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Guide: How to Run Several Windows of A Particular Program
Running multiple copies of programs and files certainly increases productivity. A lot of programs do not allow you to open more than one window and give an error or open the active window when you try to run them twice.
Fortunately, there are some workarounds to work around this limitation depending on the type of program you want to open multiple times at the same time.
In this article, I’ll show you multiple methods to open more than one copy of a program in Windows.back to menu ↑
Why do some programs allow multiple windows and others don’t?
For your own safety, it is important to understand why this limitation is there at all. First, this limitation is added by the developer of the program and not Windows itself. So you shouldn’t blame Windows for not giving you an option to run multiple programs.
If the developers have now intentionally added this limitation to their program, then it must have some bad impact on the programOpening multiple instances of a program can have multiple effects. Chances are that the two windows will conflict with each other and lead to program crashes or data corruption etc.
Some developers can also add this limitation because there would be one there is no point in opening multiple windows of their programFor example, system information tools provide the same information no matter how many instances you open.
In addition, some programs can provide an unfair advantage when opened multiple times, so developers lock this down featureFor example, an online video game can limit this to ensure that players don’t log in with multiple accounts and gain an unfair advantage over others.
In general, keep in mind that the limitation is there for a reason and you should always be willing to deal with a bad situation if you are going to run multiple instances.back to menu ↑
Start multiple instances of programs that enable this feature
To open another window of a program, all you have to do is restart itAn easier way to do this is through hold down the shift key and click on the program icon in the taskbar.
If the program allows multiple windows, another instance will open up without hinge. For example, you can open multiple versions of a document and edit them individually, or open multiple documents in the same program; such as Microsoft Word documents. You can also open multiple windows of programs such as CCleaner and run multiple types of scans at the same time.
As long as a program is not conflicting, chances are you can open multiple copies of it. So try to open a program twice and see how it increases your productivity.back to menu ↑
Use different user accounts to open multiple copies of programs
Developers use different methods to limit the opening of multiple instances of a program, and the most commonly used method is via mutex. Mutex prevents threads from accessing the same program if it is already running
Fortunately, mutex is only associated with the current user profile. You may not be able to open that program in the current user profile, but you still can open it as another userYou just have to have two accounts on your PC and you can easily open two copies of the same program.
Create a new user profile
I will first show you how to create another user account on your PC. If you already have another user account and know its credentials, you do not need to go through this step.
For demonstration purposes, I’m going to be using a Windows 10 PC. If you are a Windows 7 or 8 user, you can follow the instructions on Microsoft’s support page.
- Open Windows 10 “Settings“And click”AccountsGo here to the “Family and other users ‘and click on’Add someone else to this PC” below “Other users
- A new window will open upClick on “I do not have the login details for this personLink here.
- On the next page, click the “Add a user without a Microsoft accountThis profile is not required to be connected to a Microsoft account, so we will skip this step.
- Now enter the username and password for the new account and click on “The nextYour account will be created.
Open two instances of a program
Now that you have two user accounts, let’s open two instances of your required program.
- Open up the necessary program.
- Open this program again, but this time hold the Shift key and right click on it. Click on the new item in the context menu “Run as different user
- Then give it username and password of the newly created account and hit enter.
- Another copy of the same program opens upIn the screenshot below, the original Opera browser window is on the left and the newly opened window is on the right.
The newly opened window has no connection with the first window. It feels like the program has just been installed, no configurations, saved data, or other information from the original window is passed to the new window.
Remember this trick will does not work on programs that do not use mutex to prevent the program from opening multiple windows. While most apps use the mutex, some programs may choose a different method.
For example, video games don’t usually use mutex to prevent multiple cases of this. If this trick didn’t work with your program, check out the method below.back to menu ↑
Although the above method is still the most reliable but if it doesn’t work then one isolation software will definitely work for you.
An isolation software basically gives a program an environment that is completely separate from your system. This protects your system from damage by an infected program.
However, this also means that you can also run multiple instances of that program. One in normal windows and another in the isolation software window.
Sandboxie is a popular tool that allows you to do that for this purpose run another copy of a program for freeIf you want to run more than two instances of a program, you must upgrade to the premium version of Sandboxie.
Download and install Sandboxie and make sure to add a context menu item during installation. Now right click on the program you want to run in Sandboxie and select “Run with Sandboxie
This will run that program in a safe environment and you will notice that the outline of the window turns yellow when you move the mouse cursor at the top.
Unlike the above method, the instance specified in the Sandboxie uses the same configurations and data as the original programHowever, any changes or data added to the Sandboxie instance will not be synchronized with the original program window. Still, you can use the Sandboxie recovery option to restore the contents on the actual hard drive.back to menu ↑
To conclude up
Using an isolation tool such as Sandboxie is a sure way to open another instance of a program. However, it shouldn’t be your first priority like you may have trouble storing some data in the Sandboxie environmentIn most cases, running the program should work under two accounts and it will also be easier to store data.back to menu ↑
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