Knowledgebase
Session Time Limits
Posted by Scott Sims on 20 November 2009 11:24 PM

Policy settings in this node control time limits for Terminal Services sessions on a terminal server.

The full path of this node in the Group Policy Management Console is:

Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Session Time Limits

Set time limit for active but idle Terminal Services sessions

This policy setting allows you to specify the maximum amount of time that an active Terminal Services session can be idle (without user input) before it is automatically disconnected.

If you enable this policy setting, you must select the desired time limit in the Idle session limit list. Terminal Services will automatically disconnect active but idle sessions after the specified amount of time. The user receives a warning two minutes before the session disconnects, which allows the user to press a key or move the mouse to keep the session active. If you have a console session, idle session time limits do not apply.

If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, Terminal Services allows sessions to remain active but idle for an unlimited time. You can specify time limits for active but idle sessions on the Sessions tab in the Terminal Services Configuration tool.

If you want Terminal Services to terminate—instead of disconnect—a session when the time limit is reached, you can configure the Terminate session when time limits are reached policy setting located in Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Session Time Limits.

Requirements: At least Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003

Set time limit for active Terminal Services sessions

This policy setting allows you to specify the maximum amount of time that a Terminal Services session can be active before it is automatically disconnected.

If you enable this policy setting, you must select the desired time limit in the Active session limit list. Terminal Services will automatically disconnect active sessions after the specified amount of time. The user receives a warning two minutes before the Terminal Services session disconnects, which allows the user to save open files and close programs. If you have a console session, active session time limits do not apply.

If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, Terminal Services allows sessions to remain active for an unlimited time. You can specify time limits for active sessions on the Sessions tab in the Terminal Services Configuration tool.

If you want Terminal Services to terminate—instead of disconnect—a session when the time limit is reached, you can configure the Terminate session when time limits are reached policy setting located in Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Session Time Limits.

Note: This policy setting appears in both Computer Configuration and User Configuration. If both policy settings are configured, the Computer Configuration policy setting takes precedence.

Requirements: At least Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003

Set time limit for disconnected sessions

This policy setting allows you to configure a time limit for disconnected Terminal Services sessions.

You can use this policy setting to specify the maximum amount of time that a disconnected session is kept active on the server. By default, Terminal Services allows users to disconnect from a remote session without logging off and ending the session.

When a session is in a disconnected state, running programs are kept active even though the user is no longer actively connected. By default, these disconnected sessions are maintained for an unlimited time on the server.

If you enable this policy setting, disconnected sessions are deleted from the server after the specified amount of time. To enforce the default behavior that disconnected sessions are maintained for an unlimited time, select Never. If you have a console session, disconnected session time limits do not apply.

If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, disconnected sessions are maintained for an unlimited time. You can specify time limits for disconnected sessions on the Sessions tab in the Terminal Services Configuration tool.

Requirements: At least Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003

Terminate session when time limits are reached

This policy setting allows you to specify whether to terminate a timed-out Terminal Services session instead of disconnecting it.

You can use this policy setting to direct Terminal Services to terminate a session (that is, the user is logged off and the session is deleted from the server) after time limits for active or idle sessions are reached. By default, Terminal Services disconnects sessions that reach their time limits.

Time limits are set locally by the server administrator or in Group Policy. See the Set time limit for active Terminal Services sessions and Set time limit for active but idle Terminal Services sessions policy settings.

If you enable this policy setting, Terminal Services terminates any session that reaches its time-out limit.

If you disable this policy setting, Terminal Services always disconnects a timed-out session, even if specified otherwise by the server administrator.

If you do not configure this policy setting, Terminal Services disconnects a timed-out session, unless specified otherwise in local settings.

Note: This setting only applies to time-out limits that are deliberately set (in the Terminal Services Configuration tool or by using Group Policy settings), not to time-out events that occur due to connectivity or network conditions. Also note that this policy setting appears in both Computer Configuration and User Configuration. If both policy settings are configured, the Computer Configuration policy setting takes precedence.

Requirements: At least Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003

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