"Restrict Each User to One Session" Setting in Tscc.msc Does Not Work


Users can open multiple sessions to a server that is restricted to a single session for each user.


This functionality is working as expected. This setting is limits each user to one unique session. However, if the user is running different initial programs, the sessions are considered as different sessions.


This behavior is by design.

More Information

You can use the Terminal Services Configuration Console (Tscc.msc) to force users to only use one session by using the "Restrict each user to one session" policy in the Server Setting portion of Tscc.msc. However, certain circumstances allow for more than one session to be run by a single user.

To reproduce this scenario:
  1. On a Windows Server-based computer, enable "Restrict each user to one session" by using the Terminal Service Configuration or "Restrict Terminal Services Users to a single remote session" by using Group Policy.
  2. Apply the changes in Terminal Services Configuration or refresh the policy in Group Policy.
  3. On a client computer, start the Remote Desktop Connection.
  4. Set any program to run on connection and then connect to the Windows Server-based computer.
  5. On the same client computer, open another Remote Desktop session with the same user account as before, but this time, do not set any program to run on connection.
You expect the first Remote Desktop session to be disconnected when the new Remote Desktop session is opened. However, the first Remote Desktop session stays open, and the second Remote Desktop session is also opened successfully. The same user (technically) has multiple sessions.

This policy/configuration works as expected when you do not select any programs on connection (when the second Remote Desktop session is opened, the first one is disconnected). It also works even when the you try to open multiple sessions with some program on connection, provided that the program you selected in each connection is the same. That is, if you open a Remote Desktop session by using Notepad as the initial program and you try to open another session by using Notepad again, the first session is disconnected as expected. However, if you open multiple Remote Desktop sessions each time with different initial programs, you can use multiple sessions.