Net Send in Windows Vista

You might find yourself looking for “net send” in Vista and wonder where it went?  Before you flip out, there is a solution.  Use MSG.exe

C:\Windows\system32>msg /?
Send a message to a user.

MSG {username | sessionname | sessionid | @filename | *}
    [/SERVER:servername] [/TIME:seconds] [/V] [/W] [message]

  username            Identifies the specified username.
  sessionname         The name of the session.
  sessionid           The ID of the session.
  @filename           Identifies a file containing a list of usernames,
                      sessionnames, and sessionids to send the message to.
  *                   Send message to all sessions on specified server.
  /SERVER:servername  server to contact (default is current).
  /TIME:seconds       Time delay to wait for receiver to acknowledge msg.
  /V                  Display information about actions being performed.
  /W                  Wait for response from user, useful with /V.
  message             Message to send.  If none specified, prompts for it
                      or reads from stdin.

C:\msg /server:brad-dc-01 console “You’re machine needs to be rebooted.”

Comments (28)

  1. BooRadely says:

    Evan, I can research that but I dont know if it would even make it into Windows 7 at this point.

    If you have a finite list of machines that need the message, you could use msg.exe and use a for loop to send the message out to all the machines.

    Heck, with a little gumption you could pull the machines names from Active Directory (guessing you have this) and then use msg.exe to loop through the list.

    Just trying to think of a simple solution.  If you do have a finite list of machines, then click the "ghetto scripting" tag above and you’ll find the for loop…

  2. Anonymous says:

    It also looks like it doesn’t use a service for functionality either. Read more about the syntax of msg.exe here. I am sure "net send *" has resulted in some people losing their jobs over misdirected or inflammatory comments. Nothing beats play

  3. BooRadely says:

    /Server is another Windows operating system.

  4. BooRadely says:

    Sarah/Ryan/Jason, the only suggestion I can think of to begin with is to investigate with network monitor.

    You’ll probably be able to garnish some clues from a sniff which will lead you in the right direction.  

    As for error 5, that’s access denied, so make sure you have admin rights on the target.

  5. BooRadely says:

    Hey Gin I dont think Vista Home Edition comes with msg.exe.

  6. daniele says:

    Help, why it don’t work on windows vista home premium?


  7. ANGELA says:

    I cannot get MSG to work as a NET SEND Replacement.  It cannot find users which are not currently logged onto machine message is sent from.  If I put machine name in using the /server: command it says the machine name is not an active terminal server or some such nonsense.  I do not want to use for Terminal Server clients but for my own network as a net send replacement, any ideas as google doesn’t help at all.  example commands which will not work:

    c:msg username "message"

    c:msg domain/username "message"

    c:msg computer.dom.ain "message"

    c:msg username /server:computername "message"

    c:msg /server:computername username "message"

    As I add more Vista machines to my network (no messenger service) my only other alternative is to purchase software such as LANInfo and install it on those machines.

    Many thanks in advance if you could ellaborate on how MSG should work.

  8. Vitali Fomine says:

    Here you can find free gui and command line net send tools:

  9. evan says:

    The net.exe command is currently used to send urgent messages to everyone on-site at my company. We can not use Terminal Servers to utilize the msg.exe command due to company policies. We also can not use the "free gui and command line net send tools" that are being advertised. We are looking for a secure way to accomplish this task by using features that are built into Vista.

    Maybe a feature could be included in a future Service Pack?

  10. EnigmaXP says:


    help! I have Vista Home Premium, but msg.exe doesn’t seem to work on it, any clue?



  11. anton says:


    The following helps me to SEND MESSAGE TO ALL TERMINAL USERS of one server:

    msg * /SERVER:server_name Message goes here. And more text here.

    Best regards!

    PS: Performed on a Windows Server 2003 R2

  12. Woodrow says:

    Wow!! It’s getting better and better. Keep it up man.,

  13. ambp says:

    free net send replacement for Vista:

  14. я says:



    "msg" не является внутренней или внешней

    командой, исполняемой программой или пакетным файлом.

  15. parks says:

    can someone define ‘server’, ie does that mean you need a dedicated server running a domain? or can it be a simple gateway router ect?

  16. sarah says:

    When I MSG from XP to Vista, I receive the following message:

    Error opening Terminal server VISTAPC

    Error [1722]:The RPC server is unavailable.

    Any advice?

  17. ryan says:

    Im also getting Error [1722]:The RPC server is unavailable. just as Sarah is getting.

    My situation would be: I am remoted into a 2003 terminal server doing remote work, everything is on the domain, and the tserver is also a DC. I need to reboot 2 laptops in the callcenter so i:

    msg /SERVER:pc11 console "please restart your laptop before you leave, etc…."

    and I get the 1722 RPC error.

    (this 1722 RPC error i have ended up getting at different customer’s sites for the past 3 years doing tech work, of course every one has to be different, *sigh*)

    any solutions for this one? –Ryan

  18. Jason says:

    I am getting the RPC error as well as error 5, can’t list sessions. Is there something that will let me send messages to specific users or groups on a network without having them install software to receive it?

  19. Davis says:

    ight, i have the home premium verison of vista and started getting into cmd and all that, teaching myself, i have the ip of my buddys computer is there some way that i can send him a message even tho i dont have msg.exe instaled on my command prompt. also, off subject, idk if anyone knows about this but the "shutdown -i" command, when i enter the ip and all that its not working it says i have the worng ip and i dont…. help?

  20. susan says:

    Hi Brad. How do I know if I have admin rights on the target computer?  Password protected file sharing is on for all Vista computers in my network and I can access, edit and modify files in the target computer’s public folder.  But I get the error getting server names when I try to send a message via msg.exe.

    And what is the server name?  Is that the computer name of the target computer?  I would really appreciate some help.  Thanks.

  21. Jordan says:

    How can i not use MSG.EXE in home premium

  22. jr_mtb says:

    I could send command line messages to Vista workstations using MSG.exe (depends on terminal server service) only after adding the following registry entry with logon script:

    HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlTerminal Server

    Name : AllowRemoteRPC

    Type : REG_DWORD

    Value : 1

    This fixes "Error [1722]:The RPC server is unavailable."

    Thanks to this thread


  23. Justin Admin says:

    It’s sad that MS has made Vista administration sooooooo much more difficult in many ways than XP administration.  Every time I turn around, I’ve lost yet another capability.  Really, if it were up to me, my workplace would NEVER go to Vista.  The "wow" I find is usually "Wow, what were they thinking?"

  24. Bong Eye says:

    The reasons you cannot use the commands in vista home premium is that it is not able to join a domain and the function is not needed on a home network.

  25. Amanda Thompson says:

    Evan, If need a secure messaging solution with Terminal Services support, take a look at Softros

  26. Lizardsystems says:

    lansend can send messages as msg.exe and lansend has GUI.

  27. I am King says:

    i tried it once it works awesome 😉