How To Automatically Shut Down Your Windows 7 Computer

Well, here we go again.  In addition to my How To Automatically Shut Down Your Windows XP Computer I showed how to set it up so you can use the ShutDown.exe command to schedule and automatically shut your Windows XP computer off. In my How To Automatically Shut Down Your Windows Vista Computer we stepped through the same idea.  And now, here’s Windows 7.  Guess what?  Not too different.  So let’s get going.

For this How To, I’m using Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC).  Hopefully not too many changes between now and the final version of Windiows 7  changes in regards to running a scheduled task.  Below is the first screen shot after I clicked on the Start button and Control Panel.  You’ll find the Scheduled Tasks under System and Security.

Click on System and Security and you should see the Administrative Tool selections at the bottom of the control panel window.  Click on Schedule Tasks and you’ll be presented with the screen below.

Windows 7 Task Scheduler

Click image for larger view (800px)

The Task Scheduler is pretty much the same in Windows 7 as Windows Vista.  The Task Scheduler can look intimidating but it’s not too bad. Just move forward. We are going to look at one task and not all the extra stuff in Task Scheduler.

In the Actions column on the right, click Create Basic Task…
You’ll see the following window and I’ve already filled in the Name and Description of our task.

In the Actions column on the right, click Create Basic Task…

You’ll see the following window and I’ve already filled in the Name and Description of our task.

Windows 7 Create Basic Task

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After clicking Next you’ll see the Task Trigger screen. We want to shut down our Windows 7 computer in the middle of the night, every night so we’ll pick Daily.

Windows 7 Task Trigger

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The next screen you’ll see is the Start Date and Time screen.

Windows 7 Daily Task

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The following screen is the Action screen. Let’s Start a program.

Windows 7 Task Action

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The next screen you’ll see is the Start a Program screen.

Windows 7 Start a Program

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And finally the Summary screen.

Windows 7 Task Summary

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Let’s take a look at our task in the Active Tasks list.

Windows7 Active Tasks List

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Double-click the Task Name if you need to work with the settings.

Here’s the screen when the task fires off and starts to automatically shut down Windows 7. A window pops up telling us that Windows will shut down in less than a minute. You can click on the Close button but that will just close that window and Windows itself will continue to shut down.

Windows 7 Automatic Shutdown

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There’s quite a bit of detail with the shutdown.exe command and here is the output when you run the shutdown.exe /? command at the command prompt in Windows 7. It lists the choices of how you want to run the shutdown.exe command.

Windows 7 Task Scheduler Parameters

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There you have it. Now you can automatically shutdown your Windows 7 computer.


{ 164 comments… read them below or add one }

151 Akash May 2, 2012 at 12:33 am

Hi thanks for showing us how to automatically shut down my PC. I have some tools running throughout the entire day. And it’s good to give my computer a break overnight. I also have it start up automatically as well. Maybe a tutorial on this topic for those who want to do this as well. (I’m not sure if you have a post on this already). Also thanks to dustinfox showing how to add a custom message when shutting down!

152 thiyagarajan May 6, 2012 at 7:05 am

guys, if the scheduled shutdown doesn’t triggers, then don’t worry ,

because for me also not triggered, then i repeated for some other time (nearby earlier schedules and kept the old schedules as it is),

it was triggering exactly for other times , suddenly what happened u know? , the required schedule also started to trigger…now i have deleted other schedules….

153 Rene June 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Hey thx for this post, can you tell me, how does it work with windows 8 ? Windows 8 is an complete new windows, i search there a lot of the functions..

154 Brodie September 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm

@bed bug boy I couldn’t get this to work either until I typed in your argument of “/s /t 300″ and now it works a treat! Thanks!

155 dustinfox October 10, 2012 at 6:46 am

jamba juice man, Have you read the title subject? The idea is to schedule a shutdown LOL… Technically I suppose this could mean scheduling a time for you to go and push the power button. :)

156 anshul October 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

thanks for the info man,really simple and easy.

157 RaeAnn Thomas October 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Is there any way to use the task scheduler without the windows user having a password. We have not found a way to do this. We have a generic login for students and it has no password.

158 RicherRed November 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

Hey mam, thanks a lot. Can you tell me the way to remove the task. !!!!!

159 dustinfox November 26, 2012 at 2:51 am

RicherRed, Just “right click” the task and delete it.

160 matt29 December 11, 2012 at 10:49 am

thank for this tutorial and this article. nice

161 J Pinter March 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

Good posts. But a question, maybe about Task Scheduler in general. I was asked to Diagnose a PC that was shutting down shortly after booting it up. I found that the Task Scheduler had a shutdown task scheduled for a time that the PC was most often already shut down. The question is whether a task that could NOT be done at the scheduled time will be executed later when the PC is turned on. Any ideas??

162 Anurag April 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

but sheduling the shutdown is not working in my netbook runnigg windows 7 proffesional.
i did as mentiond above…….
can anybody help.

163 Jake H May 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm

May I ask.. I had an earlier task to shut down the computer at 815am… I’ve added a recent one to shut down at 715 am.

Will it shut down my computer twice? Or will the recent task override the earlier task? If it will shut down twice, how do I get rid of the 815 task?

164 Jerri August 5, 2013 at 4:51 am

It’s very trouble-free to find out any matter on net as compared to books, as I found this piece of writing at this site.

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