How to run Windows Explorer as a different user (so I can do admin work)

As you probably know from my old posts, I log into my Windows computers with a normal user account (I’m not an Administrator and I’m not a Power User).

I recently came across a nice switch for Windows Explorer: “/separate”. It allows me to run Windows Explorer in a separate process using different credentials, in my case, admin credentials.

I knew about the “Launch folder windows in a separate process” option in Tools\Folder Options\View that is described by Aaron at

But I didn’t want all my Explorer windows to run in separate processes. All I wanted was the option to run one instance with admin credentials and /separate does that for me.

All I have to do now is: 
            “runas /user:myComputer\administrator "explorer /separate"”

Comments (4)

  1. Ron Krauter says:

    Thanks for the tip. Wish I had known this earlier. I had been using "runas" and starting IE all this time.

  2. SK says:

    you can use other program like total commander so you can’t make any mistake about which is which

  3. Nuleren says:

    Any idea how to get the control panel to open in a new process or perhaps attach itself to a new explorer process?

  4. florinlazar says:

    To: Nuleren

    You can navigate using Windows Explorer to Control Panel. The simplest way is to type "Control Panel" in the address bar.

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