Set Time Limit for an Active Remote Desktop Session in Windows Server 2012

In this article, we will learn that how we can set the time limit for an active remote desktop service session through a group policy using windows server which will ultimately be functional throughout the domain controller.

Let’s start with the process and assume you are working as a system administrator in an organization and you have seen users that use the remote desktop services because some of their workflows are available only through remote desktop services but users do not bother to disconnect or log out from the RDS after finishing their work.

Let’s say you know that user can complete their task in 5 minutes and you decide to give them 10 minutes before their session gets disconnected so you can do it by enabling a group policy. Log into your windows server as I will use windows server 2012 R2 as an example.

Open the server manager and click on tools.

Look for group policy management and click on it to open its window. Once it is opened expand your forest and look for the domain under which you want to enable this group policy as in this case it is “UsamaZaka.local”

Expand your domain and right-click on default domain policy.

Click on edit as it will open up group policy management editor.

Under computer configuration expand “Policies” and then expand “Administrative templates”

Click on windows components and scroll down to select “Remote Desktop Services”

Expand remote desktop session host and select “Session time limits”

Double-click on “set time limit for an active remote desktop services sessions” to open its console.

By default, this group policy is not configured so click on enabled.

Now you can see that active session time option which was greyed out is enabled to set the value to 10 minutes.

Click “Apply” and then press “Ok”, since you have enabled the group policy now let’s update the group policy using a command prompt. Open the command prompt window and write “gpupdate /force” now user session will be disconnected after 10 minutes but the user will receive a two minutes warning before it gets disconnected so that user can save the files and data.

Muhammad Imran Habib

Imran is a technology evangelist with 8 years of experience working with some of the Industry leading companies. Imran's expertise includes On-Prem/Virtual Infrastructure deployments, IT Solutions for SMEs, End User Computing Support.

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