With Windows 7, 8 and 10 you can let your PC shut down automatically. This is useful, for example, if you want to perform a major update overnight. The update is ready after a few hours - but the PC stays on and continues to use electricity. To prevent this, it can switch itself off automatically. We show you four possibilities for this using the example of Windows 10.
Shut down the PC after a certain period of time
You can have your computer shut down automatically after a certain period of time. Disadvantage: Unsaved data is then likely to be lost. Follow our step-by-step instructions or take a look at the quick start guide .
In addition to entering the search field directly, you can also work with the Windows command prompt . To do this, enter " cmd " in the search field . A window with the command prompt opens. Enter " shutdown " here and confirm with [Enter] . You will now be presented with many different parameters that you can use in conjunction with the shutdown command. Each is followed by a brief explanation. For example, you can restart the PC or put it into sleep mode..
Put the PC to sleep after a long period of inactivity
You can put your computer to sleep after a period of inactivity. Advantage: It saves the current status of the user interface and completely shuts down the power supply. The data is then saved on a reserved space on the hard drive and can be quickly restored. Follow our step-by-step instructions or take a look at the brief instructions .
Schedule regular shutdowns
Would you like your PC to shut down regularly, for example every day at a certain time? You can control this with the Windows task scheduler. Follow our step-by-step instructions or take a look at the brief instructions ..
Free shutdown tools
So there are various Windows on-board means with which you can automatically shut down the PC. If this is too complicated for you, you can also use small external programs with which you can switch off the PC automatically. There are many such programs, for example Poweroff, osShutdownTimer or Auto Shutdown.
Quick guide: Specific time
- Open the Windows search mask .
- Enter: " shutdown -s -f -t time ", the time is the seconds until shutdown.
- Confirm with [Enter] .
- To cancel the automatic mode , go to the search field again before the time has elapsed and enter: " Shutdown -a ". Confirm with [Enter] .
Quick start guide: Long periods of inactivity
- Open the Windows search mask .
- Enter: " Edit power plan ", select this entry.
- Select " Change advanced power settings ".
- Open " Save energy " and then the sub-item " Idle state after ".
- Click on the blue font and specify how many minutes of inactivity your PC should go to sleep.
Quick start guide: Task planning
- Open the task scheduler via the Windows search and click on " Create task ... ".
- Settings in the " General " tab : Give the task a name . Below select " Run regardless of user login ". Then check the box next to " Execute with highest privileges ". Under " Configure for " select the option " Windows 10 ".
- Then switch to the " Trigger " tab and click " New ... ".
- Settings in the " New trigger " window : For " Start task " select " According to a schedule ". You then decide on the left how often the task should be carried out. On the right you can define when the task will be carried out for the first time . At the bottom there must be a checkmark next to " Activated ". Confirm with " OK ".
- Switch to the " Actions " tab and click on " New ... ". In the " New Action " window, select " Start program " as the action . Under " Program / Script " enter " shutdown ". Then add arguments: " / S / F ". Confirm with " OK ".
- Switch to the " Conditions " tab . Check the box next to " Only start this task when the computer is idle for ". Select the period on the right . Then check the " Shut down if the computer is reactivated from idle " and " Restart if the computer is idle for a long time ". Complete the new task with " OK ".