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Sign in as a Different User in SharePoint 2013

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Editor's note: Contributor Gokan Ozcifci is a SharePoint Consultant at Vision IT Group. Follow him @gokanozcifci

In Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, you will notice that the Sign in as Different User menu option is missing.

This was a great tool for developers and IT Pro's who wanted to test their solutions or customizations. In the new version of SharePoint I'm realy missing this option.

I'm not sure why they have removed it. There can be multiple reasons like

  • Caching Problems
  • Documents opened in external applications are saved with an unexpected user account
  • Page content shows information from the previous user due to cached information
  • Session variables contain information from previous users as the cookies are not cleared
  • ...

Stefan Goßner explains that The Sign in as Different User functionality is not meant to be used as a security feature!

This feature allows users who have more than one AD account to quickly login with a different account to SharePoint - but it does not guarantee that no artifacts from the previous user remain!

If you have to guarantee that one user cannot see data from a different user you have to logoff/logon in Windows. Don't use the Sign in as a different user.

To work around this issue, use one of the following methods.

  • Start Windows Internet Explorer by using the Run as different user option, and then go to the SharePoint site
  • Access the SharePoint site by using the following URL:
    http://<site url>/_layouts/closeConnection.aspx?loginasanotheruser=true
  • 2013-04-10-MaintenancePages-0a1.png

    Locate and then open the following file in a text editor:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES\Welcome.ascx ( use always a copy ).

    2013-04-10-MaintenancePages-02.png

    Add the following element before the existing "ID_RequestAccess" element:


    <SharePoint:MenuItemTemplate runat="server" ID="ID_LoginAsDifferentUser"  
    Text="<%$Resources:wss,personalactions_loginasdifferentuser%>"   
    Description="<%$Resources:wss,personalactions_loginasdifferentuserdescription%>"   
    MenuGroupId="100"   Sequence="100"   UseShortId="true"   />
    

    2013-04-10-MaintenancePages-03.png

    Save the file.

  • Another way is to use a runas.exe shortcut to launch browser as another user. Less convenient, but more reliable in the long run.
  • Or the last way is to create a JavaScript bookmarklet using your URL plus some client object model which can be checked here: http://corypeters.net/2012/10/sharepoint-2013-sign-in-as-another-user/

Conclustion

It's really not a bad thing to remove this feature. We won't get users complaining anymore about cache and permission issues. But as an IT Pro I will miss it when we are going to troubleshoot on the user’s desk.

Happy Configuring,

Categories: SPF 2013; Management; Troubleshooting and Support

Comments

ciphertxt

KB 2752600

KB2752600 details the official "fix" (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2752600). Even if you do the above (which isn't supported), you'll still see issues in IE10.

Posted 11-Apr-2013 by ciphertxt
Matthew Bramer

Private Mode

Running the browser in Private Mode also allows you to login as another user. Ctrl+Shift+P is one of my favorite shortcuts. Ctrl+Shift+N within Chrome produces the same effect. Cheers, Matthew

Posted 15-Apr-2013 by Matthew Bramer
Colin

A better way

I'm sure that editing the Welcome.ascx user control is not really supported never mind that a future SP might over write your changes you'll have to do it on every WFE.
 
A better way to do this is to deploy a simple Feature which adds the menu item back in a support way. Download and try Alt Login from here http://www.kaboodlekonnect.com/free/alt-login.  It's completely free and you get the choice of a farm or a sandbox solution.  I should add that I wrote it.

Posted 16-Jul-2013 by Colin
Mary A.

Thank you!

I appreciate you taking the time to post this informative article!

Posted 25-Sep-2013 by Mary A.
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Posted 05-Feb-2014 by dfghe
Aggie

problem with signing in as a different user

Hi, thanks for your post. I modified the welcome.ascx The option for Sign in as different user appeared in the drop-down, but when I enter another user account in the windows security, it displays the below error message: Sorry, something went wrong An unexpected error has occurred. Technical Details Troubleshoot issues with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation. Correlation ID: 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 Date and Time: 2/10/2014 11:38:00 AM

Posted 10-Feb-2014 by Aggie
Aggie

problem with signing in as a different user

Hi, thanks for your post. I modified the welcome.ascx The option for Sign in as different user appeared in the drop-down, but when I enter another user account in the windows security, it displays the below error message: Sorry, something went wrong An unexpected error has occurred. Technical Details Troubleshoot issues with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation. Correlation ID: 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 Date and Time: 2/10/2014 11:38:00 AM

Posted 10-Feb-2014 by Aggie
Aggie

problem with signing in as a different user

Hi, thanks for your post. I modified the welcome.ascx The option for Sign in as different user appeared in the drop-down, but when I enter another user account in the windows security, it displays the below error message: Sorry, something went wrong An unexpected error has occurred. Technical Details Troubleshoot issues with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation. Correlation ID: 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 Date and Time: 2/10/2014 11:38:00 AM

Posted 10-Feb-2014 by Aggie
Aggie

problem with signing in as a different user

Hi, thanks for your post. I modified the welcome.ascx The option for Sign in as different user appeared in the drop-down, but when I enter another user account in the windows security, it displays the below error message: Sorry, something went wrong An unexpected error has occurred. Technical Details Troubleshoot issues with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation. Correlation ID: 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 Date and Time: 2/10/2014 11:38:00 AM

Posted 10-Feb-2014 by Aggie
Aggie

problem with signing in as a different user

Hi, thanks for your post. I modified the welcome.ascx The option for Sign in as different user appeared in the drop-down, but when I enter another user account in the windows security, it displays the below error message: Sorry, something went wrong An unexpected error has occurred. Technical Details Troubleshoot issues with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation. Correlation ID: 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 Date and Time: 2/10/2014 11:38:00 AM

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