Prolong the idle time of an established network connection before the session is suspended

By default, Windows 7 suspends an inactive network connection to a shared folder residing on a server after 15 minutes however; you can modify this setting through Group Policy settings. When a session is suspended and the client computer resumes its activity the network connection is automatically re-established. Still, some users find it annoying to see red marks on mapped network drives in Windows Explorer.

The Group Policy security setting allows you to determine the amount of continuous idle time that must pass in a Server Message Block (SMB) session before the session is suspended due to inactivity. The default setting is not defined, which means that the system suspends a session after 15 minutes of idle time for connections to servers’ shares and the setting remains undefined for workstations.

To configure this setting on a single Windows 7 computer, open the Local Group Policy Editor snap-in by typing gpedit.msc in the Start search text box and pressing enter.

  • Go to Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options node.
  • Double click Microsoft network server: Amount of idle time required before suspending a session
  • In the text field provided under Disconnect when idle time exceeds:, enter the number of minutes
  • Then click Apply and OK.

Note, that a value of 0 means to disconnect an idle session as quickly as is reasonably possible. The maximum value is 99999, which is 208 days; in effect, this value disables the policy.