How to Automatically Shut Off Your Computer

By Techwalla Contributor

How many times have you fallen asleep, left for work, or otherwise walked away from your computer and forgot to turn it off? And it's always annoying when you remember that you didn't turn the computer off and you start visualizing your electric bill racking up higher and higher every second. Well, no more because you can make a Windows task to automatically shut your computer down after it's been idle for a set period of time.

Things You'll Need

  • PC with Windows

Step 1

Navigate to the "Start" menu and select "Run." In the Run dialog, type "cmd" (without quotes) and click "OK." The Command Prompt dialog opens. Type "echo shutdown -s -f -t 180 > Desktop/shutdown.bat" (without quotes) and press "Enter." This creates a batch file on your desktop. A batch file can execute commands to your computer when it runs. When the batch script is executed, it will shutdown your computer in 180 seconds (or 3 minutes). You can further delay the shut-off of your computer by increasing the numerical value in the Command Prompt.

Step 2

Create a task by opening the Windows Task Scheduler. To do so, navigate to the "Start" menu and select "All Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools" and "Task Scheduler." The Task Scheduler appears. From the right pane, click "Create Task" and type "Shutdown" or another significant name in the "Name" field.

Step 3

Select the "Triggers" tab. Then click the "New..." button toward the bottom. The New Trigger dialog appears. From the "Begin the task" drop-down, select "On Idle." Click "OK."

Step 4

Select the "Actions" tab. Then click the "New..." button toward the bottom. The New Action dialog appears. Click the "Browse" button, navigate to your desktop and select the shutdown.bat file. Click "OK."

Step 5

Select the "Conditions" tab. Check the box next to "Start the task only if the computer is idle for." Then set how long you want the computer to wait before shutting down.

Step 6

Click "OK." When your computer is idle for the specified time, it will execute the batch script and shutdown your computer in three minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • If three minutes is too short or too long for you, edit the batch file in Notepad and change 180 to the amount of seconds you want it to be.
  • You can go back into the Task Scheduler to edit your task or delete it if you don't like it.
  • Don't leave unsaved work open because you may lose it when the computer shuts off if the software doesn't automatically make backups of it.