How To Schedule Automatic Shutdown?

How To Schedule Automatic Shutdown On Windows 10?

It is good to to turn off your computer when you are not using it - lower power bills, no possible overheating etc., but sometimes it happens that you simply forget to turn it off and leave it on. You can configure your Windows to automatically power down at any time, but only if you are not using your computer at the time. It is doable and you can do it with Windows Task Scheduler.

Windows Task Scheduler is a component of Microsoft Windows that provides the ability to schedule the launch of programs or scripts at pre-defined times or after specified time intervals. The Task Scheduler allows users to automatically perform routine tasks on a chosen computer. The Task Scheduler does this by monitoring whatever criteria you choose to initiate the tasks and then executing the tasks when that criteria is met. With the 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, task is registered etc.

So, if you want to schedule certain tasks or for some reason you cannot turn off your computer manually, task scheduling might be very useful. Let's say you left some program running on your computer for the night, some kind of scan or something, and you do not want to get up in the middle of the night to turn your PC off. If would be perfect if someone else would do that for you, right? That is where Task Scheduler comes in. In this guide we are going to show you how you can schedule automatic shutdown on your Windows 10 using Windows Task Scheduler and not only it, read the guide below to find out how.

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 open Task Scheduler window find "Actions" pane on the right and click "Create Task...".

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In opened Create Task window you will be directed to "General" tab. In "Name" box type the name for your new task, it can be whatever name you want. In our example we are going to name it "Shutdown at night". You can describe it as well, so it would be easier to remember what this task does and why you created it. Now that you gave the new task a name, make sure that both "Run whether user is logged on or not" and "Run with highest privileges" options are selected/turned on.

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Now go to "Triggers" tab next to "General" tab and click "New" to create a new trigger. A trigger is a set of criteria that, when met, starts the execution of 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 "Begin the task:" option, make sure that it is set to "On a schedule" and then set up your schedule by your preferences. When you finished setting up your schedule click "OK".

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Now 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 "Add arguments (optional):" field type "/S", this command means that the task will start a basic shutdown. If you want to force close the running applications on a shutdown then type “/S /F” instead. Click "OK" when finished.

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Now go to "Conditions" tab when you are in Create Task window again. In Conditions tab mark the "Start the task only if the computer is idle for:" option and set the timing you want, we are making it 10 minutes and setting the task to wait up to one hour until that idle time happens. If you mark the "Stop if the computer ceases to be idle" then this automatic shutdown task will be stopped when you start using your computer. If you mark the "Restart if the idle state resumes" then the task will be restarted and you computer will be automatically shut down when the time comes. We recommend you to keep these two options enabled. Click "OK" when you finish.

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Now go to "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. We are setting it to 15 minutes and setting it up to attempt the restart up to 3 times. Click "OK" when you finished.

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That's it, you are done with scheduling the automatic shutdown, you may be asked to enter your password in order to finish setting the automatic shutdown. You can exit the Windows Task Scheduler now.

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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 which allows you to set the time when to shut down your computer. Simply put, you will have to set the time and when that amount of time passes, your computer will automatically shut down. We will 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 more or less like a single-line command line interface. To open Run dialog box in Windows type "run" in Search and select the "Run" result to open it. Or you can use Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open Run this dialog box.

schedule automatic shutdown using run step 1

Now type "shutdown –s –t number" and press Enter on your keyboard or click "OK". You need to replace the word "number" in the command to a number of seconds, for example 1200. 1200 seconds is 20 minutes, it means that your computer will be automatically shut down after 20 minutes (or 1200 seconds).

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Schedule Automatic Shutdown Using Command Prompt

If you want to set an automatic shutdown you can use Command Prompt as well. 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 those commands are used to automate tasks through scripts and batch files, perform advanced administrative functions, troubleshoot and solve certain kinds of Windows issues. In early days of computing Command prompt used to be the only way to interact with the computer, so a simplistic set of commands with rigid syntax was used in order to make the system do anything. 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 would like to allow the Command Prompt to be able to make changes on your computer. Click "Yes".

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Now type the same "shutdown –s –t number" command and press Enter on your keyboard to execute it. You need to replace the word "number" in the command to a number of seconds, for example 1200 and your computer will automatically shut down after 1200 seconds (20 minutes).

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Schedule Automatic Shutdown Using PowerShell

If you want to set an automatic shutdown you can use PowerShell too. 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 your Windows 10 type "powershell" in Search and click on the "Windows PowerShell" result. Or you can access PowerShell by right-clicking on the Start icon on your Windows and selecting "Windows PowerShell (Admin)" result.

schedule automatic shutdown using powershell step 1

Now type the same "shutdown –s –t number" command and press Enter on your keyboard to execute it. You need to replace the word "number" in the command to a number of seconds, for example 1200 and your computer will automatically shut down after 1200 seconds (20 minutes).

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We hope that this guide was helpful and now you know hot to set automatic shutdown on your Windows operating system.

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Video Showing How To Schedule Automatic Shutdown:

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