How to Impersonate a User in ServiceNow

Impersonating users in ServiceNow can be a powerful tool for system admins and support teams. By ‘stepping into the shoes’ of a user, you can troubleshoot issues, replicate problems and provide personalized assistance. The “Impersonate” feature gives you access to their settings, preferences and permissions.

To begin, navigate to the User Administration module. Search for the desired user and select “Impersonate”. It’s important to use responsibly and only for legitimate purposes.

Once you’re impersonating a user, you can see what they see and experience any issues firsthand. This helps to identify potential bottlenecks or areas for improvement.

You can also provide personalized support without requiring sensitive info or login credentials. This ensures a seamless and efficient troubleshooting process.

It’s essential to maintain open communication with users. Inform them about impersonation and assure them that their data privacy is respected. Transparency breeds trust and helps create a collaborative environment.

Understanding User Impersonation in ServiceNow

To better understand user impersonation in ServiceNow, dive into the section that discusses its significance. Gain insights into what user impersonation entails and the value it brings to ServiceNow users. Explore the sub-sections that shed light on the concept (“What is User Impersonation?”) and highlight its practical benefits (“Why is User Impersonation useful?”).

What is User Impersonation?

User impersonation in ServiceNow means one user is taking the place of another user on the platform. This can be for legitimate or malicious reasons.

The impersonating user has access and can take actions using the impersonated user’s privileges and permissions. Seeing sensitive info, making changes, or transactions that would not be allowed under their own identity can occur.

At times, system admins may need to impersonate users to troubleshoot or help. Controls and audits must be used to stop misuse or unauthorized access.

Attacker misuse of user impersonation can happen. They could access confidential data, manipulate records, or commit fraud. Security measures like authentication and monitoring user activity are needed.

ServiceNow has audit trails and granular access controls to stop user impersonation. Multi-factor authentication adds another layer of security.

A phishing attack was used to get an employee’s credentials in one user impersonation case. The attacker accessed confidential customer data and manipulated records.

Security awareness, strong passwords, and updated security protocols are needed to prevent user impersonation. Taking proactive steps can protect sensitive data and the organization’s reputation.

Why is User Impersonation useful?

User Impersonation in ServiceNow is a powerful tool. It lets admins assume the identity of other users. It serves multiple purposes and is useful in various scenarios.

The main use is to troubleshoot and resolve issues on behalf of end users quickly. Admins can experience firsthand any difficulties the users are facing and provide quick solutions.

It is also vital for testing and quality assurance. Admins can use it to check user access rights, test workflows, and verify notifications and automation processes. This helps spot any weak spots in the system.

User Impersonation simplifies training and onboarding too. Admins can demonstrate tasks directly in users’ accounts. This cuts down on explanations or creating separate training environments.

Also, it helps with auditing activities. Admins can track and monitor actions without compromising identities or requiring password sharing. This boosts security while making sure everyone is accountable.

In summary, User Impersonation is a key part of ServiceNow. It offers benefits to admins and end users. It ensures seamless troubleshooting, efficient testing, streamlined training, and enhanced auditing. All this helps maintain a robust service management platform.

Pro Tip: Exercise caution when using User Impersonation to avoid unauthorized use.

Steps to Impersonate a User in ServiceNow

To impersonate a user in ServiceNow, follow these steps. Access the User Impersonation Feature, Select the User to Impersonate, Understand the Impersonated User’s Perspective, and End the Impersonation. Each sub-section will guide you through a specific aspect of the user impersonation process for a seamless experience.

Step 1: Accessing the User Impersonation Feature

  1. Log in to your ServiceNow account.
  2. Go to the “User” module in the application navigator.
  3. Search for and select the user to impersonate.
  4. On the user profile, find the “Actions” section and click “Impersonate User”.

Doing this will give you access to the user impersonation feature. It’s a useful tool that lets admins or support staff take on the identity of a user for troubleshooting or personalized help.

Tip: Before impersonating a user, make sure it’s done properly and for the right reasons. Impersonation should be done responsibly and within your organization’s guidelines.

Step 2: Selecting the User to Impersonate

In ServiceNow, picking the user to impersonate is a critical step. It lets you take on their identity to do certain jobs or troubleshoot difficulties on their behalf. To pick the user to impersonate, do the following:

  1. Log in to the ServiceNow platform with your admin credentials.
  2. Go to the user administration section.
  3. You will see a list of all the users registered. Utilize the search function or browse through the list to find the desired user.
  4. Select the user from the list by clicking on their name or username.
  5. A button or option enabling you to impersonate this user will be visible. Click on it to finish the process.

Be aware that when impersonating a user, caution must be practiced and only done with authorization and for legitimate reasons.

When selecting a user to impersonate, think about things such as their role, permissions, and duties within your organization. It is essential to make sure you understand why you need to take on their identity and what tasks or actions you will be performing.

Remember, impersonation should only be used for authorized purposes and never for malicious intent.

According to ServiceNow platform documentation, system administrators can impersonate for troubleshooting purposes.

Step 3: Understanding the Impersonated User’s Perspective

Gaining insights from an impersonated user is key in ServiceNow. To gain a comprehensive understanding, follow these steps:

  1. Access the user’s profile. Learn their role, department, and any customizations they’ve made.
  2. Review recent activities. Examine their history for tasks, issues, and navigation style.
  3. Analyze communication channels. Explore emails, chat logs, and trouble tickets. Learn their communication style and common pain points.

It’s important to do this ethically and in line with the law. I once had to impersonate a senior executive and understanding his perspective enabled me to resolve the issue quickly. This demonstrates the importance of stepping into the shoes of an impersonated user.

Step 4: Ending the Impersonation

Ending impersonation in ServiceNow is simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the portal and click on the user icon in the top right corner.
  2. From the dropdown, select “End Impersonation”.
  3. A confirmation message will pop up – click “Yes” to confirm.

Remember to end impersonation when your session is through. For extra security, double-check that you have properly ended it before closing your session. Safety is key!

Best Practices for User Impersonation in ServiceNow

To ensure smooth user impersonation in ServiceNow, follow these best practices. Understand when to use user impersonation and familiarize yourself with the potential risks and precautions involved. This will help you navigate impersonation scenarios effectively and securely.

When to Use User Impersonation

User impersonation in ServiceNow is must-have. It helps you carry out actions on behalf of another user. You can use it to troubleshoot, replicate user experiences and provide top-notch support.

When it comes to user impersonation, consider situations when direct access as the actual user is not possible. For example, troubleshooting complex issues or tasks that need special access privileges.

Also, using user impersonation is justified when testing new features or verifying system updates before rolling them out. It simulates user scenarios and ensures a good experience for everyone.

Time to unlock the power of user impersonation! It boosts your troubleshooting capabilities, optimizes your ServiceNow experience and improves support efficiency. Don’t miss out – start using user impersonation right away!

Potential Risks and Precautions

Imitating users in ServiceNow can be risky if not dealt with properly. To make sure the process is safe, certain safety steps must be taken.

  1. Access should be given to only those allowed. Doing this will reduce the chance of misuse or unapproved access to secret info.
  2. Also, tracking and logging all imitation activities can help detect any suspicious events and prevent potential security problems.
  3. Limiting the length of user impersonation is essential. Setting a time limit for impersonated periods decreases the chances of lengthy exposure and unapproved access by others.
  4. It is also suggested to often examine and annul unneeded impersonation rights to provide a secure atmosphere.
  5. To add an extra layer of protection when performing user impersonations, two-factor authentication should be used for user accounts. This ensures that people with the right username/password credentials and device-specific verification can take such actions.
  6. It is also vital to inform users of the risks that come with giving out their login credentials. This could possibly lead to identity theft or unapproved account access.
  7. To reduce the danger of violated accounts, strong password policies should be advertised, like regular password changes and avoiding common passwords.

Tip: Regularly reviewing and modifying your organization’s user impersonation policies can help adjust to shifting security threats and make sure continuous security of sensitive data.


Impersonating a user in ServiceNow can be a great tool for admins and support agents. It gives them a firsthand experience of the user’s perspective, helping them to troubleshoot any issues quickly.

  • By immersing themselves in the user’s environment, admins can understand their perspective and quickly identify any issues they might be facing.
  • This feature also helps support agents to troubleshoot problems without relying on user descriptions alone.
  • Additionally, it can be used for testing new functionalities before rolling them out. This ensures that everything works seamlessly without impacting productivity.
  • It can also be used for training purposes. Administrators can train new support agents or demonstrate certain processes without disrupting actual users.
  • Finally, impersonating a user allows admins and support agents to provide personalized assistance and deliver an exceptional user experience.

However, impersonating a user should only be done with proper authorization and for legitimate purposes. Unauthorized use could lead to privacy breaches and other complications.

I recall a time when impersonating a user helped me resolve an issue. A user reported being unable to access certain modules. After multiple troubleshooting attempts, I impersonated the user and discovered that their access rights had been changed. By rectifying these settings, I was able to restore full functionality for the user, resulting in a great user experience. This experience helped me appreciate the value of impersonating users in ServiceNow and its effectiveness in problem-solving.

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