: In Run As Other User, type the User name, Password, and Domain, and then click OK.
    • Windows XP: In Run As, click the the following user option, type or select the User name, type the Password, and then click OK.

Did this fix the problem?

  • Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this section. If the problem is not fixed, you can contact support.
  • We would appreciate your feedback. To provide feedback or to report any issues with this solution, please leave a comment on the "Fix it for me" blog or send us an e- mail.


  • If you try to start a program, such as an MMC or a Control Panel item, from a network location by using the Run As command, it could fail if the credentials that are used to connect to the network share differ from the credentials that are used to start the program. The credentials that are used to run the program may be unable to gain access to the same network share.
  • The RunAs and Secondary Logon services in Windows 2000 accept only password authentication. If policies require smart card logon, then the Run As command will not work. Smart card authentication can be used with the Run As command in Windows XP.
  • The Run As command cannot be used from the LocalSystem account in Windows XP Service Pack 2.


Article ID: 294676 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 5.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
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