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Question: How can I send Ctrl Alt Del to a remote computer? Image

Question: How can I send Ctrl Alt Del to a remote computer?

Categories: FAQ and Troubleshooting
Summary: Information about sending Ctrl Alt Del to a remote computer


Ctrl-Alt-Del is a special hardware interrupt used by Windows as a secure notification to let the operating system know that either a genuine user is present or highly authorised software is running.

For Windows to recognise this sequence it is necessary to 'simulate' it from a Windows service.

Rather than have SimpleHelp surreptitiously install a service on everyone's machine we prefer this to be more explicit (while still keeping it very simple).

If you would like to log on and off or reboot the remote computer you can install a semi-permanent SimpleGateway connection by clicking the 'Install a persistent SimpleGateway connection' button under the 'Tools' menu.

This will allow you to configure a SimpleGateway 'always-on' connection which will allow you to connect after logging off, rebooting or rebooting into safe mode without any user intervention at all, even allowing you to send Ctrl-Alt-Del to the remote machine to log on where necessary.

Sending Ctrl-Alt-Delete on Vista, Win 7 or Server 2008 and above

PLEASE NOTE that on Windows Vista or later (including Windows 7 and Server 2008) if Ctrl-Alt-Del is enabled and User Account Control(UAC) is switched off it is necessary to change the Group Policy to enable 'Simulation of the Secure Attention Sequence in Software'. To do this please run through the following steps:

  • Start Menu - Run
  • Type in 'gpedit.msc' and hit OK
  • Under the tree item: Computer Configuration - Administrative Templates - Windows Components - Windows Logon Options
  • Right click 'Disable or enable software Secure Attention Sequence'
  • Select 'Properties'
  • In the dialog that pops up select 'Enabled'
  • In the drop down menu under 'Set which software is allowed to generate the Secure Attention Sequence' select' Services and Ease of Access Applications'
  • Hit OK
  • Close the Group Policy window

Ctrl-Alt-Delete as sent by SimpleGateway is purely simulating the secure attention sequence (Ctrl-Alt-Delete) at login time.  Using this menu item at other times to launch task manager or lock the screen etc will have no effect, however these can be accomplished easily via other means.

In the unlikely event that you are still unable to send Ctrl-Alt-Del after making these changes please check the following:

  • You are sending CAD via the Ctrl-Alt-Del (Login Signal) menu item (Tools menu) in SimpleGateway
  • Is there a group policy overriding the local policy on the relevant machine? (for example, is the machine part of a domain?)

For more information on combining SimpleHelp and SimpleGateway into a single server and client application, see the Admin Guide - SimpleGateway.

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