I've been using the following changes to be able to logon to the 'active' session of a Windows 8 machine:

Run ‘gpedit.msc’, change:

  • Local Computer Policy->Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Remote Desktop Services->Remote Desktop Session Host->Connections, set “Allow users to connect remotely by using Remote Desktop Services” to ‘Enabled’
  • Local Computer Policy->Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Remote Desktop Services->Remote Desktop Session Host->Connections, set “Restrict Remote Desktop users to a single Remote Desktop Services session” to ‘Enabled’
  • Local Computer Policy->Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Remote Desktop Services->Remote Desktop Session Host->Session Time Limits, set “Set time limit for disconnected sessions” to ‘Enabled’ and ‘Never’
  • Local Computer Policy->Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Remote Desktop Services->Remote Desktop Session Host->Remote Session Environment, set “Remove “Disconnect” option from Shut Down dialog” to ‘Enabled’
  • Local Computer Policy->Computer Configuration->Windows Settings->Security Settings->Local Policies->Security Options, set “Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only” to ‘Disabled’


This would allow me to connect using "mstsc /v:IPADDRESS /admin" and to quit the connection and restore the session I'd click a shortcut that called 'tscon' with the following parameters:

“%windir%\System32\tscon.exe RDP-Tcp#0 /dest:console”

This was working fine in Windows 8, but I've discovered that in Windows 8.1 even with the above mentioned changes in the computer policy every session (cmd: "query session") the rdp-tcp ID is no longer rdp-tcp#0 but the number increases after every session.

Am I doing something wrong or has Microsoft made changes to this in 8.1 ?