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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sign-in as different user on #SharePoint Server 2013 or #ProjectServer 2013

While browsing/using your new SharePoint Server 2013 web site, one of the evident feature missing you will come across, apart from the other UI changes, is when you trying to log-in as a different user by clicking on top rite corner of the page and found NOTHING :)

I have seen on few blog posts that it could be the case with preview version, and in RTM we mite get it back. but i am using RTM now and its the same as of preview version. Your other clue at this stage could be that it might needs to be enabled from some setting options, but for your information that is not true either :)

After a little googling i have found that this feature has been removed on purpose by Microsoft from SharePoint server 2013. Although this is pretty much a frequent option to be used by developer/consultants while testing solution, however following are the few reasons explained by Microsoft due to which it has been removed:

  • 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 user as the cookies are not cleared

As an end user perspective, i agree that its a good move to avoid issues by removing this option since end user do not often requires to switch between log-in user. But as an IT pro, i don't think i can live without it :) and you can follow the below steps to bring the option back for you:

  • 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

  • Open the file in Notepad and add the following lines to the file: also see the screen shot for this modification.
<SharePoint:MenuItemTemplate runat="server" ID="ID_LoginAsDifferentUser" 
Sequence="100"  UseShortId="true" /> 

  • As a final step, refresh the page and the option will apparently start appearing for you to be used.

One of the other alternative is to start Internet Explorer as Run as Different User and login to SharePoint site:

Note: I came across this while evaluating Project Server 2013 PWA site, however it applies to any SharePoint site and not limited to PWA only because its all SharePoint :)  Also as i have mentioned that this option is removed intentionally, so try this on your testing environments prior to apply on production.


Thanks for this, Khurram. This is exactly what I was looking for. Much more convenient than having to log out of the machine then back in as a different user. One limitation is that it only works within a single web application. For example, if you are in PWA and want to switch users, then navigate to the new user's Newsfeed (on a separate web application than PWA), it will switch back to user that is currently logged into the machine, but that being said, if you navigate back to a web application after switching users, the new user remains cached.

Thanks for your feedback Nate, glad that it helped.

This comment has been removed by the author.

I've made the changes you listed above and refreashed the page but still don't see it.. Do it need to do a IIS reset?

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