Instead of using an app, is there a way to impersonate a user and interact with SharePoint directly?

Essentially, is it possible to create a desktop application that accesses SharePoint on behalf of a user without explicit permission from SharePoint admins?

2 Answers 2


See ClientContext and Office 365 how to use SharePointOnlineCredentials

  • Any idea what needs to be installed for Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime reference? I am able to add the reference in VS, but the using statement does not recognise it.
    – Akash
    Aug 22, 2013 at 9:55
  • If you install SharePoint Server 2013 Client Components SDK the Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll and Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll will be at C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15\ISAPI Aug 22, 2013 at 10:09
  • Interesting.. I have the dll there as well, and I can add the reference as well. However, the using statement gives a build error(and, intellisense does not work for it either ). Looks more like a VS issue I guess
    – Akash
    Aug 22, 2013 at 11:32

Yes. You can use a browser or any other app under any context you choose, provided you have the credentials:

From the command line:

runas /user:Domain\User "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"

You'll get challenged for the pasword before the app starts but from then on, you're running under a different user name and context from the desktop login account. You can substitute the browser path for any application such PowerShell or SharePoint Designer, which I normally need to do on production systems to have workflows and the like run under different security accounts, etc.

  • I'm planning to write the app, so was looking for help on how to pass the credentials to SharePoint in such a case
    – Akash
    Aug 22, 2013 at 9:29

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