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I run a network of computers and I would like enforce a GPO which locks the screen after a predefined idle time. I can't find this setting, I can only find a screen saver idle time setting, how can I get a log-out screen accomplished?


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Total agreement with everybody else here-- you're mixing terminology. Do you want to lock the workstation or force the user to logoff? (If you did want forced logoff, which I'd highly recommend against, have a look at: support.microsoft.com/kb/314999) –  Evan Anderson Oct 29 '09 at 16:36

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Well, through Group Policy you can force to lock down a workstation via a password protected screensaver, but not to log it off. The GPO settings for locking down a workstation via screensaver can be found at: Administrative templates\control panel\display\password protect the screen saver and screen saver timeout.

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To disable this setting through the registry, the path is HKCU:\software\policies\microsoft\windows\Control Panel\desktop –  Nacht Oct 3 '13 at 6:00
This setting don't exist in windows 2008. Which version are your using? –  motobói Jul 18 '14 at 16:22
On Windows Server 2008 or above they are: User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization –  CrazyTim Feb 25 at 4:16

The more direct solution you are likely looking for is located in:

Group Policy Management / Group Policy Editor

Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options

Microsoft Network Server: Amount of idle time required before suspending session.

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The description says that applies to SMB sessions –  bradvido Apr 11 '14 at 19:31

In my french version of W2K8, I have in :

GPO > Strategy > Administration Model > System > Power Management > Screensaver options > Ask for a password when computer wake up

It should do the trick...

PS : the translation of GPO entries is approximative

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To force a lock enforce the screen saver with the "require a password..." option. Logging out is a whole different thing. Which are you after?

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Agree that the question mixes terms - though I'll go so far as to recommend a lock vs. log-out or you're going to zap a lot of user work. –  Kara Marfia Oct 29 '09 at 12:32

On Windows Server 2008 these settings can be found in: User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization

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