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How to Shutdown Windows

With tiles and tablet kind of interface, new versions of Windows need command line shutdown more than their previous versions. This post explains how a Windows user can run shutdown from CMD. Additionally, if you have issued a shutdown command and then realize that you don’t need it, you have a cancel option too. Moreover, this cancellation works even for GUI triggered shutdowns. That’s definitely awesome right! Let’s get into what this command is and how to use it.

Below are the steps to be executed to shutdown your Windows PC.

  1. Open command prompt(Open run, type in ‘cmd’ and press enter).
  2. Execute the below command
    shutdown /s

    Command for shutting down windows 10

  3. This displays a message in blue background which says “You’re about to be signed out. Windows will shutdown in less than a minute”
  4. The computer would go for shutdown in 60 seconds. This is a force shutdown, so any open applications would automatically be closed.

Now if you’ve changed your mind and no longer want to go ahead with shutdown, the same ‘shutdown’ command would be handy for you to issue a cancellation.

shutdown /a

Cancelling shutdown
After running this command  you would see a message like “Logoff is cancelled. The scheduled shutdown has been cancelled.”
You can abort the shutdown at any point during the countdown(default is 60 seconds. You can specify custom timeout using /t). Note that cancelling can be done only from command prompt, this is not supported in GUI. Also, we can cancel shutdowns issued from GUI too.

Schedule shutdown one hour later

Using /t option, we can even schedule the shutdown at desired time. Do you want to shutdown 1 hour later? You can do this. Just run the below command

shutdown /s /t 3600

Example – Below you can see the command executed to shutdown 1 hour later and Windows displays message at the right bottom corner confirming the time of the shutdown to be 1 hour exactly from current time.
Command for scheduling shutdown
Schedule shutdown 1 hour later - confirmation message

5 comments… add one
  • Victor Ordu

    This is definitely one good reason to work from the command line. Thanks for the post!

  • Brian

    How does the system figures out which user has privileges to issue shutdown? Where can I configure this?

  • stuart

    Hello …

    does the shutdown -a cancel the shutdown , if i initiate that command at any time .

    or … does it have to be done When the shutdown is taking place .. surely not, but just covering all possibilities…. I’m positive i did this the oter day – but then later the pc auto shutdown anyway ….. so – does initiating shutdown -a canvel it – no matter when in initiate that command .
    also…. is there any way to enquire as to what the current setting is ?

    much appreciate a reply – setting up home pc to access work pc – work pc is the one i’d previously set the auto shutdown on.

    many thanks

  • Keith Bradley

    I have recently upgraded from Windows 10 to 11. How do l shutdown safely.

  • Armani

    You can also use shutdown /p or -p to shutoff the computer instantly.

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