How To Automatically Shutdown Your Windows Vista Computer

In my article 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 shutdown your Windows XP computer. In this article I’ll show you how to do the same thing in Windows Vista.

For this How To, I’m using Windows Vista Home Edition. So we’ll dig in right away. Here’s the first screen shot after I clicked on the Start button. Like Windows XP you’ll find the Task Scheduler under the Start Button -> Control Panel -> System and Maintenance -> Administrative Tools -> Schedule tasks.

Here’s the new Vista Task Scheduler. It is more complicated looking for average users than the Task Scheduler in Windows XP. This could possibly keep certain users from every using the Task Scheduler in Vista.

Shutdown Computer with Vista Task Scheduler

Click image for larger view (800 x 600)

The Task Scheduler is quite a bit different in Vista and there’s a lot to it, but don’t let that hold you back. It might look intimidating but it’s not too bad. Just move forward. We are going to look at one task here 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.

Vista Task Scheduler Task Name

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

Vista Task Scheduler Trigger

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

Vista Task Scheduler Date and Time

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

Vista Task Scheduler Action

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

Vista Task Scheduler Start a Program

And finally the Summary screen.

Vista Task Scheduler Summary

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

Vista Task Scheduler Active Tasks

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 Vista down. 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.

Vista Automatic Shutdown

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 Vista. It lists the choices of how you want to run the shutdown.exe command.

Shutdown Command Options

Click image for larger view

There you have it. Now you can automatically shutdown your Vista computer.


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