I have SBS 08 and users with XP/Vista/7. I'd like to know if it's possible to broadcast a message to AD users while they are logged in the domain(for example to told users a reboot will be done, something like that) I'm not using terminal server.

I don't find the "Send message" in the Computer Management -> Shared Folders -> right click, All task.

Thanks for your help.


One of the simplest replacements for the old "net send" faciliity:

 msg [username] "the message"

(You can substitute '*' for username too)
There are other options available too. Type msg without arguements for more help.

  • Thanks, but it seems that it only work for users that are locally logged-in the SBS 08 server. I'd like to send a message to users that are logged-in the domain ! Net send used to do that i think, but since it's disabled now... – Bastien974 Feb 22 '10 at 21:13
  • 1
    In order for net send to work "Messenger" service needs to be enabled on the workstations. I believe XP and above it does not start automatically. – xeon Feb 22 '10 at 21:26
  • @xeon: I'm not certain about 2008/Vista, but I know Win7/2008R2 there is no "net send" command or "messenger service at all. @ Bastient, use the /server switch and send the message to their computer. This isn't a fast or ideal solution, but it works. – Chris S Feb 22 '10 at 21:35
  • So there are not any other way to send a message than with Messenger ? Maybe it's possible to enabled it with a GPO or a script ? – Bastien974 Feb 22 '10 at 21:35
  • On older machnines you can enable the "Messenger" service through GPO. But on newer machines it simply doesn't exist. – Chris S Feb 22 '10 at 21:37

If you don't have XP machines anymore (which you may not in 2013+), you can use the msg command. By default, it will only send messages to users on the same machine, but you can use the /SERVER:computer_name parameter (literally the characters "SERVER:" followed by the user's computer name on the domain).

Even that will still only do one at a time, but you can make a batch file and copy the lines once for each computer on your network. You can even make the message customizeable, for example:

msg /SERVER:COMP1 * /time:20 %1
msg /SERVER:COMP2 * /time:20 %1
msg /SERVER:COMP3 * /time:20 %1
msg /SERVER:COMP4 * /time:20 %1

Run myfile "This is a test" and it will send that message to every machine listed in the file for the number of seconds specified (an optional parameter that could also be made customizeable)

This is workable for small businesses but becomes increasingly less viable in larger organizations, such as a university, due partially to the work in updating the computer list when it changes (although that may be programmable?) but mainly due to the fact that it still only sends each message one at a time, and you might not want to wait a few minutes for the message to propagate to everyone.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.