How to: have your computer shut down at a certain time

Published: April 19, 2013 9:00 AM /


Image of a pixel art worker asleep at his computer

Previously, we showed you how to have your computer start up at a certain time every day. That will save you time every day booting up your PC and keeping it fresh. This time, how to have your computer shut down at a certain time too! Saving you some money on your electric bill, and letting your computer rest for a few hours is a great added bonus.

How to shut down a PC at a certain time

If you're on a Windows 10 or 11 machine, here's how to set your machines to automatically shut down.

  • Step 1 (Windows 10 / 11):  Go to Start > Control Panel > System and Security (select "classic view" at the top right if you don't see this) > Administrative Tools  and click on the Task Scheduler.
  • Step 2: From the Action menu in Task Scheduler, click "Create Basic Task..."
  • Step 3: In the "Create Basic Task Wizard" windows that pops up, Type in a title and a description. Something basic like "PC Shutdown."
How to create a basic task in Windows 11
  • Step 4: Click "Next."
  • Step 5. On the "Task Trigger" screen, choose how often want the Shutdown PC to run. For a daily shutdown, click on "daily" and click the Next" button.
  • Step 6: On the "Daily" screen, enter the date and time you want your PC to shutdown. Click "Next."
  • Step 7: On the "Action" screen, choose "Start a program" and click "Next."
  • Step 8: On the "Start a Program" screen, type C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe in the "Program/script" text field.
  • Step 9: In the Add arguments text field type /s.
How to create a shutdown script in windows 11
  • Step 10: Click "Next." and then "Finish"

How to shut down a Mac at a certain time

  • You can't use the GUI on Macs to schedule your startup/shutdown times, but you can use commands to configure this!
  • Step 1: Open Terminal (Search "Terminal" and hit enter)
  • Step 2: To set your computer to shut down, use the command: "sudo pmset repeat shutdown MTWRFSU 8:00:00"
    • Each letter = day of the week, with R for Thursday, and U for Sunday. You can do individual days
    • Time is based on the 24 hour clock, so 8:00:00 is 8am and 20:00:00 is 8pm.
  • Step 3: Hit enter, and this is now set!
    • To check your schedules: type "pmset -g sched" and hit Enter.

Want to see it in video form? This is for Windows 7, but works the same way on Windows 10 and 11!


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