How to Schedule Shutdown on Windows 10

Windows provides multiple ways to shutdown the system. However, no matter how much you search within the Windows settings, you will not find any option whatsoever to schedule shutdown. But that doesn’t mean you cannot do it.

Here, how to shutdown Windows on timer or schedule shutdown with just a few clicks.

Note: I’m showing how to schedule shutdown in Windows 10. But the below scheduled shutdown procedure will work in Windows 7 and 8 too.

Auto Shutdown Windows

There are two methods to auto shutdown window. The first one is useful when you want to set a temporary and single-use shutdown timer.

The second method is useful when you want Windows to auto shutdown at a specific time regularly, like when you go to sleep.

I will show both PC shutdown timer methods, use the one depending on your needs.

Jump to:

1. Windows 10 Shutdown Timer

Though Windows has no visible option to create a Windows shutdown timer, you can auto shutdown Windows with a single command. All you have to do is execute a single shutdown timer command either in PowerShell or Command Prompt.

This method is very useful when you have to spontaneously set a shutdown timer to auto shutdown Windows. For instance, you can use this tip to limit how long your children can use the system.

1. To set Windows shutdown timer, search either for PowerShell or Command Prompt and open it. In my case, I’m using PowerShell but you can use Command Prompt too.

2. In the PowerShell or Command Prompt window, execute the below auto shutdown command. Replace XXXX with the number of seconds.

shutdown -s -t XXXX

For example, if you want to auto shutdown window after 60 minutes then the command will be something like shutdown -s -t 3600.

Schedule shutdown execute shutdown timer command

As soon as you execute the command, Windows will schedule shutdown and displays a notification of the same. Once the time is up, it will disable a warning to save your work and shuts down the system. There is no visible cancelation option to abort the shutdown.

Schedule shutdown shutdown timer confirmation

2. Windows 10 Scheduled Shutdown Using Task Scheduler

If you want Windows to automatically shutdown at a specific time every day or at regular intervals then you can do that too. We just have to create a scheduled task using the good old Task Scheduler.

1. Search for “Task Scheduler” in the start menu and open it.

Open task scheduler

2. In the task scheduler, click on the option “Create basic task.”

Schedule shutdown create basic task

3. In the task creation wizard, enter a meaningful name, description, and click “Next.”

Schedule shutdown name task

4. Now select how often you want to repeat the task. In my case, I want to shutdown my system daily. So, I selected the Daily option. You can select whatever option you want.

Schedule shutdown select frequency

5. Enter the time and click “Next.” Since I want to shutdown my system at 11 PM, I’ve entered appropriate time.

Note: If you are using 12-hour clock then don’t forget to select AM or PM. If you are using 24-hour clock then enter the time in 24-hour format, as shown in the below image.

Schedule shutdown enter time

6. Here, enter shutdown.exe in the Program/Script field and /s in the Add Arguments field. Click “Next” to continue.

Schedule shutdown select program and arguments

7. Click “Finish” to complete the procedure.

Schedule shutdown preview task

8. Once the task has been created, you will see it ready to be executed in the Task Scheduler. The task will be executed and the system will shutdown according to your settings.

If you want to test the scheduled task, save all your work, right-click on the task and select “Run.”

Schedule shutdown task created

That’s it. It is that simple to make Windows scheduled shutdown.

Read more: How to rename scheduled task in Task Scheduler on Windows

In future, if you no longer want Windows to auto shutdown, right-click on the task and select the option “Disable.” This action will disable the task. If need be, you can even delete the task by selecting the option “Delete.”

Schedule shutdown disable task

Oh, in case you are wondering, you can also cancel scheduled shutdown on Windows.

Comment below if you face any problems or just to talk which method you’ve used to schedule shutdown in Windows 10.

8 thoughts on “How to Schedule Shutdown on Windows 10”

  1. Avatar for Simon

    The computer I have at home is programmed to shut down at a specific hour every day. There’s no shutdown action in the task schedule. Where else can I look at next?
    Thank you!

    1. Avatar for Bashkarla

      If you can’t find any relevant task for auto shutdown in the task scheduler, maybe some program is do it via some other method. Monitor which programs are running at the time of the shutdown and try disabling them.

  2. Avatar for jeff schram

    Thank you for the thread. My brand new laptop also shuts down at specific time every night. I can’t figure out how this could happen. Neither suggestion worked for me unfortunately. I cannot find the task in the task scheduler and I tried the “shutdown -a command but that doesn’t seem to work either. I contacted HP and Windows Help and they both recommended re-installing windows. I really do not want to do this. Do you happen to have any other suggestions? Thanks!!!!

    1. Avatar for Bashkarla

      Hi, Jeff.

      Windows by default won’t shut down your computer. Maybe some software installed by you or the laptop manufacturer is shutting down the system every night.

      That being said, it is highly possible that the system is going to sleep rather than shutting down. This is done to preserve the power/battery consumption. By default, Windows puts the system to sleep if it is unused for 30 minutes. You can change that by opening the Settings app (Win Key + I) and going to the “System → Power & Sleep” page.

      1. Avatar for jeff schram

        Hi Bashkarla,
        Thanks for your message. No my laptop is definitely “Shutting Down” at the same time every night. I read that you can go into task scheduler and manually schedule automatic shutdowns at specific times of the day (https://windowsloop.com/schedule-shutdown-windows/).

        I also read (above and elsewhere) that you can override/cancel this with a “shutdown -a” command. I did this. But now my laptop shuts down at 8:30pm everyday (if its on at that time) instead of 9:30 pm like it was doing before. And I recently discovered that if the laptop was in sleep mode at that time, the next time I turn on my laptop, it opens windows for a split second and then it immediately shuts down again.

        So frustrating. This is a brand new laptop. I don’t know what to do.

        1. Avatar for Bashkarla

          That is quite odd. In general, Windows doesn’t shut down the system automatically. There might some application that is shutting down the system. If possible, take a look at all the applications installed in your system and uninstall the one you don’t really need.

          If that doesn’t work, try resetting the PC (Settings → Update & Security → Recovery) or reinstalling Windows.

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