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Last week I talked about the different shut-down options in Windows. One of our readers (Alexandra) wanted to know how to tell Windows to shut-down or hibernate at a certain time. The easiest way to do this is to set windows to automatically shut-down or hibernate after a specific period of idleness using the Power Option Settings. There might be several reasons why you would opt out the Power Option solution, but one reason might be that you do not want the computer to shut-down at all during the day. If that be the case, you can schedule Windows to shut-down at a specific time, say at 3 am after you have fallen asleep over the keyboard.

This is how you go about to do just that (not fall asleep, but schedule the computer to …)

  1. Start the Windows Task Scheduler (Click The Start-button, and type “Task” or “Schedule” in the Search Field)
  2. In the Action Menu, you find the option called: Create Basic Task. This will open the Task Wizard.
  3. Give the Task a Name: "Sleep when I do", and click Next.
  4. Choose when you want the task to run (Daily), Click Next
  5. Now choose what time we want the computer to shut-down. In this example I chose 2 am. Click Next.
  6. At this point Windows want to know what kind of task to run, choose “Start a Program” and click Next
  7. In the Program Field, type: shutdown
  8. In the Add argument field, type: -h t 60 f (or -s t 60 f )

    Translated this means, hibernate, give 60 seconds timeout to stop action, and force shutdown of any running application.
    (For other options see the list below)
  9. Click Next
  10. Click Finish

And that is it.

Shutdown Options

s = shutdown
h = hibernate
l = logoff (not shut-down)

t xxx – timeout (give the user a chance to abort)
f – Force shutdown  of running applications
p – Force action without timeout or prompt

How to modify scheduled task

If you want to modify or delete your scheduled shutdown task, open up the task scheduler and click on “task scheduler library” in the left sidebar. The task will be listed there as “Sleep When I do” (if that is really what you called it.

About Thomas

Computer geek from the age of 7, which amounts to 30 years of computer experience. From the early days (when every computer company had their own OS) of DOS, Windows 1.0 through Seven...

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5 thoughts on “Schedule what time to shut-down or hibernate your computer [How To]”

  1. Josh says:

    is there a way to have your computer to start up at a certain time as well??

    1. Thomas says:

      In hibernation or sleep mode, there shouldn’t be a reason why that wouldn’t be possible. I know MAC has had that option for years. I’ll have to look into the subject, and when I find the solution, be sure to find an article regarding that, real soon :-)

      1. Rich says:

        You could set up a scheduled task to, say, run your web browser at a certain time and, in the criteria (on the Conditions tab), select the option to “Wake the computer to run this task.”

  2. sikret persen says:

    very useful, thanks a lot XD

  3. Devin says:

    I’m running windows on a bootcamped mac for a store. As a default, we have a demo app open every 30 seconds (so at start). I followed the above instructions for hibernation a few different times, but it’s not working. Do you have any advice? :)

    Thanks so much!

Comments are closed.

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