How to disable power plan in Windows via GPO and Windows Settings

If you ever find your Windows 10 devices dimming its screen and this act irritates you, I will be describing various ways to prevent Windows from going into standby/sleep after a certain period of inactivity.

Note: Energy Saver Mode feature mainly saves energy when the user is away. Power plans can help you save energy, maximize system performance, or achieve a balance between the two. A balanced power plan offers full performance when you need it and saves power when you are not accessing the PC. It’s the best power plan option chosen by most of the users. To disable the power saving option, follow the steps listed below.

Via Local Group Policy: To Disable this via Group Policy Object (GPO), please follow the following steps as shown below.
– Launch Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)

– Navigate to Computer Configuration
– Administrative Templates
– System
– Power Management
– Sleep Settings

– Double click on “Allow Standby States (S1-S3) When Sleeping (Plugged In)” and set value do Disabled
– Also, do the same for “Allow Standby States (S1-S3) When Sleeping (On Battery)” and disable it.

Via Group Policy Management: You can also do this in a domain-wide environment. Launch Group Policy Management under Tools as shown below

This will open the Group Policy Management Window as shown below

Click on the domain or Group policy object,
– In my case, I decided to create a GPO before linking it, so I right-click on the Group Policy Object.
– Right-click on the policy and click on Edit as shown below

This will open up the Group Policy Management
– Expand the Computer Configuration and
– Administrative Templates
– System
– Power Management
– Sleep Settings as shown below

– Double click on “Allow Standby States (S1-S3) When Sleeping (Plugged In)” and set value do Disabled
– Also, do the same for “Allow Standby States (S1-S3) When Sleeping (On Battery)” and disable it.

Note: Ensure to link the GPO to the right container (OU) and
– Apply Group Policy Update as sown below

Via the Power Icon on the Taskbar:
– Right-click on the Battery icon from the bottom corner of the taskbar and choose Power Options from the list as shown below

This will open up the Choose or customise a power plan window
– Click on Change plan settings on the balanced power plan as shown below

This will open the window where the Power saver mode can be changed
– Choose Never from the drop-down menu for when plugged-in and on battery.


Via the Control Panel: The Power save mode can be configured never to sleep in the following steps via the control panel.
– Launch the Control Panel
– Click on Hardware

– Click on Power Options.

– Click on Change plan settings on the balanced power plan as shown below

– Choose Never from the drop-down menu for when pluggin and on battery.

– Click on Save changes to ensure the settings take effect.

Via Windows Settings: These steps can be performed via Windows settings in the following ways as shown below.
– Launch the Windows Settings with Win+I keys from your keyboard
– Click on Systems

– Select Battery as seen below

Under the battery notification
– Click on Power and Sleep settings

– Choose Never from the drop-down menu for when plugged and on battery as shown below.

For disabling other windows settings, see https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/01/18/pre-requisites-for-setting-up-a-single-app-kiosk-2/
– If you found other ways to have this done, please share in the comment session.

How to display Windows system information via the Windows registry

You can view and find system information via the Windows registry. To view System Information using the MSINFO32 and Systeminfo switch, see the following link https://techdirectarchive.com/2019/05/11/how-to-use-system-information-msinfo32-command-line-tool-switches-2/

To view these details via the registry, navigate to the following registry keys.
– HKEY_Local_Machine
– SOFTWARE
– Microsoft
– WindowsNT
– CurrentVersion

To view Windows 10 version, edition and build via windows settings, see https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/01/12/how-to-determine-windows-10-version-and-build/

How to prevent the saving of Remote Desktop Credentials in Windows

It is worth noting that you do not have to do anything for Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) to have your credentials saved. This is done by default. This can have some security implications when a lot of users utilize a single device.

See how to remove saved RDP credentials / entries in Windows 10
https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/03/17/how-to-remove-saved-rdp-credentials-in-windows-10/

Se how to Allow Saved Credentials for RDP Connection?
https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/03/17/how-to-allow-saved-credentials-for-rdp-connection/

Below are the steps to disable Remote Desktop Connection Credentials. To achieve this, launch the gpedit.msc from the command prompt, run or Windows search.

gpedit.msc

Navigate to the following location.
          – User Configuration
          – Administrative Templates
         – Windows Components
          – Remote Desktop Services

On the “Remote Desktop Connection Client” under Remote Desktop Services as shown below

In the Setting list on the right, double-click on the “Do not allow passwords to be saved” setting.

– Note: This can also be done via the Group Policy Management console for Domain Devices centrally.

To ensure this applies immediately, run GPUpdate. For more information on GPO switches, see all about GPUpdate switches – GPUpdate vs GPUpdate /force https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/02/26/all-about-gpupdate-switches-gpupdate-vs-gpupdate-force/

How to determine (find) your Windows 10 Product key

With the latest change in Windows 10, (Digital License), you don’t need the 25-digit product key to activate Windows 10 after it is being reinstalled.

Because this device is currently not activated, i am currently unable to show you more details on how to learn about the “Digital License”.

With this in place, Windows 10 now activates itself automatically using the digital license tied to your Microsoft account. This method is mostly followed by OEMs who preload Windows 10 on their laptops.

On how to find Computer Serial Number filled by OEM, model, and description, see the links below.
https://techdirectarchive.com/2018/07/16/how-to-find-computer-serial-number-stated-change-to-be-filled-by-oem/
https://techdirectarchive.com/2018/07/16/how-to-find-computer-serial-number/

For WS 2019, Here is an easy way to determine your product key

Via the Command Prompt and PowerShell:
– To get your product key via the command prompt, launch the Command Prompt (CMD) or PowerShell and enter the following command as shown below.

wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

This will output your Windows key and this method only works for OEM and Retail licenses.

Other methods to determine your Windows Product Key:
– Label / Sticker: Windows Key is most times placed on a Certificate of Authority (COA) sticker on your computer or included in the original packaging. When your device was bought from an authorized Microsoft retailer, the product key will be placed on a label inside the device box.
Via PC’s UEFI firmware: OEMs ship computers using a new Windows activation method. Instead of providing a physical Windows key, they store it in your computer’s UEFI firmware or BIOS. So, if you know which version of Windows you are running, you can reinstall (upgrade) the same version and it’ll activate automatically without the need to enter a key – PassFab Product Key Recovery Tool can be used  to search for product keys
Nirsoft,: This tool helps to recover Windows, Office and SQL Product Keys. For more 3rd party tools, see http://bit.ly/2QqgnXw
Email from Microsoft, this only applies if you got your device online via Microsoft website.

For more information see https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/10749/windows-10-find-product-key

How to allow saved credentials for RDP connection?

Remote Desktop Protocol, or just RDP, is a special network protocol which allows a user to establish a connection between two computers and access the Desktop of a remote host

Note: Any edition of Windows 10 can connect to a Remote Desktop device, but to ensure a device is able to establish a remote session, you need to be running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise Edition.

Follow the steps below to achieve this

– Type in the username,
– Check the option “Allow me to save credentials “, and
– Click Save As… button to save this setting in a dedicated RDP file

– This name can be changed to whatever you desire.

On the saved RDP client, type in your credentials, and make sure the option “Remember my credentials” is ticked before hitting that OK button.

Note: If the “Remember my credentials” my credential is not ticked, the goal will not be achieved.

Where is this credential saved to?
Basically, the saved passwords are saved under what’s called the Credential Manager, aka the Vault, in each user’s profile, and are encrypted with the SHA has with the user’s login password.

How to remove saved RDP credentials / entries in Windows 10

The Server sub-key contains a list of all RDP servers and usernames used to login to the remote terminal.  

See how to clear (remove) entries (histories) from the Remote Desktop Connection, see https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/03/17/how-to-remove-entries-histories-from-the-remote-desktop-connection/

Here you will find a list of Ten (10) IP Addresses or FQDN of Remote Servers you have connected to in the past.  To delete these entries, select the server sub-key and delete them

– You can only delete each sub-key one after the order.

Note: In addition to the specified registry keys, you need to delete the default rdp connection file and this contains information about the latest RDP session) stored in Default.rdp (this file is a hidden file located in Documents directory,

If you found this useful, please leave a comment below. For other methods that helped in resolving this task, please leave a comment below so we can learn from you as well.

How to Remove Entries (histories) from the Remote Desktop Connection

For every connection made to a remote PC, the RDP client in Windows (mstsc.exe) saves the computer name or an IP Address and also the username used to log on.

When the RDP client is launched again, the RDP client offers the user the possibility to select one of the connections that were previously initiated. The user can select the name of the remote RDP server from the list (name or IP address), and the user name used for login as shown below.

This is pretty nice and saves user time in executing remote connections but not exactly safe from network security point of view since connection information about remote desktop sessions is stored individually in the profile of each user and can be viewed by any user who logs on.

Below are the steps to clear the history of Remote Desktop connection and credentials saved.

Fire up the registry editor as shown here https://techdirectarchive.com/2020/02/08/what-is-registry-editor-and-how-to-access-the-registry-hives/

Navigate to the following keys
– HKEY_CURRENT_USER
– Software
– Microsoft
– Terminal Server Client

Note: If you do not have an RDP connection made, you may not find this key in the registry.

Under this key, we have the sub-key following (the two below are only relevant to us)
– Default
– Server

Below is a brief explanation of the following keys

Default: the “Default” sub-key saves the last RDP connections.

MUR means, most recently used!

To delete these entries, select all the strings and
– Right-click and
– Click on delete as shown below

This will prompt a “Confirm Value Delete” Window as shown below
– Select Yes if you wish to delete the history “MRU”.

See how to remove saved RDP credentials in Windows 10