A Remote Desktop session disconnects even after you press a key when you receive the "Idle timer expired" message in Windows Vista


Symptoms


In a Remote Desktop session on a Windows Vista-based computer, you receive the following warning message:
Idle timer expired: Session has been idle over its time limit. It will be disconnected in 2 minutes. Press any key now to continue session.
However, after you press a key, the session still disconnects after two minutes.

Cause


This behavior occurs if a policy setting enforces a time limit for idle Remote Desktop sessions. If an active session has not received user input for the time that is specified in the policy setting, the session disconnects. Pressing a key closes the warning message that you receive two minutes before you are disconnected. However, this action does not reset the idle timer. To reset the idle timer and keep the session active, you must provide user input other than the keystroke that closes the warning message.

Workaround


To work around this behavior, press OK to close the warning message, and then press any key. The second keystroke prevents the idle timer from expiring. Therefore, the remote desktop session remains active.

More Information


The Set time limit for active but idle Terminal Services sessions policy setting in Local Computer Policy or in Group Policy lets an administrator specify the maximum time that an active Remote Desktop session is idle before it automatically disconnects. The user receives a warning message two minutes before the session disconnects. To keep the session active, the user must perform an action. For example, the user can press a key or move the mouse.