How to Set a Timer for Automatic Shutdown Without Using Any Software

[Windows] Generally, while watching movies or reading an eBook, I fall asleep. This must also be a case with many of you, watching movies on your laptop and then lying asleep the next minute, with only ghosts left to watching your boring movie.

Many download junkies also queue files for overnight downloading. And in places where an uninterrupted supply of electricity is not present, these poor download junks have to wake up early to switch off their PCs and avoid data corruption.

As usual, we Techie Buzzers can’t see the plight of such poor souls. Batman is here to help, Gotham shall not worry!

How to Set a Timer for Automatic Shutdown

Setting up a timer for automatic shutdown is no big deal, in fact many people would already know about it, but if you don’t, read on.

There is no software to install and no tweaks to be made. An automatic shutdown is inbuilt into Windows and ready to be explored. Let’s check out how we can set a timer for automatic shutdown.

  1. Right click on the desktop. Select New → Shortcut.
  2. A New Shortcut dialog box will appear.greenshot_2009-08-02_01-17-12
  3. In the location box, this is how you will enter the details: shutdown.exe is for calling the shutdown executable. s is the command for shutdown. f is for performing a forced shutdown. If an application stops responding when shutting down, this command will force shut it. Using this command is not compulsory, but recommended. And next, the t command is for specifying the time the shutdown will take place. After you put the t command give a space and then enter the time in seconds. So in the above example, the computer will be shut down in 6 hours. Let’s put the whole command in one line:shutdown.exe -s -f -t seconds
  4. Click next and the shortcut will be created on the desktop. Give it a name and click it whenever you wish to initiate an automatic shutdown. If you want to change the time, right click on the shortcut, select properties and change the time from the dialog that opens.

Tip: This command can also be initiated from the Run box or CMD.

Tip 2: If you want to display a message that displays when the countdown is in progress, you can append a c command with a message attached. Like this:
-c Computer is shutting down


Tip 3: If you want to restart the computer instead of shutting it down, replace the s with r. Similarly, if you’d like to logoff, replace s with l.

How to abort Shutdown

If you just woke up from sleep and feel like working on your laptop a bit more, there is no easy way you can abort the shutdown. The cross on the top will not work and you won’t be able to kill the process from task manager. But still there’s a way to stop the timer and stopping the bomb before it blasts.

  1. Click the WinKey + R
  2. The run dialog box will appear. Type shutdown.exe a
  3. A stands for abort. The shutdown timer will vanish.

So this was it, let us know how you make use of this feature in the comments!

Published by

Keshav Khera

Keshav Khera is a young freelance writer from India. Alongside writing for the web, he also attends school and tries not to bunk classes. He keeps interest in music, table tennis, reading and of course, twitter (@keshav)

  • Excellent one Keshav, I never knew about it :), neways my laptop is never shutdown except for those pesky windows restarts LOLs, but yea this is definitely handy tip :-)

  • Really nice one… Knew only about how to create a shutdown icon.. not setting up time etc….

  • joe

    wow. this should be automatically programmed into pcs, seeing as it’s so useful. definetly telling my friends about it.

    • Dr. Freeman

      This is “already programmed into PCs.” (I can tell by your wording that you’re likely a tech illiterate.)

      There is the shutdown application, a basic tool which does tasks like shutdown, log off, and probably, though I’m not sure, items like sleep and hibernate.

      All this does is send a command to the shutdown application to do what you told it to do.

      As for a GUI frontend or such to let you seamlessly set your system to auto-shutdown whenever you want without using actual commands to send to it, you could just download a free tool off the Internet. There’s probably thousands of them.

  • Jess

    Wow Thats actually fantastic! Thanks so much! x

  • Anonymous

    That was beautiful and useful. Probably a lot of 'em already know this. But posting it again shall have many others learn the trick. Appreciate your efforts.

  • Ahmed Farouk

    Thank You, it's really good

    in addition i made abort shut down as a sort cut file also

    no need to install additional software thatmay be harmful to the pc.


  • S.Suresh Babu

    Thanks a lot, Its very useful information ..
    BY S.Suresh Babu,Pharmacist ,K.Maafushi ,DPRS,Maldives

  • Kevin

    I was wondering can you tell me how to append the -c “Computer is shutting down”

    • fil

      ive also been having problems getting this part to work.. any help?

      • Bijay Limbu

        shutdown.exe -s -f -t 3600 -c “My computer is shutting down !!!!!!!!!!!! wawooo “

  • emmanuel

    thanks a lot, bro. this is cool and very useful to me.

  • D D Jha-Araria(Bihar)

    not useful, if possible engage the programer to write a simple program so that the problem can be resolved.

  • gem

    how to delete the shortcur from windows system32?

    • Dr. Freeman

      …If there’s a shortcut in system32 that it’s not letting you delete… I’m pretty sure that’s the SHUTDOWN APPLICATION ITSELF!

      Seriously, I’d recommend you not touch a thing within the \Windows folder.

  • MArk

    Log off variant will not work on Windows 7

    • ff

      neither in vista.

  • Anders

    Can this be used for programming the computer to do anything else than shutdown, standby and etc?

  • shahal

    Thanks dude…….. wanted to know this very badly…..

  • Vitaly

    Awsume thnx so much for the info, now I can put my music and go sleep in piece of mind. :) cause my computer will shutdown by itself

  • Really.. really a very great implementation Keshav..!!! We really proud of U..

  • tyu7tri

    wow: i’m taking the control of my freaking computer

  • i likey!! hehehe.. its rly useful.. :)

  • Mihir

    what if i want to hibernate using the same method on my laptop..

  • pupun

    thanks for sugestaion.

  • pupun

    can you send me a w7 eternity genuine product key/serial key


  • Nikhil

    This’s so helpful!!!! Thank You!!!

  • sri

    Thats a good one bro ,…. thanks for it

  • nguonlaos

    Thanks Keshav, it works well! But a bit more, to abort the shutdown timer: right click on its icon then right click on properties and write down in the target box the same syntax as Keshav mentioned above.

  • Thanks for this, handy when I’m putting my videos on my ipod.