How to use “runas” utility

June 23, 2007

Much people use an administrator account everyday… but they probably dont know, that it is a dangerous use in our system For example, some sypware, trojans and “bad software” uses administrator privileges to have access to the internal Windows system files. Okey, we’ve the solution to this. You must use your system running as a limited user, and using “runas” command to install and manage applications.

But, What is “runas”? Is a Windows utility which allows run a program using the rights of other system user, like administrator.

I’ll show here, a examples of use of runas command.

If we want to execute an application or install it, we must type this:

runas /user:[admin_account] [app_dir]

For example, if we want install a program wich installer is on a “C:\myApp\” directory and our administrator user is called “MeAdmin”we must type this:

runas /user:MeAdmin C:\myApp\install.exe

Before this, we will type the administrator password, and the setup will run with administrator privileges.

I you need for example, use de MMC console, you can run as administrator too

runas /user:administrator mmc.exe

And my favourite trick, consists in obtain a CMD of the admin user, which we will be able have total access to our system with all privileges. In this command, i included the computer name. This is very important if we’re using a Workgroup.

runas /user:MyComputer\administrator cmd.exe

All this command looks good… but, some people hates command terminals like CMD (MS-DOS), *NIX shell, etc. Don’t worry, we can launch applications using “runas” from our desktop. Just do right clickwhile you’re pressing shift over the executable you choose, and select “Run as…” option. A window like this (i’m using a Spanish Windows XP) will be open:



Type the administrator (Or another account with admin privileges) and click Accept.



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