How to Set Shutdown Timer on Windows 10

Sometimes you have to schedule tasks if you cannot do them manually. One example is shutting down (or restarting) your computer after a certain amount of time or on a specific time. It is useful especially when you are downloading large files or watching on your PC, and you do not want to leave your machine running for a long time.

Worry not. In Windows 10, there are multiple ways that you can set-up a shutdown timer so you will not have to do it manually.
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Schedule a Shutdown Using Run Command

The Run dialog is a powerful Windows 10 tool that you can use to set your shutdown timer. To start the Run dialog, right click on the Windows logo on the lower left corner. Choose Run. Alternatively, hit Windows+R on your keyboard.

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Enter the following:

shutdown -s -t 1800

The value 1800 represents the number of seconds that your operating system will countdown. In this example, we are counting down from 30 minutes. Experiment with different values until you set the length of time that you want. Click OK, and you are set to go.

Schedule Shut Down using Command Prompt

You can also use the same command on Command Prompt. Search for cmd on the Windows Search menu.

Type the same command then hit Enter.

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Shutdown Timer using Windows Powershell

Similarly, you can launch the Windows PowerShell using the same method.

And type the same command, then hit Enter.

You should see a notification each time you enter the command. Windows will follow the scheduled shutdown even after closing the Command Prompt windows or the Windows PowerShell.

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In case you change your mind, and you do not want to continue with the shutdown, open one of the command windows mentioned above and enter the following:

shutdown -a

It should cancel any existing shutdown schedule in your system.

Schedule a Shutdown using Task Scheduler

What if you want to set a shutdown timer on a specific date and time instead of counting down the seconds? You can do so using the Task Scheduler. Open the program in the Search menu,

Click Create Basic Task… on the right side menu.

Give it a name like ‘Shutdown‘, then click Next.

Then, choose the Task Trigger schedule. Typically, you will choose One time. But, if you want a recurring shutdown schedule, you can choose Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. Click Next.

Choose the date and time on the next window. Then, Next.

Choose Start a program, then click Next.

On the next window, you will choose the program that will run. Click Browse…

Go to C:\WINDOWS\System32, Then, choose the application called shutdown. Click, Open.

Back on the Start a Program window, type -s on the Add arguments (optional): text box. Hit Next.

On the last window, review the details of your task. If you want to edit something, click Back. If everything looks good, click Finish.

If you want to edit or delete the Shutdown Timer task, launch the Task Scheduler as you did above. Click Task Scheduler Library on the left side menu. Find and click “Shutdown” on the list of tasks (remember the name that you gave your task). If you want to edit the task, just click on any of the tabs such as General, Triggers, Actions, Conditions, etc. If you want to delete, click Delete on the right side menu.

Create a Shutdown Timer Shortcut

If you regularly need to use a shutdown timer, you can create a shortcut to the shutdown timer instead of running the programs in the previous section. Right-click anywhere on the desktop. Click New, then Shortcut.

On the Create Shortcut window, enter the following:

shutdown.exe -s -t 1800

Click Next.

Name your shortcut such as “Shutdown 30 Minutes” Click Finish.

Now, when you need a shutdown timer, all you have to do is double click the shortcut.

If you want to create a shortcut that will cancel the timer, just follow the steps above but enter the following on the Type the location of the item: text box:

shutdown.exe  -a

Double click this shortcut whenever you want to cancel the timer.

Use a Dedicated App

If you are not comfortable using commands or creating tasks on Task Scheduler, you can always download a dedicated software application such as PowerOff Timer.

Using this nifty application, you can set a time to shut down, hibernate, or restart your computer.

Final Thoughts

After activating the commands outlined above, ensure that you save everything that you are working on, You may forget that you have a shutdown timer running only to have your machine shutdown while you are working on something important.

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