How To Automatically Logoff Shutdown or Lock An Idle Computers

An email from a newsletter I subscribed shared a very neat tool that lets you automatically not only log off but also shutdown, reboot, or lock an idle computer. What’s better is that it’s actually a command line that you can add into your login script so it runs automatically¬†during the startup.

The tool is called idlelogoff and you can download it directly from this link. And here is its usage how it’s called.

idlelogoff.exe [timeout] [action]

in which:

timeout – idle seconds before the action is taken. Idle means no movement detected from the keyboard or mouse.

action – logoff | lock | shutdown | reboot

So, for example, to reboot a computer after 5 minutes of no activities, run this:

idlelogoff.exe 300 reboot

to lock out a computer after 30 minutes of no activities, run this:

idlelogoff.exe 1800 lock

Once it’s running, it sits quietly at the background with no indication that it’s active. It can only be seen or killed via Task Manager.

It’s a great tool to be added as part of your login/startup process so it runs automatically when user logs in. You may be able to achieve some of its features through screen saver or group policy but if you have a compliance to follow, this is probably¬†your best and simplest shot to deal with idle computers on your network.

I also wish the Sleep and Hibernate can be added as one of the actions.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 03/27/2015

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