How to Get Cortana to Shut Down Your PC in Windows 10

Cortana is unequivocally one of the best features of Windows 10. Created to enhance the functionality of the incredibly smart Windows 10 OS, this virtual assistant has made it easier to perform a number of tasks. For instance, it lets you use voice commands to get help on anything you want. You can use Cortana voice commands to navigate the web, set up reminders, open files, and more.

However, as much as you’d love Cortana to assist you in executing every task, the functionalities of this virtual assistant are limited. For example, you cannot restart or shut down your computer by simply asking Cortana to do so. However, there is an easy workaround to make Cortana obey such commands. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to restart or shut down your Windows 10 PC using Cortana voice commands.

Since there is no built-in way to shut down your computer with voice commands, you’ll need to create a shortcut and then open that shortcut with Cortana. To do so, follow the steps below:

1. Press the Windows shortcut “Win key + R” to open the run dialogue box. Type in or copy and paste the following path:

cortana-run-dialogue-box

2. The following screen will open in File Explorer. Right-click on an open space, hover over the “New” option and select “Shortcut” in the context menu that will open.

cortana-voice-commands-shortcut

3. Once you click the “Shortcut” option, the shortcut creation wizard will start. Type the following command in the location field and click “Next.”

This command will initiate the shutdown process after ten seconds.

cortana-shutdown-shortcut-1

4. Click “Next” and name the shortcut “Shutdown.”

cortana-shutdown-shortcut-naming

5. Click the “Finish” button to complete the shortcut creation wizard and all will be set. Now you can click the microphone button and say “Open shutdown dot exe,” and Cortana will initiate the shutdown process.

It is worth noting that you can change the numerical value after the -t. This number represents delay time in seconds or the time you’ll have to wait before the system initiates the shutdown process. In my case I chose ten because I wanted the system to shut down after ten seconds. If you want the system to shut down immediately, change the command to read:

To do so, open the Shutdown shortcut you just created. You can search it in the search box for quick access. Once you find it, right-click and scroll down to Properties. Now change the time value in the target field of the dialogue box that will open and click OK.

cortana-shutdown-shortcut-properties

The system will now shut down immediately after you execute the command or after the stipulated time if you choose to alter the numerical value.

Restarting your Windows 10 PC using Cortana voice commands involves the same procedure described above, only that this time we will have to swap the -s with -r. The restart command should look something like this:

cortana-restart-voice-command

In the next window name the shortcut “Restart” and click finish to complete the shortcut creation wizard. Now you will be able to restart your computer by simply clicking the microphone icon and saying “Open Restart,” or if you have enabled the “Hey Cortana” feature, you can just say, “Hey Cortana, Open Restart.”

Having Cortana voice command enabled is very convenient because you can easily perform tasks that would otherwise require a dozen clicks. At times, Cortana might not respond appropriately and might even open Bing results. In such cases try swapping the words “Open Shutdown dot exe” with “launch shutdown.” You can even try to use “shutdown” without “dot exe” to execute the command. Should you encounter any problems, let us know in the comments section below, and we’ll be happy to help.

8 comments

  1. A better question would be ‘How the f*ck do I remove Cortana from Windows 10 Home’? Even disabled, the crapware keeps popping up.

    • Hello John, to completely remove Cortana from Windows 10 Home is a bit tricky as you’ll need to alter the registry editor. Here’s how to go about it. Type “Regedit” in the search box to open the registry editor, then navigate to the following directory

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindows Search.

      In the event your PC doesn’t have the “Windows Search” key, you’ll need to create one yourself. To create one, right-click the Windows directory, go to New > Key and name it “Windows Search”. Now click on the newly created “Windows Search” key, right-click in the right hand pane and select new DWORD and name it AllowCortana. Right-click on that value and make sure it’s set to zero. You’ll need to sign out for the changes to take place and once you sign in, Cortana will be gone. Instead, you’ll find a generic search box.

    • I am using the following technique:
      1. Find the folder containing cortana (see below) and open it.
      2. Start the task list (ctrl-alt-del).
      3. Stop cortana.
      4. After having stopped cortana, you have 2-3 seconds time to rename it in the folder you opened in step 1.
      If you cannot locate cortana (step 1) start the task list and right-click on cortana. There is a menu entry on the appearing pop-up menu, which allows you to open cortana’s location.
      I never use windows myself, but I always remove cortana in this way from PCs I’m asked to install.

  2. “Unequivocally” ? I don’t think so. If cortana disappeared tomorrow I would not miss it. Why would I want to go thru all the nonsense you suggest in order to avoid 2 clicks which is all I need to shutdown?

  3. I, just wanted to comment on the information you provide. It is very informative and knowledgeable. I have learned a lot thru your website and hope it keeps going. Tx

  4. when I try to open the folder with carton it opens a Microsoft engine the web
    pleas help thanks and have a great time

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