Shutdown timer in Windows 10: This is how your PC shuts down automatically

Shutdown timer in Windows 10: This is how your PC shuts down automatically

If you want your PC to shut down automatically after a certain time, you can set a shutdown timer in Windows 10. You even have several options for this.

You have an important appointment and need to shut down your PC, but a download or video rendering is still in progress? In such cases, you can instruct the computer to switch off automatically after a certain period of time. We'll tell you what options there are in Windows 10 for this.

Program Windows 10 shutdown manually

With on-board tools, you can use a command line command to instruct Windows to exit itself at a certain time and shut down the PC.

  1. Right-click the Windows icon in the system tray and choose " Run " from the menu.
  2. Type the abbreviation " cmd " in the run field and confirm your entry by clicking "Ok " to open the Windows shell.
  3. Use the command " at [time] shotdown / s " to shut down the computer at a desired time.
  4. For example, if you want to shut down the PC automatically at 11 p.m., the appropriate command is " at 23:00 shutdown / s ".
  5. Alternatively, you can also specify after how many seconds the PC should automatically shut down. Then the command is " shutdown / s / t [seconds] ".
  6. If the computer is to switch itself off after 60 seconds, the appropriate command is " shutdown / s / t 60 ".
Shutdown timer-01

You can set a time for the shutdown using a command line command. Image: © Microsoft / Screenshot: 2021

All possible shutdown commands

If you wish, you can also display all possible command line commands for the shutdown in the shell. Simply type in the basic command " shutdown " and confirm your entry with Enter.

Set shutdown in power settings

Another option for automatically shutting down the PC can be found in the Windows power settings. Here you can specify that the computer switches off automatically if it has not been actively used for a long time.

  1. Right-click the Windows icon in the system tray and choose " Power Options " from the menu.
  2. In the menu below, scroll down to the link " Additional power settings" and click on it to switch to the control panel.
  3. Click on " Change power plan settings" and then on " Change advanced power settings " to open a new window.
  4. There select the small + (plus) symbol in front of the entry " Save energy " and then the + (plus) symbol in front of " Sleep after ".
  5. Now click on the blue-marked entry " Never " and then enter the number of minutes after which the PC should switch to sleep.
Shutdown power settings-01

Select "Additional Power Settings". Image: © Microsoft / Screenshot: 2021

Shutdown power settings-02

Click on "Change plan settings". Image: © Microsoft / Screenshot: 2021

Shutdown power settings-03

Enter the number of seconds after which you want the PC to go to sleep. Image: © Microsoft / Screenshot: 2021

Automatic shutdown of Windows 10 with Poweroff

If you are looking for a more elegant solution, you should take a closer look at the free Poweroff program. In Poweroff you can specify that the PC either shuts down at a fixed time, restarts or just switches to standby. But you can also set the computer to shut down after completing a certain process – for example a download or video rendering.


Poweroff helps you with the automatic shutdown of the computer. Image: © Jorgen Bosman / Screenshot: 2021

Poweroff is available as a free download from Heise, among others.


If you want to shut down your PC automatically at a later time, you have several options in Windows 10:

  1. You can use a command line command in the Windows shell to set a specific time at which the computer should shut down.
  2. Alternatively, you can specify in the energy settings after how many inactive minutes the PC should automatically go to sleep.
  3. Another option is to use an external program such as Poweroff.

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