Change settings for when a session limit is reached or connection is broken

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To change settings for when a session limit is reached or connection is broken

  • Using Group Policies (best practice)

  • Using Terminal Services Configuration

Using Group Policies (best practice)

  1. Open Group Policy.

  2. In Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Terminal Services, Sessions, double-click the Terminate session when time limits are reached setting, and do one of the following:

    • To ensure that users are always disconnected from the session, allowing the session to be reconnected (default behavior), click Disabled, and then click OK.

    • To configure Terminal Server to terminate sessions rather than disconnect them, click Enabled, and then click OK. See the policy explain text for more information.


    • You should thoroughly test any changes you make to Group Policy settings before applying them to users or computers. For more information on testing policy settings, see Resultant Set of Policy.


  • This policy affects every client that connects to the terminal server. To define Session settings on a per-user basis, use the Sessions policies under User Configuration.

  • Use the above procedure to configure the local Group Policy object. To change a policy for a domain or an organizational unit, you must log on to the primary domain controller as an Administrator. Then, you must invoke Group Policy through the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.

Using Terminal Services Configuration

  1. Open Terminal Services Configuration.

  2. In the console tree, click Connections.

  3. In the details pane, right-click the connection you want to modify, and then click Properties.

  4. On the Sessions tab, above When session limit is reached or connection is broken, select the Override user settings check box.

    This allows you to configure these settings for the connection.

  5. Under When session limit is reached or connection is broken, do one of the following:

    • Click Disconnect from session to disconnect the user from the session, allowing the session to be reconnected.

    • Click End session to end the session. When a session ends, it is permanently deleted from the server. Any running applications are forced to shut down, which can result in loss of data at the client.


    • To open Terminal Services Configuration, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Terminal Services Configuration.

    • A connection to the server can be broken for any reason, including by request, connection error, idle time-out, or connection time-out.

    • These settings affect every client that uses the connection to connect to a terminal server. To define settings on a per-user basis, use Terminal Services Group Policies or the Terminal Services Extension to Local Users and Groups.


  • To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure. For more information, see Default local groups, Default groups, and Using Run as.

  • Group Policy overrides the configuration set with the Terminal Services Configuration tool.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


Working with MMC console files
Configuring session limits
Set time-out settings for disconnected, active, and idle sessions
Change settings for reconnecting disconnected Citrix ICA sessions
Configuring Terminal Services with Group Policy
Group Policy (pre-GPMC)