How to view the screen in the "Shadow Copy" mode in Windows Server 2012/2016?

Shadow utility

How to connect to a user session (view the screen in the "Shadow Copy" mode) in Windows Server 2012/2016?

To view another session, you must use the built-in Shadow utility.


There is a VDS server running Windows Server 2012/2016

It has two registered users – Administrator and User.

Let's say the name of our account is administrator and we want to see the session screen of user.

Run Command prompt.

To get the ID of the session, enter query user in the command prompt:


So, knowing the session ID, connect to user in the Shadow Copy mode

Click "Start" ---→ "Run" --→ "mstsc /shadow:2" --→ "Ок":

SHADOW-run mstsc

You will see the following message:


At this point, User will see a remote monitoring request box:


We get access once User accepts the request.

Connection settings

To connect without the request, it is necessary to change the remote control settings of a specific user, i.e.  user in this example.

Click: "Start"  ---→ "Administrative Tools" ---→ "Computer Management" ---→ "Local users and groups" ---→ "Users".

Double-click on the user name and select the "Remote control" tab:


In the "Require user's permission" parameter, uncheck the box and select the desired user session control level.

Press "Apply" --→ "Ок"