Is my AD user account or service account password correct? How to run an App as a different User and switch Users in Windows

Active Directory user account password

Have you forgotten your username and password and cannot log in to your Active Directory? But first, let us discuss what a password is and how they are stored. Passwords stored in Active Directory are hashed, which means that once the user creates a password, an algorithm transforms that password into an encrypted output known as you guessed it, a “hash”. Hashes are of fixed size so passwords of different lengths will have the same number of characters, and are designed to be one-way encryption so that once they are coded, no one should be able to break that code. Kindly refer to the following guides on how to perform these related tasks: How to create a desktop shortcut in Windows 10 to switch User Accounts: Fast user switching (Session Disconnection Utility), How to enable or disable fast User Switching in Windows 10, and how to disable or enable automatic login from the sign-in screen in Windows.

You may be faced with doubtes over some service accounts passwords and may want to verify if these passwords are correct. In this guide, I have compiled some very basic steps in order for you to determine if your credentials are correct?

Method 1: Runas via the Commandline

Furthermore, Runas is a command-line tool that is built into Windows Vista that allows a user to run specific tools and programs under a different username to the one that was used to log on to a computer interactively. The utility will prompt for the password, if the right password has been provided, notepad will be launched.

runas /u:yourdomain\youruser notepad.exe
Service account authentication

Note: Furthermore, If the password or user account is not correct, it will produce an error with the code 1326: the username or password is incorrect.

Running applications as different user

Method 2: Run an App as a Different User

Moreover, This process is basically the same as described in method one, but this time, via the GUI. In addition, To do this, please follow the steps below.
– Press and hold the Shift key and right-click on the App as shown below.
– If you are on a mac and connecting via RDP, use the Shift+Ctrl keys together and right-click on the App
– In the context menu, select Run as a different user as shown below.

User switching in Windows

Enter the new credentials and click OK to run the app.


Note: Ensure this user also has the necessary privilege to connect to your application, else I will fail as well.


Note: You rarely have to use the Run as administrator command because Windows Vista will automatically prompt you for an administrator password when it is needed.

Method 3: On Windows desktop, you can use Active Directory Explorer by SysInternals

Method 3: On Windows desktop, you can use Active Directory Explorer by SysInternals and this can be download from the following link. You can also use Sysinternal live as discussed in this guide:

Ensure you have adequate rights, else it will fail. See this guide on how to run Active Directory Explorer by Sysinternals.


As you can see, you are connected. These are a few ways you can test your login credentials very quickly.


Note: Incorrect password results in a "username or password are incorrect" prompt fairly quickly, so this would be a decent GUI-based way to test a list of possible passwords.

Method 4: Switch Users accounts in Windows

Click on the Start button from the taskbar. Then, on the left side of the Start menu, select the account name icon (or picture) and click on Lock or  Switch user depending on your environment.
– If you do not have the switch user button, click on Lock as shown below.
– If you have the switch user button, please proceed with the steps below.


Now you should have the opportunity to switch users as shown below.


Enter your credentials, when they are correct, you should be able to log on to the device.


Note: You can also open the ShutDown Windows dialog by Alt+F4, click the down arrow, choose Switch user in the list, and clcik on OK.
– Or via the Ctrl+Alt+Del options.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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