Our office uses a Windows 2003 server to provide access to an accounting application. Recently I was asked to increase the amount of time it takes for the session to lock itself and require the entry of the user's password to resume. That seems to be about ten minutes, at present.

I am familiar with group policy and have tweaked those settings to scavenge sessions (and thereby licenses) from sessions that have been disconnected (by the user closing the mstsc.exe client or by a network issue). That's simple and straightforward. But I can't find anything in GP to allow a longer time period before the RDP client window goes black and then, when clicked upon, requires a username and password to resume the session.

I must admit this would be nice personally as well, since most of my time is spent documenting the application and/or monitoring its database, so I usually have a window open to the terminal server along with the rest of the staff in the accounting center, but I interact with it very little. I usually enter my password 10-15 times per workday, but I'm pretty good at it by now. ;)

So, can this timeout period be adjusted, or are we out of luck?

2 Answers 2


I don't think you can control this just for RDP sessions, but you can set the time out for the screen saver via GP.

Default Computer Policy -> User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Control Panel -> Display

  • It works! I was right there in Group Policy...so close, and yet so far. I kept looking for a screen saver setting in control panel and never thought to use the one in gpedit.msc. This works in my case since the server is only used via RDP, the console is strictly for administration, and is in another room 2 floors away. I'm going to have to check the console control panel now, though, for curiosity's sake.
    – atroon
    Dec 22, 2009 at 4:54

Have you looked into the Terminal Server Administration tool, Connection Configuration?

If not, see this Microsoft article : Connection Configuration in Terminal Server.

  • That article was similar to what I've been doing except that from 2k to 2k3 they moved these properties into Group Policy as well as Connection Manager; I was working with this article earlier today which says Group Policy is 'best practice': technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/…. Unfortunately none of these address the individual session blanking time...:(
    – atroon
    Dec 21, 2009 at 21:41

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