Command Line Hack for: "Terminal Server Has Exceeded the Maximum Number of Allowed Connections"

By Lowell Heddings on March 19th, 2007

If you’ve worked on a network with Windows servers, you’ve encountered this error message at least 37,000 times:

“The terminal server has exceeded the maximum number of allowed connections. The system can not log you on. The system has reached its licensed logon limit. Please try again later.”

This problem happens because Windows only allows two remote terminal services connections when you are in administrative mode, and you’ve either got two people already on that server, or more likely, you’ve got a disconnected session that still thinks it is active.

The problem with this error is that you have to actually get on the server console to fix the problem if the server isn’t in a domain. (If you are in a domain, then just open Terminal Services Manager and log off or disconnect the sessions)

To use the command line hacks, you might need to run them from another server if your local operating system doesn’t include the commands. You will also need to make sure that you are logged onto that server with an administrative account. The easiest way to do that is just map a drive (you don’t have to use a drive letter unless you choose to)

net use /user:[username] \\servername\share

Here’s a command line hack that you can use to figure out what sessions are connected to the server. Note that you could substitute the IP address for the server name.

query session /server:servername

Sample output:

 

Now we know that the session ID of the offending session is 2. We can use that in the next step, which is using the reset command to log off that user.

reset session [ID] /server:servername

Sample:

This command won’t display any output, but when we run the query command again, we should see that the session has now been disconnected:

 

Note: Thanks to my friend Todd for this one.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/19/07
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