Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How can I turn off the screensaver in RDP sessions and thus keep the session alive and unlocked, even if I am not actively working in it for some time?

Note: the solution should work without affecting the console itself. Only the RDP connections, please.

share|improve this question
Basically a duplicate, but no satisfactory answer either: – 0xC0000022L Oct 3 '12 at 12:49
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can use the Registry Editor [Regedit.exe from command line] and find and edit the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveActive If your screen saver is currently enabled the value will be 1, change it to 0 to disable.

Before you make changes to a registry key or subkey, Microsoft recommends that you export, or make a backup copy, of the key or subkey. You can save the backup copy to a location you specify, such as a folder on your hard disk or a removable storage device. If you make changes that you want to undo, you can import the backup copy. More info here

share|improve this answer
Thans, but ... won't this actually also switch the screensaver off on the console? Which is exactly what I don't want ... – 0xC0000022L Oct 3 '12 at 12:45
With Windows 7 there is no client session. You are effectively logging in to the console session any time you log in using RDP. This will force the remote machine to show the log-on dialog. Is your intent to have the monitor shut off or not display the desktop? – NerdNextDoor Oct 4 '12 at 11:59
thanks. I think one is attaching to the console session, just like one can do explicitly with mstsc. However, this doesn't help solve the problem, does it? :) ... I'm about to write a program that sits in the tray and only activates when run inside the RDP session and then prevents the screensaver from starting. – 0xC0000022L Oct 4 '12 at 13:29

Screensavers won't work through RDP, just disable it on the client and it should work correctly

I work all day on an RDP connection and it's like this.

share|improve this answer
Screensavers DO work through RDP here (Win7 Pro 32-bit) but from RDP you are presented with a Black Screen and not the actual screensaver (to save on badwidth, it assumes you are not using the RDP) – HaydnWVN Oct 3 '12 at 12:03
HaydnWVN is right, there are screensavers over RDP. And if you don't get to see them, perhaps some GPO has deactivated them over RDP. Perhaps exactly the setting I am looking for. However, the answer right now is wrong and not helpful as it stands. – 0xC0000022L Oct 3 '12 at 12:47
Oh, sorry, I thought it is standard behaviour... (using Win7 Pro 32-bit too) – Magnetic_dud Oct 3 '12 at 16:43

I was able to accomplish this with TaskScheduler and Windows Event Viewer logging.

You will need 2 batch scripts. One to disable the checkbox to require password on screensaver unlock and another to re-enable it when your RDP session is over.

Disable script:

reg add "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop" /f /v ScreenSaverIsSecure /t REG_SZ /d 0

Enable script:

reg add "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop" /f /v ScreenSaverIsSecure /t REG_SZ /d 1

Have your disable event trigger on Event ID 1149 under TerminalServices-LocalSessionManager

Have your re-enable event trigger on Event ID 24, same place.

TaskScheduler example


share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.