Shutdown your PC with a timer on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7

Update: This article was originally written on Windows XP. It’s has also been successfully tested on Windows Vista and Windows 7. This built-in function in Windows OS allows you to set shutdown timer on your PC.

If you download something big in term of size from torrent you can always resume your download at later time but this is not the case if you are downloading from rapidshare or from any similar services. Lately I’ve been using Rapidshare and Megaupload extensively for downloading purpose.

The advantage of using direct download is the estimation time of download completion is fairly accurate as compared to torrent which depends solely on the number of uploaders. With the presence of timer we should be able to manipulate our PC to shutdown right after the downloads are completed especially during late night!

Enough with the torrent and direct download; let’s move on with the implementation of it. It’s pretty easy :)

1. Type in “CMD” in Menu > Run. Figure out how much time do you want before the PC will shut itself down. Type in ‘shutdown -s -t XXXX‘. If you want it to shut down after 20 minutes set it to 1200 (seconds) in XXXX.

Set shutdown timer in Windows XP

2. The following popup should appear before you. If you want to cancel the shutdown timer go into the CMD prompt and type in ‘shutdown -a’.

Timer is on

Timer is on

The easiest way to further manipulate the processes of shutdown, restart or logoff of your PC is by typing in “shutdown -i“. By doing this the following window will popup and you got a better control of your PC.

Remote shutdown dialog

Remote shutdown dialog

Please let me know if you have trouble to set the timer.

p/s: A small step towards shaping a better world by conserving energy ;)

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The author is the founder of He was brought up and is currently living in a small town at the northernmost of Malaysia.