How to shutdown, restart, logoff using command prompt?

Windows provides a builtin command to shutdown, restart as well as logoff a user from the command promptne. This and many other options are provided by the “shutdown” command. In order to find out more options of any command, type :

shutdown /? – command name followed by a forward slash and a question mark.

in Command Prompt ( WIN + R » cmd – here are some more Windows Keyboard shortcuts. You can run any command from Command Prompt or typing the command with full option into the RUN Dialog ( WIN + R ) The main use of all these commands come in batch files and task scheduling. All of these commands are pretty easy to use, please read the article completely before complaining 😉

Basic form of “shutdown”

The most basic form of the command is :

shutdown -OPTION
shutdown /OPTION

Both perform the same thing – execute shutdown command with option OPTION. OPTION can take many values, only the ones of interest to us are mentioned here.

-l – Logs off the current user
-s – Shutdown the computer
-r – Restart the computer

-a – Aborts a current shutdown command execution

-t XX – if this is added with any of the above ones, you can specify after what time ( XX seconds ) the system should execute the OPTION.

A Simple example and a Screenshot

Here the OPTIONs specify that shutdown command should shutdown the command after 120 seconds.

RUNning “shutdown” command with options -s -t 120

shutdown -s -t 120

The screen result will be something like this :

Before shutdown, the logged in user is warned about the event and the time frame.

Canceling a shutdown

If you have given the time parameter -t XX you will have sometime before the command kicks you out. In that time, if you want to cancel the event just type :

shutdown -a -Abort a shutdown

shutdown Aborted – notification

Add a message

You can add a custom message with shutdown so that, instead of the time frame warning, the user will be presented with your message.

shutdown -s -t 120 -c “You are so screwed”

will present the user with the message – “You are so screwed” as below :

Custom message with “shutdown”

More about shutdown on Microsoft KB | Built in parental control in Windows XP

109 thoughts on “How to shutdown, restart, logoff using command prompt?”

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  46. All those command are really working good.
    How can I use cmd command to find out the ip address of systems within my location or with and without internet connections.Also how can I use my own system to change the password of another system and shut it down using cmd prompt command or with and without internet connections.
    Friends any body that have the knowledge of it should please send the codes and step to follow to this mail box
    I love you all.
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  54. Hi, i just try it, but command prompt displays the message as “Access deined” then how to solve this problem and shutdown the system.

  55. The batch file is simple, it contains only 1 line:

    shutdown -s -t 5

    Run it with the highest privileges under taskscheduler.

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  57. i want to ask one little thing, how to hack school computer include all program..i used all type of cmd , but is is useless….

  58. Hi All,

    To shutdown a computer via a network or lan.. click stat / run / shutdown -i

    Enter the compuer name. Select the option from the drop down menu “shutdown” “Restart” or “Logoff” set the time to show the message. then have the message to what ever you like then press ok.

  59. Dear Leam it work in windows 7 please follow the instruction it helps in all the command
    shutdown -r
    shutdown -s
    shutdown -l

  60. I don’t think you can run this command on a remote computer. I think pstools can help you acheive this. PSTools lets you run commands on remote computers.

  61. Great Job! I have a bone deformity in my mouse hand and due to the pain that come after an extended period of time with a mouse, this makes my life just a little easier. Thanks so much!

  62. I’m trying to test this batch file but not working, can somebody how I can change it to work:

    %rightnow% = time /t
    %starttime% = “12:00 AM”
    %endtime% = “05:00 AM”

    rem “trying to find out if current time is between 12 and 5 AM”

    if “%rightnow” geq “%startime” and %rightnow% leq %endtime%

    echo “between 12 and 5 AM”
    echo “it is okey”


  63. Hi Phalla,
    can you please tell me the specific error shown when you type the command.. or better can you add a screen shot of the command prompt when you do this.

  64. i know all this command but i cannot restart a pc in network. why? All you detail about this command are useful but i still cannot do it.

  65. Hi Arne please try the IP of the computer you are trying to shutdown. Use IP.IP.IP.IP instead of \\XXXXX The IP of the remote computer can be found easily by opening the command prompt and then typing “ping \\XXXXX” You can see the IP there. Please tell me if your problem have been resolved.

  66. Hello! When i am using any commands on my computer it works great, but if i’m trying to use it on a computer in a LAN it doesn’t word, it just syas that it can’t find the network adress.
    I’m typing in the following command:
    shutdown /s /m \\XXXXX /t 005

    and i’ve checked that the computer name is correct.

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