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We often access client machines using remote desktop. Sometimes, when we think their machine is free, we find out (since we use their username to login) that we just kicked them off while they were in the middle of doing something. How can we determine if someone is sitting at the remote pc - locally - using it - before we access it using their username & pw with remote desktop?

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Have you considered calling or emailing them? – Aaron Miller Dec 11 '13 at 22:06

Microsoft has a free tool called Remote Desktop Service Manager that does exactly what you are looking for. It will allow you to monitor and manage local and remote desktop connections to machines.

You can graphically see who is connected to which machine, as well as log them off, disconnect or reset their sessions. You can see what processes they are running, as well as send them a message.

This tool is great for those admins who forget to disconnect their sessions on servers and leave you unable to log in.

This tool is part of the Windows Remote Administration Pack. The WRAP can be a bit confusing when you first install it. The install adds the feature to Windows, you have to go into Add or Remove Features to enable the tools.

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The feature is found at: Remote Server Administration Tools > Role Administration Tools > Remote Desktop Services Tools – Daryn Aug 6 '14 at 22:30

You need to have another type of access, for example command line access or try to run a command with SysInternal's PsExec.

Execute this command:

query session

It will show you if someone is actively using Desktop or not and even will show you if there is a RDP connection or not

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This will work, although I prefer my answer as it allows you to do more, more easily. – Keltari Dec 11 '13 at 22:22
@Keltari: totally agree with you – 72DFBF5B A0DF5BE9 Dec 11 '13 at 22:24
Why do you need PsExec? Can’t you do QUERY SESSION /SERVER:servername? – Scott Dec 11 '13 at 23:04
@Scott, that works only if they are in same domain, not in workgroup computers in same network – 72DFBF5B A0DF5BE9 Dec 12 '13 at 14:08

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