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Disable Server Manager startup from User login using Registry and Group Policies

In this post I will show you how to disable Server Manager Start up during user logon on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012

Server Manager start-up during Windows User logon on Windows Server 2008 R2 server Operating system is the most frustrating thing for System administrators who manage the boxes. We know that it exists and how to launch so we would like to get it disabled from user logon start-up.

First we will see how we can solve this problem in different ways and then we will come to the topic where each one should be used.

There are two methods using which we can disable Server Manager launching from Start at the time of user login.

Registry Method:

There are two registry keys to be modified to address this problem.

Set the value of below key to 1

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ServerManager\DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon

And set the value of below key to 0

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ServerManager\CheckedUnattendLaunchSetting

The HKLM key prevents the Server Manager start-up for any new logins to the server. For existing logins, the second HKCU key helps. That means, if you already have some user profiles created on the server then you should consider deploying the above HKCU to the respective user hives. While deploying the HKLM key can be done via Powershell script (discussed at this 4sysops article), deploying HKCU should be done via Group Policy preferences or logon scripts.

Group Policies Method:

Server Manager Start-up can be done via Group Policies as well.

The policy “Do not display server manager automatically at logon” is under “Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Server Manager” container in group policy editor. You can either create a new policy or use existing policy to add this new setting based on the scope and other requirements. Once the policy is configured deploy it to required servers. Unlike Registry method, this group policy method works for both new users logging into the server as well as existing users.

What is preferred approach?

In my opinion, the Group Policy approach is much appropriate and suitable deploying to multiple computers. It is easy to deploy or revert since the Group policy modification is matter of seconds. The registry method also works but you need to come up with custom scripts to deploy HKLM keys and other alternatives to deploy HKCU keys which is not an easy task.

Hope this helps and happy learning.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Rune Mariboe February 18, 2015, 6:10 pm

    ThisIsHelpful.com lists disabling the ServerManager scheduled task as a quick fix:
    Disable-ScheduledTask -TaskPath ‘\Microsoft\Windows\Server Manager\’ -TaskName ‘ServerManager’

  • Sputnik August 11, 2017, 12:05 am

    Actually, the following needs to be added to HKCU in order to disable the autostart:
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ServerManager]
    “DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon”=dword:00000001

    • Wintel Rocks August 13, 2017, 9:55 am

      Hi,

      You mean the proposed solution is not working or you are proposing an alternative?

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