With Windows XP, when logging in to a computer, if another user was already logged in, you were told who it was and asked if you wanted to end their session:

"The user X is currently logged on to this computer. If you continue this user's Windows Session will end and any un-saved data will be lost. Do you want to continue?"

In Windows 7, when another user attempts to log in (whether by remote desktop or at the console), they see this message:

"Another user is currently logged on to this computer. If you continue, this user has to disconnect from this computer. Do you want to continue?"

If you click Yes, you are asked to wait for a response from the current user. After a 30 second time out, if there's no response, you are logged in, and the previous user is disconnected. This is the change from XP - they are not logged off, they are disconnected, and their programs continue to run.

This is a problem for us on some of our factory floor workstations. We would like to retain the XP style behavior, and force a logoff of the existing user, as opposed to allowing programs that are now hidden from view to still execute in the background.

We already have the "Hide entry points for Fast User Switching" policy enabled, but that does not prevent two simultaneous user sessions. What can we do to force a logoff of the existing user in Windows 7?


2 Answers 2


This might work, depending on your permissions:

  1. Open Task Manager

  2. Processes Tab, Show Processes from all users (it's on the bottom left)

  3. Users Tab, select the user you want to kill processes on, Logoff

  4. You'll see a prompt asking to confirm logging them off, choose logoff

I've just verified this between a regular user account and admin account on my network.

Here's a link with screenshots of how to do this, step by step.


Create a group policy for those system(s) that sets a low timeout for logging off disconnected users.

To do so, check out the Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Terminal Services > Sessions section of group policy and enable Set time limit for disconnected sessions, and set a timeout (1 minute).

That was after being 'Disconnected' for a minute, they'll be logged off.

  • 1
    In my local group policy editor, I don't have a "Policies" folder under "Computer Configuration". I found "Set time limit for disconnected sessions" in Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Session > Session Time Limits, but that only works to log off users from a remote desktop connection - not a disconnected user at the console. How can I set the Terminal Services policy you mention? Oct 14, 2013 at 17:06
  • 1
    @PatClancey, So how did you manage to solve this? Please post an answer. 25k views and no working solution?
    – Pacerier
    Mar 20, 2015 at 13:25

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