How to Prevent Remote Desktop from Locking Screen
I often use the Windows Remote Desktop function to connect and remotely manage another Windows server. As you might know, there are many other better remote control software such as the free Virtual Network Computing (VNC) or even the popular Teamviewer, but I try to minimize the installations of third party software on the Server machines. If you don’t know what Remote Desktop is, it’s a protocol developed by Microsoft which allows you to view the display and control the mouse and keyboard of another computer at different location, as if you were sitting in front of the computer.
I never have any problems with Remote Desktop and it works as I expect it to, except for only one annoyance which is if I leave it idle for a few minutes, it auto logs off and I have to re-enter the password to login again. This is very annoying whenever I am reading the log files or the console messages that are displayed on screen. Fortunately there is quite a simple solution for how to disable remote desktop auto logoff on idle.It took a couple of days trying to find the solution because I actually misunderstood the problem in the first place. I thought the system was auto logging out when idle but it turns out that it was the screen that was locked. No wonder setting “Never” for idle session limit in RDP Properties didn’t work.
By default Windows Server activates the screen saver if the computer has been idle for 10 minutes and the setting “On resume, display logon screen” will also be checked. So if Windows detects no activity for 10 minutes, the screen saver will be activated and when we get back to the Remote Desktop Connection, the screen saver is removed and then prompts to login. To solve this problem, you can either disable the screen saver or remove the logon screen on resume.
To disable the auto lock screen when idle, the easiest solution which requires only a click is to download this registry fix file, run it on the computer that is automatically getting locked and restart the PC for the changes to take effect. Alternatively, here are the steps if you prefer to do it manually.
1. Right click Desktop and select Personalize
2. Click Screen Saver
3. Uncheck “On Resume, display logon screen” and click OK.
Now you can remain idle on the remote desktop connection as long as you want and you won’t be locked out. And obviously this also works on an ordinary PC if you keep receiving the login screen whenever you come out from a screensaver.
If the “On Resume, display logon screen” checkbox is disabled or grayed out like what is shown at the screenshot below, it means that there is a group policy being implemented probably by your company’s network administrator to prevent the local logged in user from changing this setting.
Fortunately bypassing the policy is as easy as download and running another registry fix. We’ve provided two different registry fixes where you can either delete the policy so that it will be possible for you to manually enable/disable the settings, or you disable the option while maintaining the checkbox grayed out.
Download Reg Fix to Delete Password protect the screen saver Group Policy
Download Reg Fix to Disable Password protect the screen saver Group Policy
Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve got a Windows 2019 server which is continually running a script, and every time the screen locked up, the script would fail. It was driving me crazy having to constantly switch over to that session just to keep the screen alive, and all the tricks with editing group policy, disabling screen saver, keeping monitor constantly on, etc. had done no good. This appears to have finally solved it!
Thank you! I was getting frustrated at how often I had to log back into my RDC. I turned off the screen saver, and adjusted the power/idle settings, but it still kept locking. Ticking that check box was the one thing I was missing, and now it works great! Thank you!
thanks to match it help me
Go around group policy thing doesn’t work for me.
Awesome thanks alot you help
In your introduction, you make it sound like VNC or TeamViewer are superior to RDP, which is wrong. VNC actually transmits video as a stream of compressed images (eg. JPEGs), i assume TeamViewer does something similar though its a bit faster. RDP just sends a stream of rendering instructions to the client OS, which then reconstructs the image. RDP compared to VNC is very low bandwidth and latency. In addition you can easily access drives and printers (without the need for a driver) from the client machine in the RDP session.