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...

enter image description here

...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?


1 Answer 1


A brief Google search gives what you need:



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.

  • 3
    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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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