Whether you’re a freelancer who works from home in their dressing gown (guilty as charged) or a startup business owner who wants to make sure everything’s up and running as soon as you arrive in the office, there are a myriad of reasons to automate the startup and shutdown of Windows 10. Here we show how you can schedule startup and shutdown on Windows 10.
Note: if you are still on Windows 7, you can follow the instructions here to auto shut down your PC.
Schedule Windows 10 Shutdown with Task Scheduler
Task Scheduler is an excellent tool that lets you schedule tasks, including shutdown, for the system and apps on your PC.
1. Open Task Scheduler.
2. Click “Create Basic Task” in the Actions pane on the right side. In the Wizard that opens, type a name for the task (we chose “Shut Down”) and click Next.
3. Select a trigger time for Windows to shut down. We set this at 1am in the morning, which should ensure that computers in an office aren’t left running overnight needlessly.
4. To do this, click “Daily,” then enter the date and time you want Windows to shut down. You can change the frequency with which this occurs in the “Recur every … days” box.
5. Click “Next,” then select “Start a program.” On the next screen, type
shutdown.exe into the Program/script box and
/s into the arguments box.
6. Click Next, then Finish. Your regular shutdowns are now scheduled.
If you ever want to edit or delete this task, just go to “Task Scheduler -> Task Scheduler Library” and right-click it from the list to see the available options.
Shut Down Windows 10 PC Using Command Prompt
With a single command in the command prompt, you can actually set a timer for your Windows 10 PC to automatically shut down. Not many are aware of this method. Here’s how the process works:
1. Open the Start menu and search for the command prompt. Run it as an administrator.
2. Type the below command and hit the Enter button.
Note: you have to replace [seconds] with the actual number of seconds. After doing this, your Windows 10 PC will shut down automatically.
3. If you wish to cancel the Windows 10 PC shutdown timer, then simply enter the below command in the CMD:
4. A notification saying shutdown has been aborted will show up on your screen.
-s in the command stands for Shut Down, while
-a stands for “Abort.”
Shut Down Windows 10 PC Using a Desktop Shortcut
There is another awesome way to automatically shut down your Windows 10 PC. It can be done simply by creating a desktop shortcut. Here is how to do that:
1. On your desktop screen, right-click on the free area.
2. In the newly opened menu, head to “New -> Shortcut.”
3. This will open the Create Shortcut wizard.
4. In the “Type the location of the item” box, enter the command
shutdown -s -t [seconds] and click on Next.
Note: you have to replace [seconds] in the command with the actual number of seconds.
5. You will be asked to name the shortcut. To keep it simple, retain the default “shutdown” name.
6. A desktop shortcut with the name “shutdown” will appear on your desktop. Simply double-click on it to enable the shutdown timer.
Start Up Windows 10 on a Schedule
Starting up your computer on a schedule is a little different, and you’ll need to go into your motherboard BIOS or UEFI to set it up.
To do this, reboot your PC, then as it’s starting up, repeatedly press Del, F8, F12 or whatever button your specific PC uses to enter the BIOS.
Once there, look for a function called “Resume By Alarm,” “Power on by RTC Alarm” or similar. (It varies depending on your motherboard manufacturer.) Set the time on it to when you want, save your changes, and exit the BIOS.
You should now have a Windows 10 setup that starts up and shuts down in accordance with what you set above. There’s a lot of flexibility in Task Scheduler to shut down Windows on a schedule, such as setting different triggers and different rules for the shutdown under the “Properties” tab of the task you created, so feel free to experiment. If needed, you can also view your PC’s startup and shutdown history anytime.
Just be careful, lest your PC shuts down on you while you’re in the middle of something.