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Our users have increasingly started leaving their workstations logged in and unattended (during lunch breaks etc.)

To tackle the security threat this poses, we have enforced a password-protected screensaver via Group Policy.

The DC server is running SBS 2003, and the workstations are now mostly Windows 7 (a couple of XP PCs still).

Screensavers popping up can be a little distracting, and screens going completely blank after 30 minutes can be confusing for some users, so I would like to have the workstations simply lock after 30 minutes instead. The monitors will eventually power off (after 60 minutes).

Auto-locking is easy to set manually...

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...but I can't see a way to do this in Group Policy.

Does anyone know of a way this can be achieved in this SBS 2003/ Windows 7 environment?

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A brief Google search gives what you need:

https://web.archive.org/web/20160619070432/http://www.bridgetonova.com:80/2007/11/how-to-lock-computers-when-idle-by-using-gpo.html

Update:

The idea is that you are enabling the screensaver option, but instead of specifying a real screensaver, you just make Windows execute the following command:

%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

This only locks the workstation without actually launching a screensaver.

Check the link for more detailed info.

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    Since you've taken the time to answer, please feel free to transpose a paraphrased/summarized version of the information in that link into this answer. No one wants Serverfault to become just a bunch of links to other webpages.
    – Ryan Ries
    Aug 21, 2013 at 12:54
  • That works great. I will deploy it via Group Policy now for a quick test. Very excited to have an elegant solution to that problem. Thanks a lot. Aug 22, 2013 at 13:27

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