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How to Use the Command Line to Remotely Restart a Windows Machine

Updated on December 3, 2012

There are several ways to access, shut down, and restart a Windows machine remotely. In fact, in my last hub "How to enable telnet in Windows 7" , I used the "shutdown" cmd as an example of how to use telnet.

One of the most simple ways to shut down a Windows PC (Especially Windows 8), is by way of the CMD prompt, which can be accessed by typing "CMD" in the Windows 7 search or Run bar.

TIP - For more Windows 7 commands, you may wish to check out my article "Ten Best Windows 7 Commands to get you Started".

TIP - to quickly access the run bar, click the "Windows Key" + "R"

In this article, I'll show you the simple Windows 7 CMD line Commands that will shutdown or restart a remote Windows PC, along with a few Windows command "CMD" line options that may come in handy.

Then I'll go a few steps farther, by showing you how to create a simple .bat file using the Windows 7 CMD you just learned. Then (Why Not?), I'll show you how to easily create a Windows 7 "Scheduled Task" to connect to the .bat you just created!

Grab that energy drink and let's get to it!

Using the Windows 7 CMD prompt for remote restart

  1. Open up a Windows 7 CMD console by typing "CMD" in the search or Run bar
  2. Type Shutdown /R \\remotemachine (where "remotemachine" is the name of the actual machine, like, "howlermunkeystestbox") OR
  3. Type Shutdown /R /T 120 \\remotemachine (whereas /T = "time in seconds")

TIP - Generally speaking, "\\" are used to access resources within your LAN, or "behind your NAT" device (router), whereas "//" would be used to navigate beyond your local network, for example -- "http://" ..... and, in the case of cmd "switches", like "/s" or "/t", then \\remote machine.... Get it?

Sometimes the remote machine may be "stuck", and you'll have to use the "/F" switch (force), to force it to restart or shutdown. For example --

Shutdown /R /F \\remotemachine will force the machine to restart

There are of course, several more Windows CMD shutdown options. Just type Shutdown /? from the command prompt to get more options. (Displayed below).

Create a .bat from your new shutdown CMD

Like any Windows "CMD", you can of course, create a .bat file from a text with a shutdown command written within.

Open a text file, and write something like shutdown /S \\remotemachine, then as you save your text, select "all files" (not ".txt"), when saving the file, and end the file name with a ".bat". For example , save it as Remote.bat.

That way, you could simply double click that text file (or even set up a scheduled task) that could shut down the remote machine with ease.

In my example below, Im creating a very simple .bat file, called "Remote.bat", saving as "all files", and typing .bat at the end of the name ---

Steps to Create a Scheduled Task to Connect your New Remote .bat

  1. Select "Task Scheduler" from within "System Tools" (Start --> Programs --> Accessories)
  2. Select "Create Basic Task"
  3. Name your Basic task anything you wish, in my example, I used "Remote Shutdown"
  4. Select how often the task will occur, I used "Daily"
  5. For "Action", select "Start a Program"
  6. Browse to the .bat file you just created
  7. On the "Summary" page, check your settings and hit "Finish".


  • All Screenshots were taken by Jeff Boettner (howlermunkey
  • All borders used in this hub were created by howlermunkey


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    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 4 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Hi Dennis. You can do a lot from the cmd line. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      dennis 4 years ago

      good tutorial thank you for sharig