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How To Set Your Computer To Shut Down Automatically

Updated on February 4, 2013
Click on Run and type the Shutdown command
Click on Run and type the Shutdown command
The Shutdown box appears counting down the remaining time
The Shutdown box appears counting down the remaining time
Type Shutdown /a in case you want to cancel the Shutdown process
Type Shutdown /a in case you want to cancel the Shutdown process

Computer Shutdown

Shutting down a computer or simply turning off is a command applied when we need to power off a computer. It's always advisable to turn off the computer when not in use for it saves a great deal such as power save, destruction that can be caused by power surges or in case of a laptop it can help to increase the battery life since keeping it on for so long also drains it's power. Some people are so much in a hurry and never follow the steps in shutting down a computer. They just switch off from the power mains/sockets when the Computer is still on. I have been a victim of that and came to regret a great deal. Improper shutdown can usually lead to a corrupted Operating System and in most cases the computer start up process is not initiated any time you switch it on. In the long run, you will end up repairing your Operating System which will cost you more timewise than the time you could have spent switch it off safely.

Automatic Shutdown

Did you know that you can set your Computer to shut down after some set time? You will agree with me that at one time you had to sit and wait for your computer to complete something for you to switch it off. Maybe you were copying some files and you are so sleepy as you count down the remaining minutes to the completion of the copying process. You at times feel you need to leave it on and then wake up later in the night to switch it off. You don't have to wait any longer for in this hub am going to teach you the steps to make your computer shut down automatically after some set time elapses.


The easiest way to schedule an automatic shutdown is through the run command.

  1. Click on start button and click on Run on just simply hold the Win key + R
  2. Convert the time after which you want it to shut down into seconds e.g. after 2hours it will be 120
  3. Type "shutdown -s -t xx" (without quotes) and press Enter. xx represents the number of seconds after which you want the shutdown to be executed e. g. shutdown -s -t 120 means that the computer will shut down after 2 minutes (120seconds). You will get a system shutdown dialog box counting down the remaining time with an inactive cancel button. This means by just trying to cancel the shutdown process it won't work.
  4. In case you want to cancel the shut down process, type "shutdown.exe /a" (without quotes).
  5. To restart a computer from Run, type "shutdown -r -t xx" (without quotes), where still xx represents the number of seconds after which the shutdown and restart will be initiated.

Shutdown.exe has a list of switches associated with it. To see the list, just type cmd on the Run dialog box and hit Enter key to open the cmd.exe window. Type shutdown and press Enter and a list of switches will be displayed.

Go your business now

The shutdown command to me helps a lot as i can leave my computer at night doing some tasks as I go to sleep. I don't have to wait until it finishes the updates or a copy process. You can also use automatic shutdown to your kids when you don't want them to exceed a certain time limit in a computer. This can be more applicable when you have a password in your accounts so even after switching on again they can't be able to log in.


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    • profile image

      gaston33 4 years ago

      Here is simple steps to simply shutdown your computer after a specified time !!

    • Palnatech profile image

      Paul Njuguna 4 years ago from Nairobi

      Am glad to hear that the hub is helpful to you MoltenHound. Yes, the command is also applicable in Safe mode. It will still shut down.

    • MoltenHound profile image

      MoltenHound 4 years ago from Australia

      This is really good for me, who likes to scan the computer. One question, does this work in safe mode?

    • Palnatech profile image

      Paul Njuguna 5 years ago from Nairobi

      Thanks Josiejossy, yeah, the shutdown will still continue but your files will remain intact so you can still initiate the copy process again with either an overwrite or a skip to an existing file.

    • josiejossy profile image

      josiejossy 5 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

      Nice hub with great i dnt have to wait for long before switching off my PC...but what will happen incase one of the file that am copying is corrupted or it exist, will it still shut down?