Monday, January 5, 2009

How to run multiple instances of the same program

Sometimes you may want to run several copies or versions or instances of the same program on your PC. There are programs that actually let you do this automatically. For example, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Most of web browsers like Internet Explorer, FireFox, etc... let you run multiple instances of the same program. But, there are some programs that do not allow you to run muliple instances on the same machine simultaneously. For example, Skype internet messaging software comes under this category.
However, what if you want to run two instances of the Skype program on the same machine at the same time?? Maybe you want to try the same with another singleton program (a program that allows only one copy to run on a machine at a time). OK, there's a simple workaround or trick to do this. Follow the following steps.
1. Create another user account in your Windows XP system (this is workable in other operating systems too.) if there is only one user created already.
2. Right click on the singleton program or its shortcut.
3. In the popup context menu, you will see a menu item called "Run as..." . click on it.
4. In the coming dialog box, select "The following user" radio (option) button. Then Select the user name of a user account which you are not currently logged in as. Then type the password for that user account, if any. Then, click OK button.
That's all. Now you will see another instance of a singleton program running. This way, you can run as many instances as you want. But, remember the number of simultaneously running instances is determined by the number of the user accounts created on the system. I usually run two instances of Skype program this way. It's very funny. I typed messages from one of my Skype accounts to the other. Hey, I am like Mr. Bean; I like messaging me myself. :-)
If, for any reason, it did not work for you, let me know. Because of some other tweakings of settings in the operating system, it may not work simply as mentioned. However, I can help you. Enjoy guys (and brainy gals too).

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