We have a Remote Desktop Session Host that is accessed by Wyse Winterm 3150SE thin clients running Windows CE 5.0. The stations are open to the public, and are supposed to display our homepage when not in use. However, some people leave the browser sitting at a different page, or in some other unexpected state.

I want to make it so that idle sessions are automatically logged off after 5 minutes, but there's a problem with using Terminal Services idle session limits. After disconnecting an idle user, the client always shows a message that says roughly "The remote session was ended because the idle timeout limit was reached." This error message tends to scare off would-be users.

Is there any way to prevent the idle timeout message from appearing when idle session limits are used?

I already tried using a screen saver (winexit.scr) to log off idle users, but apparently screen savers can't be run in Remote Desktop Sessions on Server 2008 and later. Is there some other way to trigger a log off as if the user themselves had initiated it?

  • Are they all using the same account to authenticate to the terminal server? Maybe setup a scheduled task like this?
    – Zoredache
    Mar 14, 2012 at 23:51
  • Or is there anything you can do to set an idle timeout on the thin client? Our Linux based thin clients have a setting to reload on certain conditions.
    – Zoredache
    Mar 15, 2012 at 0:00
  • Can you set the wyse terminals to restart on logoff? That would wipe the timeout message.
    – Jim B
    Mar 15, 2012 at 0:37

3 Answers 3


Write an app which is in the startup group which monitors for mouse movement and or keystroke usage. If it detects none for a few minutes it can just call the logoff api.

As to how to do that, you'll have to ask a developer. It shouldn't be all that hard.

  • IdleStart is a small program that does exactly this.
    – Nic
    Nov 29, 2012 at 4:17

Check out the scripting language AutoIT... it can be used to do keyboard/mouse manipulation and I'm certain there would be some clever way to get it to simply direct the browser back to your homepage after X minutes of inactivity.


I think you get that because you disconnect people, but do not logoff them.

Can you elaborate when they get the message ? I guess it's when they connect again (if so , then add configuration to also logoff disconnected user).

If you need to force logoff but standard RDP settings are not enough, you can go by scripting.

You can go:

  • The client sees the error message regardless of whether the session is disconnected or terminated. The error is visible immediately after the session closes, long before a new connection attempt is made.
    – Nic
    Apr 4, 2012 at 6:25

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