Disabling CTRL+ALT+DEL to login in Win 2k3 server

by kai on 29/01/2010

Args, this is one of those “note to myself” posts. Today I was looking (for the n-th time) for the local policy setting to switch of the necessity that a user has to press CTRL+ALT+DEL to login in a Win 2k3 server. It’s particularly annoying as I’m running one for development purposes in a VM and I’m forced to use the VMWare Fusion menu to simulate the key stroke. Now, here it is:

  • Launch Group Policy Editor (GPEdit.msc)
  • Go to Local Computer Policy/Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Local Policies/Security Options
  • Set “Interactive logon: Do not require CTRL+ALT+DEL” to enabled

All that requires local admin access – if your machine is tied into a network with AD or domain controller settings and group policies all that might be different, but it should do the trick for the typical developer’s “Windows Virtual Machine on a Mac”-scenario 🙂

Additional note: you might want to switch off the screen saver or resp. untick the check box forcing a user to re-login after the screen saver was triggered. Again – consider your system, I would for instance not recommend doing that on a full-blow stand-alone Win 2k3 server – but for a dev environment in a VM it’s most likely fine.

Dan G. Switzer, II January 30, 2010 at 3:20 am

FYI – You should emulate the CTRL + ALT + DEL in VMWare using one of the following:


The actual command seems to vary by version and platform, but CTRL + ALT + INSERT has always done the trick for me in Windows.

kai January 30, 2010 at 7:51 am

Dan, is that correct for virtualising Windows on Windows only? Just wondering – I wouldn’t have either keystroke available on my OSX host (at least not on my MBP keyboard 🙂

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