How to schedule automatic shutdowns in Windows 10

Windows 10 does not need to be shut down for maintenance on most PCs, and can often get for weeks on end without needing to be shut down. Regardless, some users may want their PCs to shut down at a  certain time for personal reasons, security reasons or just power saving reasons. While the Windows User Interface doesn’t offer a quick and easy way to do this, enterprising users can get around this either via using the “Run” tool or the Task Scheduler.

Shutdown Command

You can use the “Run” tool (or command prompt) to trigger an automatic shutdown. To do this you’ll need to Open the Run tool by right-clicking on the Start Button and selecting “Run”. Now enter the following command “shutdown –s –t 3600”. The last number there indicates the number of seconds, so this command would shut down your PC in an hour. You can set it to whatever time frame you want and Windows would gladly oblige you.

Task Scheduler

Microsoft offers a built in Task Scheduler that can handle this easily as well. Here’s how:

  1. Open Task Scheduler by searching for it in the Cortana Search Box
  2. Once open, Create a” Basic task” and name it whatever you want.
  3. Customise the run time and choose whether you’d want it to Run “Daily”, “Weekly” or “monthly””
  4. Select the time you would want it to first run.
  5. Now define the “action” in the task as “Start a Program”, and when prompted, browse to the following root C:\Windows\System32. There you will be able to find a file labelled “shutdown”, select it and click open.
  6. In the add arguments field, add “-s” and click next.
  7. Now you can save and finish your task, secure in the knowledge that Windows will trigger a shutdown at the time of your choosing.
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