Schedule or prevent Windows shutdown

shutdown_icon I had posted how much fun dealing with Windows shutdown problems is. There is another common issue about Windows shutdown – no obvious way to turn it of other than right now.

Much easier one to fix, with bundled shutdown.exe utility that shutdowns, reboots (or cancels these actions) on local and remote computers.

What it does

Easiest way to use it is to call graphic interface (by default it acts as console utility) by running following command (in Start > Run or however else you find convenient):

shutdown /i


Interface allows to set target computers (remote ones will require sufficient access rights) and timeout defines how long will it wait before initiating action. It can be long, for example 3600 will make computer reboot in an hour.

Disable shutdown

It is usual for malware to initiate shutdown. Either by breaking system files or out of malice (to not give you time to restore system files or run antivirus scan).

Utility can just as easily disable such unwanted shutdown with:

shutdown /a

Make use of scheduler

Ok, calculating timer value is boring and that floating window is bit of a nag. For more convenient schedule operations another native utility comes to rescue – at.exe

It adds tasks to Windows scheduler and there is a lot of depth to its options. Still basic usage is simple and looks like human language for a change:

at 22:00 shutdown

This one will create scheduled task, which is different from launching shutdown.exe it directly. Test few times to ensure it works for you. Scheduler is also common vector of malware attacks so Windows can be touchy about what gets executed there.


May not be function wonder, but native utility is flexible enough and easily scriptable. And I think too underknown, which must be reason for numerous shutdown-relative utilities floating around.

For more keys and examples see (slightly outdated) Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

Link http://support.microsoft.com/kb/317371/

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  • Ya!Wego #

    you just need a little applet, its name is "Poweroff", you can search it or get it here: Powerful customizable shutdown utility appnee.com/poweroff/