SETUSER (Transact-SQL)

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server noAzure SQL Database noAzure Synapse Analytics (SQL DW) noParallel Data Warehouse

Allows a member of the sysadmin fixed server role or the owner of a database to impersonate another user.


SETUSER is included for backward compatibility only. SETUSER may not be supported in a future release of SQL Server. We recommend that you use EXECUTE AS instead.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions


SETUSER [ 'username' [ WITH NORESET ] ]   


' username '
Is the name of a SQL Server or Windows user in the current database that is impersonated. When username is not specified, the original identity of the system administrator or database owner impersonating the user is reset.

Specifies that subsequent SETUSER statements (with no specified username) should not reset the user identity to system administrator or database owner.


SETUSER can be used by a member of the sysadmin fixed server role or the owner of a database to adopt the identity of another user to test the permissions of the other user. Membership in the db_owner fixed database role is not sufficient.

Only use SETUSER with SQL Server users. SETUSER is not supported with Windows users. When SETUSER has been used to assume the identity of another user, any objects that the impersonating user creates are owned by the user being impersonated. For example, if the database owner assumes the identity of user Margaret and creates a table called orders, the orders table is owned by Margaret, not the system administrator.

SETUSER remains in effect until another SETUSER statement is issued or until the current database is changed with the USE statement.


If SETUSER WITH NORESET is used, the database owner or system administrator must log off and then log on again to reestablish his or her own rights.


Requires membership in the sysadmin fixed server role or must be the owner of the database. Membership in the db_owner fixed database role is not sufficient


The following example shows how the database owner can adopt the identity of another user. User mary has created a table called computer_types. By using SETUSER, the database owner impersonates mary to grant user joe access to the computer_types table, and then resets his or her own identity.

SETUSER 'mary';  
GRANT SELECT ON computer_types TO joe;  
--To revert to the original user  

See Also

DENY (Transact-SQL)
GRANT (Transact-SQL)
REVOKE (Transact-SQL)
USE (Transact-SQL)