'Sign in as Different User' Not "Taking"

Marc D Anderson
  • 'Sign in as Different User' Not "Taking" Marc D Anderson

    In some instances of WSS or MOSS when you use the "Sign in as Different User" option, the new login doesn't "take". Is there any known issue here? Usually logging out and then logging back in with the second user does work. This seems like a pretty big problem and I've seen it on and off over the years, mostly while testing with different identities.

    UPDATE 1: I'm seeing it in several hosted WSS situations, so I don't actually know what authentication they are using. Interestingly, I don't see it in some hosted WSS situations, too. And consistently within the instance. This might tell us that the authentication method might matter.

    UPDATE 2: Another piece of info I should have included in the first place: The reason that I'm asking this is that the $().SPServices.SPGetCurrentUser in SPServices sometimes returns the previous user. All I'm doing in that function is loading the _layouts/userdisp.aspx?Force=True page and pulling the Name from the page. It's the column with the label 'Account', but the InternalName is 'Name':

    <!--  FieldName="Account"

    Here's the SPServices function:

    // Function which returns the account name for the current user in DOMAIN\username format
    $.fn.SPServices.SPGetCurrentUser = function() {
        var username = "";
            async: false, // Need this to be synchronous so we're assured of a valid value
            url: $().SPServices.SPGetCurrentSite() + "/_layouts/userdisp.aspx?Force=True", // Force parameter forces redirection to a page that displays the information as stored in the UserInfo table rather than My Site.
            complete: function (xData, Status) {
                $(xData.responseText).find("table.ms-formtable td#SPFieldText").each(function() {
                    if(/FieldInternalName=\"Name\"/.test($(this).html())) username = $(this).text();
        return username.replace(/(^[\s\xA0]+|[\s\xA0]+$)/g, '');

    One would like to think that this page would always represent the currently logged in user, but sometimes it represents the prior user. Not good.

    UPDATE 3: I may have come up with a fix for this in my SPServices library, at least. It doesn't solve the larger problem that SharePoint seems to have, though. I added a unique Query String parameter (just the current time) to the call to userdisp.aspx in SPGetCurrentUser per arunduttgp's suggestion. This seems to force the browser to do a hard refresh on the page in the AJAX call, getting the correct values for the logged in user even when the current SharePoint page is showing the prior user incorrectly.

     url: $().SPServices.SPGetCurrentSite() + "/_layouts/userdisp.aspx?Force=True&" + new Date().getTime(),

  • I get this a lot, just not consistently. A page refresh will sometimes sort it out. I've taken to just using the "runas" command to avoid using "Sign in as Different User" and the associated issues.

    runas /user:{Domain}\{UserID} [/savecred] "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe [Optional URL]"

    You can create shortcuts on your desktop to make this easier.

  • Just refreshing the page is not enough, the majority of times this is simply due to browser caching but a page refresh will not refresh the browser cache.

    In IE you would click Cntrl + F5 to clear the cache and do a full refresh, not sure what the same command would be in FireFox or other browsers but the concept will be the same.

  • I see Paul's comment above about seeing the issue more with NTLM. I run Kerberos in the vast majority of my environments, and I very rarely see it at all, so it could be the case where it's related to NTLM.

    It's got to be some sort of cache either within the browser or the session. I wouldn't think that there's a way to force a refresh through the script, unless you can refresh the destination URL before reading from it.

  • I don't necessarily have a solution for you (other than the "refresh the page a couple times" others have mentioned, but as a data point I only started seeing this behavior when I first upgraded to IE8. In fact on machines where I still have IE7, I never see it at all. I'd be curious if others share this experience.

  • A more dependable way to determine the logged on user may be to just ask the server instead of going through SharePoint ( which at this point is acting as a middle man). Getting the variable directly may help with the whole refresh question as there may be some lag as the credentials are updated, guessing here.

    This page should help. Specifically, the LOGON_USER variable will have the value you need.

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