How to Query and Log Off Remote Desktop Sessions with Powershell

The Remote Desktop Procotol (RDP) is still strong and it’s not going away anytime soon, indeed there are companies like CITRIX that have built part of their success creating robust management for it.
As you can Imagine, there a lot of ways to manage RDP according to the type of implementations or tools involved, so some corner cases will not be cover in this article. There are also tools like gateways that will provide a central management point for all sessions, but let’s assume that these tools are not available to you or not part your infrastructure design.

Today,  I will show you some of the available tools that we can use to manage a common issue like listing all “Disconnected RDP sessions” on your network from the CLI, every tool that have a GUI is out of scope in this case.

You can easily realise why, if you want to create a report of all the disconnected sessions on hundreds of servers I don’t think that you want to log into each server to find out what are the connections and their state (active or disconnected), right?

Let’s start with the obvious statement that scripting can’t resolve all your issues, but for sure will help you to understand it sooner than later if you’ve got one!

If you want to get rid of all disconnected sessions from some of your servers or similar issues could be mitigated by automation, but scripting alone will not help you to solve it at scale. Sometimes the best way to solve it can involve GPOs, Configuration Management or sometimes third-party solutions.

But let’s start with gathering some information from all our network querying AD for all computer part of the TEST project :

Query Session / Qwinsta

Windows offers from the cmd-prompt the ability to query all sessions from the local or remote machine with this command:

Or qwinsta (which is exactly the same).


The script that I wrote is basically a wrapper that accepts a list of computer names returns a DataTable object that could be filtered, exported and so on…

With this new function after importing it with the dot-sourcing we can get a list of all computers with an Active RDP Session :

The main goal of having this DataTable object is that now the result can be filtered.

I haven’t found anything similar on powershell gallery or any other module, so I was considering to do it myself. If you would like to have it on powershell gallery or part of a module please write a comment and I will spend some time to do it.

How to log off all disconnected sessions

Or log off all the disconnected RDP session found:

The benefit of gathering this type of data is that you can soon realise that you need to create a GPO to auto-logoff after a reasonable amount of hours, for instance, 3 hours, all disconnected sessions from a group or all servers.

As query session has qwinsta, logoff has rwinsta.

For this and other commands regarding the Remote Desktop Session, I strongly recommend having a look at the official documentation. 

I hope that you find this script interesting, as always this source code is available on my github repository.

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