Impersonating a User

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Note: This article applies to Fuji and earlier releases. For more current information, see Impersonate a User at

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User Administration

1 Overview

Administrators can impersonate other users for testing purposes. When impersonating another user, the administrator has access to exactly what that user would have access to in the system, including the same menus and modules. ServiceNow records anything the administrator does while impersonating another user as having been done by that user.

Use this feature to test what different users can do in the system and to perform actions for them in their stead.

2 Useful Logins

Several different logins are recommended to test the system:

  • An admin account to do work.
  • An itil (or similar) login to test as a technician.
  • An ess login to test as an end user.

More logins may be required to adequately test the system.

Note: When you impersonate a user who is locked out or is inactive, the system forces you out of the system as well after you generate an event or click a link.

3 Impersonating A User

  1. Click the impersonate icon. (A dialog box appears)
    Click the key icon to impersonate another user

  2. Select the user from the Recent Impersonations list, click the lookup icon and select the user's name from the full list, or type the user's name.
    Select the user to impersonate

  3. Click OK.

4 Impersonating a User on a Mobile Phone

The impersonation icon is not visible in the mobile view of the platform, and impersonating is not supported for mobile phones. For most mobile phones, however, it is possible to impersonate a user by switching to standard view, performing the impersonation (see above), and switching back to mobile view. Some mobile devices may have problems rendering the Impersonation dialog.

5 Invoking or Modifying the Impersonate Button

The Impersonate button and its effects are contained in a UI Macro called impersonate_button. Modifying the impersonate_button is not recommended.

6 Enable/disable the Impersonate Button

The impersonation capability can be enabled/disabled with the glide.ui.impersonate_button.enable UI Property, "Enable impersonation button in banner line".

7 Logging

Impersonations are logged in the System Log. Logging can be enabled/disabled with the glide.sys.log_impersonation property.


8 Forcing Logout

In some cases, impersonating a user might cause an issue that makes it difficult to switch back (e.g. if in a test environment, the user is being presented with a broken page). To return to the user, go to and log back in.

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