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Is there a GPO option to disable the idle-time screensaver for RDP connections, but keep the idle-time screensaver options for interactive logins?

Edit: All users are TS users as well a local so they are in the same OU. We need the screensaver 'disabled' when they RDP.

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Are they using RDP against a different computer (like a terminal server), or are you talking about RDP'ing into the same computer as they log on locally? – pauska Mar 27 '12 at 23:03
In this instance I'm talking about users logging in to their usual workstation via RDP, however they are also TS users. – Matthew Halliday Mar 27 '12 at 23:37
Do (or can you make) the users log off locally before logging on RDP? This is a critical point in the solution that I have in the back of my head, but the answer is going to take at least 15 minutes to write.. – pauska Mar 28 '12 at 0:04
Struggling to find a WMI filter for RDP sessions but if there is one that could well help to apply the policy only if they are a local connection perhaps – Tim Alexander Oct 8 '14 at 12:04

So as @ELT comments, you need to put in place a loopback policy, so full set up would be:

  • Create a GPO on the OU of the server.
  • Set the "Enable screen saver" policy at the user configuration branch to "Disabled".
  • At the Computer Configuration branch, set "Configure user Group Policy loopback processing mode" to "Enabled", mode "Merge".

This last policy will force to calculate the settings of this GPO as if the user belongs to the OU where the server is. Therefore, will take "Enable screen saver: Disabled".

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I would put the TS users in a separate OU per this Microsoft's technet article.

Change this PO in the Group Policy snap-in under:

enter image description here

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Not applicable as per question as we do not talk of separate users here. – TomTom Jun 2 '14 at 9:03
"all users are TS users" assumes more than one user? – Fergus Jun 3 '14 at 1:56
Yes, but it does not mean "there are TS and there are other users". Which means you can not isolate them into an OU or any other form. You misrepresent the quote because the full sentence is: "All users are TS users as well a local so they are in the same OU". – TomTom Jun 3 '14 at 5:08
ok... my point is; put the users into a separate OU while using RDP - similar to an administrator account as proposed here: . Otherwise how would you distinguish between those that need their idle-time screensaver set (remote) or those that are local? – Fergus Jun 3 '14 at 16:36
That is exactly the problem. I would assume the situation is that people use TFS sometimes remotely and sometimes not ;) And then you DO have this problem. – TomTom Jun 3 '14 at 16:42

I know this is an old question, and this is a bit hackish of an answer, but you could simply make a Group Policy Preferences Registry item to disable the screensaver when the session name contains RDP. You could set up the registry item to set the timeout to something ridiculous like 9999 minutes:

Screen Saver Timeout Registry Item

Then set up the targeting to only apply when the session name matches an RDP session. There's no wildcard, but the number is incremented at each RDP logon, resetting at reboots, so just put in a bunch.

Targeting Editor

Not exactly an elegant solution, but it would get the job done. Make sure you create this as a user policy, and check the "run in current user context" box.

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Never done it with screensavers but have implemented a similar type of policy with printers.

GPO that targets just the specific OU with the Terminal Servers -note* we are targeting computer objects. Use loopback policy to enforce the screensaver settings on users; if configured correctly, it should apply to all users at logon.

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