Is it possible to use Windows remote desktop connection to connect to a Windows XP machine with a user already logged in and just view that users screen without logging them off?

  • For server installations, the /console command line option does that trick. (But I doubt it's available on XP as well?)
    – Arjan
    Nov 18, 2010 at 22:27

7 Answers 7


If you log in as the same user as the already logged-in user, then you will take over their session. However, the user sitting in front of the PC will be disconnected from the session and see the login screen. If the user logs in again, then you will be disconnected and the user continued from where you left off. At no point is the user's session terminated - the programs continue running.

You can use Windows Remote Assistance, which is based on the same technology as remote desktop. It allows you to view and optionally control the current user's session without them logging off.

Another alternative is Remote Administrator, which I used heavily before remote desktop became widely available.

  • 1
    Please don't tell folks about posting on another site. Things will migrate automatically if people vote for that. No need to ask for duplicates! Thanks :-)
    – Arjan
    Nov 18, 2010 at 22:23
  • Your "Remote Administrator" link is dead. I don't think there ever even was an article on Wikipedia titled "Remote Administrator". Apr 19, 2018 at 12:50
  • That Wikipedia article was deleted due to being too promotional, it was about RAdmin.
    – user
    Jun 18, 2020 at 9:01

If I understand your Question correctly , No. Windows XP can only have **1 SESSION ** active at a time. you will need to be running windows server if you want to have more than one ACTIVE session.

  • Unless you modify the right two bytes in the right dll, which grants you unlimited concurrent sessions...
    – Dagelf
    Mar 12 at 11:48

When you want to have an interactive session you use Remote Assistance instead of Remote Desktop. The features as well as the overhead used by a computer to keep most of the third party remote desktop/assistance sessions waste facility, waste bandwidth when they constantly collect information about who is connected even when not being used. They are also a point of security issue when they constantly run.

The out of the box Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance within XP and 7 are more than adequate to control and share all the facility from the connecting machine to the recipeint machine.


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  • 1
    but does it allow for multiple simultaneous users?
    – rogerdpack
    Feb 14, 2014 at 21:44
  • @rogerdpack I never needed this, so could not say for sure, most likely not. Unless host user + remote user are count for multiple :-)
    – dmi3y
    Feb 14, 2014 at 21:49
  • 1
    sounds like an ad...
    – beppe9000
    Sep 8, 2016 at 22:19

The complete step-by-step instruction (including the registry hacking and dll replacing) is available here - http://www.freetutorialssubmit.com/concurrent-remote-desktop-without-log-off-other-users/801

Basically, what you need is to replace termsrv.dll with an older version (2055, from WinXP SP1) and apply a few changes to the registry and settings.

  • Very interesting! Though this only applies to Win XP? Anyway, kind of shows this is a windows (Microsoft) restriction, since Remote Assistance uses the same mechanism or am I mistaken? Jul 14, 2013 at 22:03
  • @AndreasReiff experts.windows.com/frms/… (I did the missingremote one missingremote.com/guide/… missingremote.com/sites/default/files/private/… which didn't seem to work then ran the exoert,windows exe and it said patched, and let me patch/unpatch, i clicked patch. It works. But, it's not sharing the screen. It is two different sessions without logging off. So, not like VNC or remote assistance.
    – barlop
    Jan 3, 2014 at 7:10

AT the company I work for we use DameWare Mini Remote Control. Not a free product, but they do have a fully functional trial version.

DameWare allows you to connect to the interactive session kind of like VNC, but extra features including the ability to remotely install the client on a remote machine.

The DameWare Mini Remote Control program is a powerful, yet lightweight remote control tool intended primarily for Administrators and Help Desk personnel. Mini Remote Control was developed specifically for 32-bit & 64-bit Windows Operating Systems (both Servers & Workstations), and was designed for quick and easy deployment without external dependencies and machine reboots. The Mini Remote Control program will run on, and also has the ability to connect to, remote machines running Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 & 7.



Yes you can connect without logging of the user. But you need to install the software called Anyplacecontrol. check their website for more info. www.anyplacecontrol.com or google it for anyplacecontrol.

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