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SiteKiosk Start Options

The start options of SiteKiosk are a part of the configuration file. Any option you select will be set directly in the Windows registry of the associated system. You can open the Start menu either from within the Configuration Wizard after saving your configuration or directly from your Windows desktop by pressing START/ALL PROGRAMS/SITEKIOSK/LAUNCH SITEKIOSK.

1. Starting modes in the SiteKiosk start menu

1.1 Run once
SiteKiosk will be launched only once under the Windows administrator account applying the current configuration, for example for testing purposes.

Auto start

Auto start is the recommended method to run SiteKiosk and should be selected for normal operating mode after you have successfully tested the configuration by starting in run-once mode. Selecting this option will have the following effects:
  1. SiteKiosk will be launched automatically on every system start.
  2. Logon will be performed automatically under the limited SiteKiosk user account.
  3. The Windows shell will be replaced by SiteKiosk's shell. Attention: Whenever you exit SiteKiosk, the starting options will be reset to manual.
  4. The Keyboard lock will be disabled once bootup is initiated.
1.3 Customized
Use these user-defined settings to specify your own start options. You may, for example, want to define your own shortcut combination to release the Keyboard lock, as the default combination might be known to hackers as well. The following is a list of available custom settings:
  1. Run SiteKiosk only once
    This means that SiteKiosk will run the selected configuration immediately. This function is intended for testing purposes only.

    This option will not run SiteKiosk when the computer is rebooted!
  2. Run SiteKiosk automatically on Windows startup without shell replacement
    This means that SiteKiosk will start whenever Windows starts. All applications that are run on startup can be found in the registry under


    AND applications that are located in the Startup folder of the system will be run along with SiteKiosk. Since SiteKiosk itself registers at the same location in the registry, it will be started automatically, too.

    The downside of this starting mode is that users may try to gain access to the desktop during startup with the help of the mouse (if available). In addition, there is no guarantee that the system will be fully protected when starting in safe mode. Apart from that, the starting process will take longer because in addition to SiteKiosk the system will also have to load the desktop.

    The benefit this starting mode provides is, however, that the auto start function will remain unchanged when you exit SiteKiosk and want to work under the regular operating system. The next time the computer restarts, SiteKiosk will, therefore, be launched again automatically.

    Please note a specialty under Windows 8. If you choose this start option and a user is logging into Windows for the first time, so that the automatic Windows user configuration runs, SiteKiosk may trigger a restart of the computer after the process finished. This can be required to enable SiteKiosk to start correctly without shell replacement.

    The option to not use shell replacement in auto start mode is not available under Windows 10 due to technical reasons.

  3. Run SiteKiosk automatically on Windows startup with shell replacement
    This is the safest option! After booting your Windows computer, you will usually see the desktop with its icons and the taskbar first.
    In order to hide the desktop from the user, we have integrated the option "Replace the current system shell" into SiteKiosk. If turned on, this option will load only SiteKiosk. This will prevent users from accessing other applications during startup.

    Please note that small program icons will not be displayed in the SiteKiosk taskbar (e.g. Microsoft Messenger) unless shell replacement is turned on!

    Safe mode F8 (Windows Safe Mode)
    In addition, "safe mode" will be protected by a password. This means that if the computer is booted in safe mode, a dialog box will be displayed, prompting the user to enter the configuration password. Unless the user enters this password within 10 seconds, the computer will be restarted.

    The following registry setting


    determines which programs will be run during shell replacement. Programs listed in the Startup folder will not not be run as the Windows shell is not loaded. This means that programs that are located in the AUTOSTART folder and which you require to be started have to be included within the registry under the path given above. If the executive path has spaces, please use quotation marks encompassing the path.

    The downside of this method is that the start-up option will automatically be set to manual when you load the Windows desktop or exit the browser. You will have to re-enable the option "shell replacement" each time you access the desktop. You can avoid this inconvenience, however, by selecting the options "reboot" or "shutdown" on exiting without returning to the desktop.

    When the shell is replaced for Windows 8, 10, the following entry will be overwritten in the registry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell "Explorer.exe"

    SiteKiosk will replace the file Explorer.exe with the file SiteKiosk.exe and its parameters.

    Should you for some reason be completely unable to access your operating system after enabling shell replacement (which, however, hardly ever happens), please consult the FAQs section on our website. Look for: "no access to the operating system after shell replacement"
    This FAQ explains how you will gain access to your system again.
  4. Disable any keyboard input during startup
    Enabling this option is a MUST if you want your terminal to be secure while booting.

    Read more about the keyboard lock and the associated settings.

    When enabling the keyboard lock, you should under no circumstances forget to activate the "auto login" feature!
  5. Do not display quick-start dialog box at startup
    If this option is enabled, no quick-start dialog box will be displayed when SiteKiosk starts up. Instead, the dialog box used for the customized start settings will be displayed.
  6. Log on automatically at system startup
    When you work on a network or with Windows 8, 10 a login dialog box will be displayed during startup by means of which you can log on to the system. SiteKiosk lets you automate this process.

    If you have enabled the keyboard lock, you must not forget to enable this option as well. Failure to do so will rob you of the option to log on manually, as the keyboard will be locked!
    Should you make a mistake with the auto login configuration, please proceed as follows:
    Exit SiteKiosk and select "change to manual" in the dialog box. The regular desktop will appear. After that, log on as some other user. Alternatively, you can also hold down the SHIFT key during startup. Unless you have enabled the keyboard lock, auto login will not be executed. Otherwise, you would have to unlock the keyboard with your key combination.
  7. Export SiteKiosk startup options
    Use this option to export your startup options to an XML file. The XML file can be used with the command line tool skstartup.exe, which you will find in the main SiteKiosk folder. Run the command line as administrator.
    The tool also allows you to register SiteKiosk by entering your license information.
    Here are the possible parameters you can use:
    SKStartup.exe [/i Import file path(xml)] [/l Licensee /s Signature] [/? This help]
    Import file path stands for the path to the XML file. Licensee stands for the SiteKiosk license name, while Signature represents the license number.
  8. Example:
    SKStartup.exe /i startup.xml /l "Name - x License(s)" /s xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

1.4 Open Configuration
Opens the SiteKiosk configuration editor to create and edit individual configurations for use with SiteKiosk. If available the last used configuration file will be opened automatically.

Start SiteKiosk from within another application

You can start SiteKiosk from within other applications such as Toolbook, Macromedia, etc. Open the Configuration Wizard and set SiteKiosk to be closed without entering a password or after a certain period of idle time. The SiteKiosk executable must be called with the path to the desired SiteKiosk configuration file as parameter:

%installationpath%/sitekiosk.exe %configpath%/%configname%.skcfg

SiteKiosk is located in the folder C:\Program Files\SiteKiosk, while the configuration file "example.skcfg" can be found in the folder C:\Program Files\SiteKiosk\Config.

c:\program files\SiteKiosk\sitekiosk.exe "c:\program files\SiteKiosk\config\example.skcfg"

See also

Step 1 - System Setup
Step 2 - Security Manager
Step 3 - Configuration
Step 5 - SiteKiosk as Default Browser

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