Using Group Policy Object Preferences to modify the Screen Saver Grace Period

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Using Group Policy Object Preferences to modify the Screen Saver Grace Period

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Added by February 9, 2015

Within the operating system there is a delay from when the screen saver activates and the system actually locks the display requiring you to enter a password to continue working. This period of time is known as the screen saver password registration interval. During this period, a user can move the mouse or press any key to prevent the password protection to activate. The default time is configured to be 5 seconds but the time can be configured any whole number between 0 and 2,147,483 (default entry is 5). A value of 0 results in no password protection delay.

To reduce the screen saver grace period you can use Group Policy Object Preferences to modify the Screen Saver Grace Period locally by creating the following new key and value in the registry. HKEY-LOCAL-MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\ScreenSaverGracePeriod with a REG_SZ value of the desired grace period.

1. Create a new GPO to contain your desired settings.

2. In the GPMC edit the newly create GPO.

001-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences

3. Decide if this setting is going to be a computer or users setting. Computer will be all computers in a given OU, whereas a User will follow the user from computer to computer.

Note: Once configured by a user setting on a computer, it effect all users on the computer.

4. Expand Computer Configuration.

002-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-config

5. Expand Preferences.

003-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-config

6. Expand Windows Settings.

004-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-config

7. Right click on Registry – New – Registry Item.

005-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-New-Registry-Item

8. In the New Registry Properties dialog box, in the Action dropdown select Create.

006-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-New-Registry-Create

9. Ensure HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is selected. Click on the ellipse. Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

007-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-HKEY_LOCAL

10. Expand SOFTWARE.

008-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-Software

11. Expand Microsoft.

009-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-Microsoft

12. Scroll down and expand Windows NT.

010-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-WindowsNT

13. Expand CurrentVersion.

011-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-CurrentVersion

14. Expand Winlogon and click on Select.

012-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-Winlogon

15. In the Value name box type ScreenSaverGracePeriod.

013-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences-ScreenSaverGracePeriod

16. Leave the Value type as REG_SZ, in the Value data box enter your desires grace period in seconds. For this example I will use 2. Click OK.

014-Server-2012-Using-Group-Policy-Object-Preferences

17. Exit the GPO editor and link the newly created GPO to the desired OU. During the next GPO refresh the new Registry setting will be applied.

This setting can also be created using REGEDIT locally if the computers are not members of a domain. Click on the following link to accomplish this through a REGEDIT.

Until next time, RIDE SAFE!

Rick Trader
Windows Server Instructor – Interface Technical Training
Phoenix, AZ

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