How To Hide Server Manager At Logon

Since some of my test machines are a touch low on resources, having to wait for the server manager process to finish loading can be a little bit painful. On those machines a very pertinent question is: How can I disable Server Manager from auto starting?

There are group policy and local policy options to suppress this in addition to editing the registry.

There is always the option to disable it directly from Server Manager, but I’d rather automate this.  For completeness sake, the below shows how to manually disable Server Manager on a Windows Server 2012 R2 server.

Select “Manage” in the top right hand corner, then Server Manager properties

Server Manager Properties

In the Server Manager Properties Window, you can choose to disable it from starting up automatically at logon.

Do Not Start Server Manager Automatically At Logon

Group Policy

The option to control via a GPO is contained here:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Server Manager

Using the Group Policy Management Console on Windows 2012 R2, we can set the policy as follows:

Disable Server Manager At Logon  on Server 2012 R2

When the GPO is refreshed on the machines that fall under the scope of the policy, the settings will be applied.  This then greys out the “Do not start Server Manager automatically” at logon option.

Disable Server Manager At Logon  on Server 2012 R2 - Setting Applied

Controlling Via Registry

In addition we can also set a registry key automatically via a script to set the required registry key.



Working With Cmd Prompt

To query this via cmd prompt:

REG.exe  Query HKCU\Software\Microsoft\ServerManager /V DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon

To set this via cmd prompt:

REG.exe Add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\ServerManager /V DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon /t REG_DWORD /D 0x1 /F

(Note that the above is one line that may wrap)

Working With PowerShell

We can retrieve the current configuration using the first two commands, whilst the third one sets the value:

Get-Item HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\ServerManager


Get-ItemProperty -Path HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\ServerManager -Name DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon | select DoNot OpenServerManagerAtLogon | Ft –AutoSize


New-ItemProperty -Path HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\ServerManager -Name DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon -PropertyType DWORD -Value "0x1" –Force

(Note that the above are all one line that may wrap)



Comments (10)
  1. anonymouscommenter says:

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  5. anonymouscommenter says:

    I just disable it in says prep all together:)

  6. That’d do it too 🙂

  7. anonymouscommenter says:

    Is it required to also set HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftServerManagerCheckedUnattendLauncSetting to 0?

  8. Bryan Dady says:

    If you’d like to set this properly in the Registry via PowerShell (or cmd/bat for some silly reason), be sure to specify the key is in HLKM, not HKCU. Get-Item HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\ServerManager may succeed, but the other 2 fail if aimed at the Current_User hive.

    Presuming what you’d like is for ServerManager to NOT auto open at logon, the following 1-liner (PowerShell) will test if the registry value should be updated, and then update the proper key/value:

    if ((Get-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\ServerManager -Name DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon).DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon -ne 0) { New-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\ServerManager -Name DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon -PropertyType DWORD -Value ‘0x1’ –Force }

    1. Hi Bryan,

      When you set the do not open at startup using Server Manager itself, it writes to HKCU. Below is from procmon on a lab system.

      8:42:14.4473897 PM ServerManager.exe 1792 RegSetValue HKCU\Software\Microsoft\ServerManager\DoNotOpenServerManagerAtLogon SUCCESS Type: REG_DWORD, Length: 4, Data: 1

      Depending upon what you want, to block for all users or to allow for users to chose their preference, you may want to use HKCU


    2. A little bit late – but shouldn’t it be “-eq” instead of “-ne” ?

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