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I have a kiosk system which shows information. When I want to change its configuration, I log into it via RDP, which of course logs off the user that is shown on the kiosk monitor.

When I am done editing, I usually reboot the system so that it can log in with the kiosk user automatically, but rebooting takes a lot of time.

Is it possible to end a RDP connection with a command like, "Log me off and reconnect the local user's session"?

In other words, how can I remotely unlock the local logon session I disconnected when logging in via Remote Desktop?

The remote computer runs Windows 7.

  • You can logoff using the logoff command. Regarding automatically logging on, you can try something with autologon: docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autologon ? – cdavid Mar 22 '18 at 16:18
  • Oooh...good call. I had forgotten about AutoLogon. Even if simply logging off doesn't trigger an auto logon you could certainly restart the machine and that would. – EBGreen Mar 22 '18 at 17:16
  • I am already doing that (When I am done editing, I usually reboot the system so that it can log in with the kiosk user automatically...), it just takes a lot of time, which is especially annoying when I am testing a configuration with trial and error. – Bowi Mar 23 '18 at 9:22
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I've been unable to find a way to unlock a locked logon session. There are some ideas in this post on StackOverflow, but none I've tried actually work.

My solution has always been to use a 3rd party remote control program to unlock the computer. The remote control software must be of the type that can interact with the Windows console session (e.g. VNC, GoToAssist, LogMeIn Rescue, etc.)

Here are the exact steps:

  1. RDP into the workstation to perform the required maintenance. This of course disconnects and locks the kiosk user account that is logged into the physical computer (a.k.a. via the "console" session).
  2. When done, log out of the RDP session.
  3. Connect to the computer using the 3rd party remote control program. This gives me control of the console session as though I am physically at the computer.
  4. Unlock the kiosk user account, then end the remote control session.

Note: Some remote control programs may automatically lock the current logon session when you end your remote session. Be sure to disable this setting.

  • Hm, this certainly looks like it could work, but then I drill another hole into the firewall, have an additional exposed piece of software I have to worry about and if that procedure is shorter than rebooting is not clear. But definitely worth a thought! :-) – Bowi Mar 23 '18 at 9:24
  • @Bowi I use GoToAssist which runs over port 443, so in many environments it requires no special firewall config. You can connect to the machine, unlock it, and be out in less than 45 seconds. – Twisty Impersonator Mar 23 '18 at 10:59

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