How To Schedule Automatic Shutdown?

How To Schedule Automatic Shutdown On Windows 10?

Turning computers off manually when not in use is advisable for lower electricity bills and to prevent overheating, etc. You can, however, simply forget to turn your system off. To prevent this, you can configure Windows to automatically power down at any time (so long as you are not using the computer) using Windows Task Scheduler.

Windows Task Scheduler is a component of Microsoft Windows that provides the ability to schedule launch of programs or scripts at predefined times or after specified intervals. The Task Scheduler allows users to automatically perform routine tasks on a chosen computer. It does this by monitoring whatever criteria you choose and then executing predefined tasks when the criteria is met. Windows Task Scheduler tasks can be scheduled to execute at a specific time, when a specific system event occurs, when a user logs on, when the system is booted, a task is registered, etc.

If you want to schedule certain tasks, or for some reason you cannot turn off the computer manually, task scheduling might be useful. For example, if you leave a program running on your computer during the night (perhaps a scan) and do not want to manually turn your PC off in the middle of the night, Task Scheduler can perform the task for you. In this guide, we show how to schedule an automatic shutdown on Windows 10 using Windows Task Scheduler plus other operations using this feature.

how to schedule automatic shutdown

Table of Contents:

Schedule Automatic Shutdown Using Windows Task Scheduler

Type "task scheduler" in Search and click on the "Task Scheduler" result to open it.

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In the Task Scheduler window, locate the "Actions" pane on the right and click "Create Task...".

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In the Create Task window, you will be directed to the "General" tab. In the "Name" box, type the name of your new task (any name you wish). In our example, we use "Shutdown at night". You can also provide a description to help you remember what this task does and why you created it. After naming the new task, ensure that the "Run whether user is logged on or not" and "Run with highest privileges" options are selected/turned on.

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Go to the "Triggers" tab next to "General" and click "New" to create a new trigger. A trigger is a set of criteria that, when met, executes a task. Task Scheduler provides both time-based and event-based triggers that can start a task in several different ways. A given task can be started by one or more triggers.

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In the New Trigger window, you will see the "Begin the task:" option. Ensure that it is set to "On a schedule" and then set up your schedule with preferences. When you have finished setting up your schedule, click "OK".

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Select the "Actions" tab in the Create Task window and click "New" to create a new action. The work items performed by a task are called actions. A task can have a single action or a maximum of 32 actions.

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In the New Action window, set "Action:" to "Start a program" and in the "Program/script:" field, type "shutdown". In the "Add arguments (optional):" field, type "/S". This command allows the task to start a basic shutdown. If you want to 'force close' running applications on a shutdown, type “/S /F”. Click "OK" when finished.

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Go to the "Conditions" tab and the Create Task window. In the Conditions tab, mark the "Start the task only if the computer is idle for:" option and set the timing you require. In this example, we assign the idle period to 10 minutes and set the task to wait for up to one hour for this idle period to happen. If you mark the "Stop if the computer ceases to be idle", this automatic shutdown task will be stopped when you start using your computer. If you mark the "Restart if the idle state resumes", the task will be restarted and you computer will be automatically shut down when the specified time is reached. We recommend that you keep these two options enabled. Click "OK" when you finish.

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Go to the "Settings" tab - here you can decide what happens if for some reason the automatic shut down fails to run. Enable the "If the task fails, restart every:" option and set your preferences. In this example, we set it to 15 minutes and also set it up to attempt the restart up to three times. Click "OK" when you have finished.

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That is the essential information you should require for scheduling an automatic shutdown. You may be asked to enter your password to finish setting an automatic shutdown. You can now exit the Windows Task Scheduler.

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Schedule Automatic Shutdown Using Run

The following methods include using a command entered into Command Prompt, Run dialog box, and PowerShell. This is a very basic command that allows you to set the time when to shut down your computer. You set the period, and when that time elapses, your computer will automatically shut down. We start with the Run dialog box.

On the Microsoft Windows operating system, the Run command is used to directly open an application or document whose path is known. It functions rather like a single-line command line interface. To open the Run dialog box in Windows, type "run" in Search and select the "Run" result to open it. Alternatively, you can use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run dialog box.

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Type "shutdown –s –t number" and press Enter on your keyboard or click "OK". Replace the word "number" in the command to specify seconds. For example, 1200 (20 minutes). In this case, the system will automatically shut down after 20 minutes (1200 seconds).

schedule automatic shutdown using run step 2

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Schedule Automatic Shutdown Using Command Prompt

If you want to set an automatic shutdown, you can also use Command Prompt. Command Prompt is the input field in a text-based user interface screen, a command line interpreter application available in most Windows operating systems. It is used to execute entered commands, most of which are used to automate tasks through scripts and batch files, perform advanced administrative functions, troubleshoot and solve certain types of Windows issues. In the early days of computing, Command prompt used to be the only way to interact with the computer, so a basic set of commands with rigid syntax was developed to perform all system functions. To open Command Prompt, type "command prompt" in Search and right-click on the "Command Prompt" result. Choose "Run as administrator" to run it with administrative privileges.

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When you select "Run as administrator", a User Account Control prompt will appear asking if you allow Command Prompt to make changes to your computer. Click "Yes".

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Type the same "shutdown –s –t number" command and press Enter on your keyboard to execute it. Replace the word "number" in the command to the required number of seconds. For example, 1200 - in this case, the computer will automatically shut down after 1200 seconds (20 minutes).

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Schedule Automatic Shutdown Using PowerShell

You can also use PowerShell to perform an automatic shut down. PowerShell is a task automation and configuration management framework from Microsoft, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language. In PowerShell, administrative tasks are generally performed by "cmdlets", which are specialized .NET classes implementing a particular operation. To open PowerShell on Windows 10, type "powershell" in Search and click the "Windows PowerShell" result. Alternatively, access PowerShell by right-clicking on the Start icon on Windows and selecting the "Windows PowerShell (Admin)" result.

schedule automatic shutdown using powershell step 1

Type the same "shutdown –s –t number" command and press Enter on your keyboard to execute it. Replace the word "number" in the command to the required number of seconds. For example, 1200 -  in this case, the computer will automatically shut down after 1200 seconds (20 minutes).

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We hope that this guide was helpful and you are now able to set an automatic shutdown on the Windows operating system.

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Video Showing How To Schedule Automatic Shutdown:

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