Windows Enterprise Desktop

Dec 18 2017   3:44PM GMT

Net User Command Controls User Access Hours

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Command line
Windows 10

Today, the GUI stuff gets most of the glory in Windows 10. Even so, friend and occasional guest blogger Kari Finn reminded me this morning that “real nerds do it at the command line!” I’ve been a user of the myriad of net commands there since first getting to know Windows back in the 3.x days. But I’d totally forgotten that the Net User command controls user access hours. He reminded me of this in a post this morning that includes some peachy examples, too. Here they are, captured in graphic form (to grab the text to play with, visit the original):

Net User Command Controls User Access Hours

You can get fancy with the time controls in NET USER if you like!

How the Net User Command Controls User Access Hours

Some of the niggling syntax details aside, it’s simply a matter of specifying day of week and time window to limit user hours with this command. You can use either 24 hour values for time ( from 0-24, with 01 for 1) or 12 hour values to which you must add AM or PM (1AM, 6PM. The days of the week may be spelled out, or abbreviated as M (Monday), T (Tuesday), W (Wednesday), Th (Thursday), F (Friday), Sa (Saturday) and Su (Sunday). For the complete skinny on this command, check out the Command Line Reference entry for “Net user” online.

The original blog post observes, quite correctly, that this approach works best for ordinary user accounts that lack administrative privileges. Why? Because anyone with such privileges need only wait for their time window to open up, at which point they can exercise those privileges to change the hours associated with their own account. I like to think of it as a variation on the old lyric: “Who’s keeping time with the time-keeper’s daughter while the time keeper’s out keeping time?”

Levity aside, there’s a lot of power and capability in the Net commands for Windows. Thus, I will probably find myself returning to them from time to time. Next up, in fact, will probably be the network shell, aka Netsh. Stay tuned!

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