4 Ways To Shutdown/Restart The System At A Specific Time In Windows

If you are a network administrator of a company and the company policy enforces that all the systems should be shutdown before leaving. It’s always a headache to go to each and every system to see whether it has been turned off properly or somebody has forgotten to turn off. And even sometimes we need to shutdown our systems after specific amount of time or on a specific time. First of all I’ll tell you how to shutdown a system after a certain amount of time.

Shutdown After A Specific Interval of Time:

If you want to shutdown the system after half an hour go to command prompt and issue the following command:

shutdown -t 1800

Where 1800 is the no. of seconds the system should wait before shutting down. In this case, the system will wait for 1800 seconds.
If you are not comfortable with the command line, then go to Start –> Run –> shutdown -i
This will bring you the Graphical interface where you can configure when to shutdown the system.

Shutdown At A Specific Time:

1- Through Command Prompt
Issue the following command to schedule your tasks via command prompt

at 00:00 cmd /c shutdown -t 30

This command will be executed at 12AM and display a warning that the system is shutting down after 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, the system will shutdown.

2- Through Scheduled Tasks GUI
If you are not comfortable with the command line, then you can simply go to the scheduled tasks ( Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools –> Scheduled Tasks) and schedule the system to shutdown automatically at the specified time.
Please tell us about your experiences through comments.






18 responses to “4 Ways To Shutdown/Restart The System At A Specific Time In Windows”

  1. Chiranjib

    We can logoff the computer from command prompt too. Simply type “logoff” without quotes & press enter. It will log off the system.

  2. Pratik

    Using this command initiates the shutdown countdown depending on the time you have set. But what if you suddenly realise that you forgot to do a task before shutting down. In this case, while the countdown is still running,
    Start -> Run -> “shutdown /a”
    without quotes, to abort the shutdown process.

  3. charles

    what if you are not on a network can you still use the command to shutdown your machine.

  4. jose

    My system is shutdown. Can I start it up at certain time ?
    How can I do that ?
    For instance I want the computer to start up at (say) 2:30 pm every MF,
    Any leads appreciated

  5. bPratik

    @Jose Yes you can. Search in your BIOS for this option. Most newer BIOS’s have it. Else, you can set alarms in your computer, but for this to work, your system never shuts down completely, it instead enters standby.
    This setting is not recommended on a laptop since it may cause the system to startup outwith your control and thus drain the battery, and could cause loss of work!
    @Charles No you have to be on the network, either directly or indirectly (VPN’s). Having said that, you do get softwares that can do a remote shutdown over the internet. But dont get too excited since they usually require you to install a wee app on the system you wish to shutdown so as to be able to find it over the internet. But these softwares are very unreliable!

  6. Dan

    is there any way to set this up so that it shuts down the computer Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday but not Wednesday? without having to go into the command each Wednesday and turn it off.

  7. bPratik

    @Dan try googling for “windows auto shutdown tools”
    also check this out: automatic-shut-down.qarchive.org
    If you are good at scripting, you can combine batch scripts with windows scheduler to get the desired results! But otherwise i would advise using one of the available freewares to do the task!


  8. Dan

    i don’t really want to download something it’s for use on networked computers at work. I’m researching for something to impliment into the whole company to stop computers being left on 24/7. Any downloadable software will have to be run past the I.T. line manager before hand.

  9. bPratik

    @Dan If your Company network and Active Directory is properly configured, then you can have power saving set through group policy to shutdown systems at certain times. I simply can’t remember what the option is called but should be easy enough to find.
    Another option is to push it out through a logon script by using the ‘AT’ command along with ‘shutdown.exe’.

  10. Ratna

    i dont have admin rights, so could not restart the machin from cmd …. could you please suggest any other option which will work without the admin rights other that manual boot up

  11. PeterPedro

    How can I tell how much time is left before shutdown? I’m using Windows 7 an this is my command “shutdown -s -c “Shutting down” -t 16200″ but I don’t know how many time is left? I there any way to see the timer?

  12. Stephen

    “Another option is to push it out through a logon script by using the ‘AT’ command along with ‘shutdown.exe’.”
    Sorry for being a noob but how exactly can this be done?
    at 16:50 cmd /c shutdown -t 30 shutdown.exe?

  13. amit chandrawanshi

    shutdown computer on a network shutdown -s -m //ip add.

  14. Michael Bo Kjeldsen

    The Shutdown -t 30
    it open the box for a sec and then close it down it dont shut down the pc
    cmd /c shutdown -t 30
    open the box and keep it open but wont shut down the pc

  15. Peter

    Add a -f to force the shutdown of other programs.

  16. Faifai

    better use Linux, in terminal just sudo shutdown -h (xx minutes)

  17. Sanix

    @Michael Bo Kjeldsen
    If you’re using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you should open the command prompt with administrative privileges in order to execute this command. To run cmd with admin privileges, you can see this article:
    Thanks for the quick tip. If there are programs hanging during shutdown, then it’s always advisable to use the -f switch with the above commands.
    Using Linux just for one command isn’t wise I think? 🙂