Quick Fix : SBS 2011 Essentials RDP Timeouts (Remote Web Access)

If you are using RWA in SBS 2011 you may find that having connected to your Computer, then working on something else for a period of time, you go to switch back to your Computer and find you have been Disconnected! This can be a source of annoyance to those multi-tasking users we look after, and we don’t really want to give them any more reasons to be annoyed right?


Luckily it is relatively simple to increase the period of inactivity before a timeout occurs, likewise you can decrease it if you wish to as well.

The default for a disconnect is 60 Minutes.

To edit these settings, we first have to enable the Remote Desktop Gateway Manager tool.

Even though this ‘Role’ is installed into SBS by default, the management tool itself is hidden

You will need to open an Elevated Command Prompt, to do that, find the CMD.exe icon, right click and click on ‘Run As Administrator’


Next you need to enter:

dism /online /Enable-Feature:Gateway-UI


You will see the status of the Imaging Servicing and Maintenance tool, and after a few moments be returned to a CMD prompt.

Now you can open up the Management tool from your Administrative Tools menu.


Expand your Servername and then expand Policies. In the details pane, right click the policy ‘DOMAIN_CAP_DEFAULT’ and go to properties.


You can see clearly here the ‘Disconnect Session after Idle’ setting, and change the value to suit your needs.


When you have changed the setting click OK. Your settings will be active immediately but may not affect sessions that are already in progress.

To change the timeouts for the entire Remote Web Access site, you can follow Tim Barrett’s blog post for SBS 2008.


Changing this setting will affect the timeouts for the RWA page, for accessing files and folders stored on the Server.

The article mentions ‘Companyweb’ for SBS 2008, but can be transferred for The Default Website on SBS 2011 Essentials to affect the RWA page.

About Robert Pearman
Robert Pearman is a UK based Small Business Server enthusiast. He has been working within the SMB IT Industry for what feels like forever. Robert likes Piña colada and taking walks in the rain, on occasion he also enjoys writing about Small Business Technology like Windows Server Essentials or more recently writing PowerShell Scripts. If you're in trouble, and you can find him, maybe you can ask him a question.

7 Responses to Quick Fix : SBS 2011 Essentials RDP Timeouts (Remote Web Access)

  1. mkamoski1 says:

    Did not work. There are no servers listed in the Remote Gateway Manager. Running Windows 2012 R2 Standard. Still stuck.

    • You are having time out issues? A lot of RDP stuff is managed via PowerShell on 2012+
      Are you running an RDP Gateway Server or just having timeouts on an administrative RDP Session?

      • mkamoski1 says:

        Robert — Yes, I cannot keep my session alive for more than something like 1 hour, whatever that setting is, and whereever it is set. I have tried many things, such as your hints above, but none seem to work. I am just connecting to a Win2012r2 server via RDP and I login with local admin credentials on that machine. So I should be able to set anything I want. But I cannot find the setting. If you have PowerShell script hints, then please post them. The machine to which I connect is NOT an RDP Gateway Server AFAICT, and I am sure it is not listed in the dialogs that you show above in screenshots, so I can never see the “Disconnect Session after Idle” setting at all. Any help is appreciated. Thanks. — Mark Kamoski

  2. mkamoski1 says:

    All — FWIW, I am currently trying this https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2833839 and hopefully that will work. By enabling the Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration tools in Windows 2012 R2 perhaps Windows will then know how to avoid the dreaded issue — your remote desktop session ended because the remote computer did not receive any input from you — which, just for the record here, when this session ended event occurs everything that was running in that session, such as any apps that I had open, is all brutally terminated and bombed out of existence. Gone. Nothing there. It is like Windows sets off a Stupid Bomb and kills everything in my session. Ug. What a chore. If anyone has any hints, then please pass them along. It seems to me that setting the session timeout is a very simple idea and quite reasonable and standard to do, so this should NOT be hard to do, and yet it is hard with Windows for God only knows why. Ug. — Mark Kamoski

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: