Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

User impersonation

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The SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD) user impersonation feature allows administrators to access a user's account and operate as if they were logged in as that user, accessing any menus and modules the user has access to. The feature makes it easier for administrators to troubleshoot user issues and apply changes as the user.


For user impersonation to work, User impersonation must be enabled in the global settings of your company's instance of SWSD.

Only administrators can perform impersonations.

How it works

The administrator performing an impersonation can impersonate only one user at a time. Multiple administrators cannot impersonate the same user at the same time.

When an administrator begins an impersonation session, the user being impersonated receives an email notification. If an administrator tries to impersonate a user already being impersonated, the administrator is notified via pop-up message.

When an administrator opens an impersonation session, a banner displays at the top of the impersonator's screen stating that an impersonation session is open.

  • The banner provides the name of the user being impersonated.

  • The banner also includes a Close Session button, which allows the impersonator to close the session at any time.

Users who are impersonated must contact their own service desk if they have any questions or concerns about impersonations.

During impersonation sessions, the following actions are disabled:

  • Change password
  • Generate token
  • Impersonate another user
  • Notifications

Each impersonation session lasts 30 minutes.

  • Five minutes before a session ends, the impersonator receives a pop-up alert. From this alert the impersonator can extend the session beyond 30 minutes.

  • If the impersonator does not extend the session, a new pop-up alert displays when the session ends. The impersonator can begin a new session if necessary.

The following are logged in audit.

  • The name of the administrator who performs the impersonation.
  • The name of the user whose account is impersonated.
  • A time stamp when a session starts.
  • Any actions performed by the impersonator.
  • Actions performed through automation during the impersonation session.

Start an impersonation session

  1. In the upper right corner, click your avatar.

  2. From the drop-down list, select User Impersonation. If this option is not available, one of the following applies:

    • You do not have administrator rights to impersonate users.

    • You are already impersonating another user and cannot impersonate two different users at the same time.

  3. When prompted, select the user you need to impersonate.

  4. Click Start Session.

User impersonation security features

When an administrator logs in to impersonate a user, an entry is added to the administrator's Login History: Login while impersonating user.

After an impersonation session is closed, all sessions are deleted.

By default, the option to impersonate an administrator is Off.

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