Forcing Afterhours User Logoffs

I had a buddy of mine ask me this question and I sent him this link. It's a terrific way to use Task Manager and a GPO(s) to force an unattended (or even attended) machine to log off automatically or, force a user to log off at the end of the work day.

Why would you want to "force" a user to logff at the end of a work day? Well, in the case I was brought in to address, the company paid by the hour and wanted to cut down (drastically) the OT people were claiming to have worked. Once the user was notified they had 15 minutes left to "finish up" it seems they did just that. No extra 30 minutes chatting with cube-mates and then calling it OT. Within the first month, OT was cut by 30% from what I heard. No more work. No more pay. No more OT. Also, if someone happens to run out at the end of the day (who doesn't do that!) you (the Admin God) will know all the computers will be secured no matter what. This is the kind of stuff that makes Admins sleep better at night. 

Besides the possible financial benefits, this greatly enhances security for any sized company as you won't walk into your office, after hours, and find the janitor looking at porn on someone's terminal they left unlocked. Oh, the things I have seen in 22 years in this field.

Check out the article. It's not hard to do. It has pretty pictures and it really works. It can also be targeted by OS. Plus, since this is executed at the GPO level you can target specific groups, say call center employees, and not the executives or managers (those folks should be in their own GPO anyway). 


We force an after hour logoff using two Group Policy Preference Scheduled Task items. We’ll configure the items from a Windows Server 2008 R2 computer. Our targeted client computers are Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The typical business work day begins around 8am and ends between 5 and 6 pm. For this scenario, we’ll presume our workday ends at 5 pm. Our first scheduled task notifies the user the computer will shut down in 15 minutes. The second scheduled task actually shutdowns the computer.

Notify the user - We use the first scheduled task to notify the user they will be logged off in 15 minutes. This gives the user a reasonable amount of time to save their work. Ideally, users will save their work and logoff or shut down the computer within this allow time (once they understand their computer will log them off regardless). Our Group Policy Preference items target users; so, we’ll open GPMC and create a new Scheduled Task (Windows Vista or later) preference item. 

Read how to accomplish this here.

Last modified on Saturday, 25 March 2017 15:26

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