How to schedule shutdown in Windows 11

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • There are a few different ways you can schedule shutdown in Windows 11, which will automatically turn off your PC at a specified time.
  • You can set a shutdown timer in Windows 11 by entering a command in Run or the Windows Terminal.
  • Alternatively, set up a desktop shortcut that starts a shutdown timer when you click it.
  • You may also schedule shutdown in Windows 11 by setting up an automated task with the Task Scheduler tool.

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Do you sometimes forget to shut down Windows 11? If so, maybe you should consider scheduling the shutdown to ensure your PC shuts down even when you forget to select for it to do so.

It’s also a good idea to schedule a shutdown when you need to wait for a big game download to finish. You can set up a shutdown timer in Windows 11 with a relatively simple command.

That timer will shut down the PC after its specified countdown time has elapsed. So, you can schedule a PC to shut down after one, two, three, four, five, or more hours by entering that command.

Alternatively, you can schedule a shutdown with Task Scheduler. That’s the default utility in Windows for scheduling all manner of tasks. Some users might prefer to schedule shutdowns with that tool.

Does Windows 11 include any built-in options for scheduling the shutdown?

Windows 11 doesn’t include any kind of built-in options for scheduling shutdown in Settings, Control Panel, or anywhere else. Maybe it should, but Microsoft evidently never considered such a great idea.

So, you’ll need to schedule shutdown with the methods below instead.

How can I schedule the shutdown in Windows 11?

1. Schedule shutdown with Run

  1. First, press the Windows key + X hotkey, which will open a Win + X menu.
  2. Select Run on the menu to open the window for that accessory.
    Run option schedule shutdown windows 11
  3. Type the following shutdown timer command in the Open box: shutdown -s -t XXXX
    The shutdown command schedule shutdown windows 11
  4. Then click OK to set the timer. Windows 11 will shut down after the number of seconds set by your timer command.

You will need to replace XXXX in that command with an actual numerical time value. Entering a value of 1 would set Windows to shut down in one second.

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Entering 3600 (three thousand, six hundred seconds) will set Windows to shut down in an hour. There are some more time values:

  • Two hours: shutdown -s -t 7200
  • Three hours: shutdown -s -t 10800
  • Four hours: shutdown -s -t 14400
  • Five hours: shutdown -s -t 18000
  • Six hours: shutdown -s -t 21600

2. Schedule shutdown via Windows Terminal

  1. First, launch the search tool (you can press the Windows key + S hotkey to do so).
  2. Input the keyword Windows Terminal within the text box to find that command-line app.
  3. Right-click Windows Terminal and select Run as administrator on the context menu.
  4. Then click the Open a new tab button to bring up a menu.
    The Open a new tab menu schedule shutdown windows 11
  5. Select Command Prompt on the menu.
  6. Enter this command in the Prompt’s tab: shutdown -s -t XXXX
  7. Then hit the Return key to set the shutdown timer.
Note icon
This method is based on the same command as the Run one. So, you’ll need to specify a time in seconds for the timer much the same.

3. Schedule shutdown with Task Scheduler

  1. First, launch the search utility and type Task Scheduler within the search tool’s text box.
  2. Select Task Scheduler to open that utility’s window.
  3. Click Create Basic Task on the right side of Task Scheduler.
    Create Basic Task option schedule shutdown windows 11
  4. Enter Scheduled Shutdown within the Name box, and click the Next button.
  5. Select the One time option, and click the Next option to continue.
  6. Then choose a date and time for the PC to shut down at, and select the Next option.
    Date selection options schedule shutdown windows 11
  7. Click the Start a program option and Next.
  8. Press the Browse button to select the shutdown.exe at: C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe
  9. Then select the Open option.
  10. Enter -s in the Add arguments box.
    Start a Program options schedule shutdown windows 11
  11. Select the Next and Finish options to complete the scheduled task setup.

4. Set up a shutdown timer desktop shortcut

  1. Right-click a empty space on your desktop to select the New and Folder options.
    The Shortcut option schedule shutdown windows 11
  2. Then enter the shutdown timer command in the item location box: shutdown -s -t XXXX

    Create Shortcut window schedule shutdown windows 11

  3. Click Next to go to the final step.
  4. Enter a title for the shortcut in the text box, and select the Finish option.
  5. Thereafter, click the Scheduled Shutdown shortcut you just added to the desktop.
Note icon
Make sure you replace the XXXX in the command with an actual timer value as specified within the first resolution.

Are there any third-party software packages to schedule shutdown with?

There are numerous auto-shutdown third-party software tools that you may take into consideration. Those software packages enable you to configure Windows to shut down at specified times. Our list of best tools to schedule Windows restarts provides more details about some great choices.

However, you don’t need to install any third-party software to schedule the shutdown in Windows 11. All of the above methods are perfectly sufficient for scheduling Windows 11 to shut down at times you specify.

Three of those methods are based on the shutdown -s -t XXXX command. That command provides a quick and easy way to schedule shutdown with Run, Windows Terminal, and a desktop shortcut.

If you want to specify Windows 11 to shut down at a specific time every day, the Task Scheduler method is worth noting. With that tool, you can set up a recurring daily shutdown task for a specific clock time. Then you won’t need to keep on entering a shutdown timer command every day.

Moreover, keep in mind that you can shut down Windows 11 with a keyboard shortcut. You may even create a custom shutdown shortcut to turn off your computer globally even if other apps are opened.

So, choose whatever method you prefer for scheduling shutdown in Windows 11. Note that those methods will also work in other Windows platforms.

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