Lock Windows workstations to avoid tracking inactive time in SoftActivity

Issue: If a user is idle and away from their computer, SoftActivity may continue tracking their time in Attendance report.

The reason for this is that SoftActivity tracks work time in Attendance until the workstation is locked, user signs off completely from Windows, shut down their computer, or disconnects from an RDP session, closed a laptop lid, or the computer goes into sleep mode.

User might be watching a lengthy video, for example, so SoftActivity Monitor will continue counting this time, as this activity may be a part of the job for some users.

How to setup an inactivity timeout

For customers who don’t want to track long inactivity periods in Attendance report, SoftActivity recommend to setup automatic workstation locking policy in Windows. This will also improve security by locking unattended workstations, when users walk away and leave sensitive information on display.

Follow these steps to setup automatic locking via Group Policy for your Active Directory, or for individual computers.

  • Go to Start menu – gpmc.msc, or just type: Group Policy in Start menu. Alternatively go to and edit Group Policy for you Active Directory
  • Navigate on the left side to: User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Control Panel – Personalization
  • Set the following policies to Enabled: Enable Screen Saver, Password protect the screen saver.
  • Set Screen Saver timeout value to: 300. This is a timeout in seconds. You can choose your own inactivity timeout here, after which their session will locked requiring them to re-enter the password.
  • Enable Force specific screen saver policy and copy the following value:
    rundll32 user32.dll,LockWorkStation
    This command will lock the workstation right away rather than showing an actual screensaver.
lock workstation via screensaver group policy

Once 5 minutes of inactivity passes, the users session will get locked.
You will then see an end of session in SoftActivity Attendance report that looks like this:

Employees attendance report in webapp

Export the report to PDF for more details. Setup daily email reports to get this report in email automatically.