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Dated: May. 05, 2012

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Overview of Logon Time

Logon time is the duration between which the operating system allows user accounts to logon to the computer. Logon time can be configured on the operating system only by the administrators of the computer. User accounts that belong to non-admin groups cannot modify or define the logon time and are only allowed to logon to the computer at the times specified for them by the administrators.

In pre-Windows Vista operating systems only network operating systems had the feature of specifying logon time and that too only when they were configured as domain controllers. Since every domain user account is centrally managed by the domain controller, administrators used to specify the logon times at which the domain controllers allowed users to logon to the domain while using any client computer that was the part of the domain.

In all the Windows operating systems that were based on Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows server 2003 architecture, only network operating systems allowed administrators to specify logon times when the operating systems were promoted as the domain controllers. Pre-Windows Vista client operating systems did not have any such feature in earlier days.

With the release of Microsoft Windows Vista and all the above operating systems, Microsoft integrated logon time feature in the client operating systems as well. No additional configuration is required to enable the feature for local user accounts on these operating systems and the feature is placed under Parental Controls category.

Benefits of Enabling Logon Time

As mentioned above, logon time duration allows user accounts to logon to the computer only at the time that administrators of the computers have configured in the operating systems. The benefit is that administrators can control the accessibility of the operating systems by defining logon times and can restrict access to the computers and data in their absence. For example, if administrators know that they would not be present in the premises after 6 o'clock in the evening every day and they would not be available at the office at weekends, they can allow the user accounts to logon to the operating systems between 9 o'clock in the morning till 6 o'clock in the evening from Monday to Friday.

When working in home environments, parents can specify logon times between which they want to allow their kids to use the computer. If parents allow their kids to logon to the computers between 1 o'clock in the afternoon till 3 o'clock, the kids would not be allowed to use the computer for the whole day except for the allowed time specified by the parents.

Specifying Logon Time for User Account

Control When Test User Will Use the ComputerIn order to specify logon time duration for user accounts in Microsoft Windows, administrators or parents must make sure that the user account on which they want to enable logon time duration is enabled and functioning. Once confirmed, administrators or parents can follow the steps given below to specify logon time for the user accounts:

  1. Log on to any post XP Windows operating system.
  2. Click Start and from the menu click Control Panel.
  3. On the opened window click User Accounts and Family Safety.
  4. On the new window click Parental Controls.
  5. On Choose a user and set up Parental Controls window click to select the user for which the time duration has to be configured.
  6. On the new window click to select On, enforce current settings radio button and click Time limits.
  7. On Control when <user name> will use the computer window, on the displayed graph drag the mouse button to turn entire white area to blue. (Note: the blue area represents the time at which the user account is not allowed to logon to the computer, whereas the white area represents the time at which operating system allows users to logon.)
  8. Once done, drag the mouse within the blue area at the desired time markers to allow the selected user account to logon to the operating system within the selected time duration.
  9. Finally, click OK button to save the changes and close all the opened Windows and boxes.

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