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How To Force Users to Quit Programs and Log Off After a Period of Inactivity in Windows XP

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q314999
SUMMARY
This step-by-step article describes how to automatically quit a user's running programs and to log the user off of a workstation after a specified time period.

Workstations that are left logged on may represent a security risk for an organization. Many networks allow users to leave programs running and to remain logged on to their computers for an undefined time period. The Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit includes the Winexit.scr tool that you can use to automatically quit a user's programs and to log the user off of the workstation.

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How to Configure the Winexit.scr Screen Saver

  1. Use Windows Explorer to locate the Winexit.scr file in the Windows 2000 Resource Kit folder on your hard disk.
  2. Right-click the Winexit.scr file, and then click Install.
  3. The Display Properties dialog box appears with the Screen Saver tab active. The Logoff Screen Saver entry is automatically selected. Click Settings.
  4. Select the Force application termination check box to force programs to quit.
  5. In the Countdown for n seconds box, type the number of seconds for which the logoff dialog box appears before the user is logged off.
  6. In the Logoff Message box, type the message that appears during the logoff countdown. Click OK.
  7. In the Display Properties dialog box, click Preview.
  8. You see the Auto Logoff dialog box. It displays the logoff message and the countdown timer. Click Cancel.
  9. Click OK.
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Troubleshooting

The Force application termination option forces programs to quit even if the programs contain unsaved data. If you do not use this option, programs that contain unsaved data do not quit and the user is not logged off. It is a good idea to set your corporate policy to automatically save user documents if you use the Force application termination option.

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Properties

Article ID: 314999 - Last Review: 07/15/2004 17:31:54 - Revision: 1.2

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB314999
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