Initiate Shadow Of Remote Connection From Server 2012 R2 Command Line

Initiate Shadow Of Remote Connection From Server 2012 R2 Command Line

Q: How can I initiate a shadow of a remote connection from the command line in Windows Server 2012 R2?

A: Terminal Services had the ability to shadow a user's session; however, this was removed in Windows Server 2012. Now Windows Server 2012 R2 brings this capability back.  It can be initiated using Server Manager as shown below, but many people also want to initiate from the command line.

The old shadow.exe command is removed in Windows Server 2012 R2, so the trick is to use mstsc with new /shadow: switch. To find the list of sessions use the qwinsta.exe command, for example:

C:\>qwinsta
 SESSIONNAME       USERNAME         ID  STATE   TYPE    DEVICE
 services                    0  Disc
 console                     1  Conn
 rdp-tcp#37    bruce             2  Active
>rdp-tcp#38    administrator         3  Active
 31c5ce94259d4...            65536  Listen
 rdp-tcp                 65537  Listen

This shows the session ID that I can then use (e.g., mstsc /shadow:2) for the user bruce session.

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