Configure Windows to shut down automatically

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 17, 2013

Windows does not provide users with easy options to schedule automatic shut downs of the system. While it is possible to use the Windows Task Scheduler for that, using the built-in tool is not a pleasant experience. Some users may prefer a simpler solution that they can configure in a heartbeat whenever it is needed.

Wise Auto Shutdown is a free program for all recent versions of the Windows operating system that offers exactly that functionality. When you start the program after installation you are presented with a single-screen configuration menu that enables you to configure automatic power state changes.

The following state changes are supported by the application:

  • Shut down - Shuts down the system.
  • Restart - Will restart the PC.
  • Log off - Logs off the current user.
  • Hibernate - Changes the power state to hibernation.
  • Power off - Powers down the PC.
  • Sleep - Puts the PC to sleep.

wise auto shutdown

The program makes available three options to schedule a power state change on the system it is run on. You can configure it to change the state daily at a specified point in time, once at a specified date and time, or once relative to the current time.

To configure a shut down at midnight you'd for instance select shut down from the task selection options on the left and Daily 00:00:00 under Time. This would shut down the PC at midnight every day until you change it again or block the program from being run automatically.

Wise Auto Shutdown won't use the Windows Task Scheduler to configure those tasks. This means that you need to run it in the background at all times when you want to make use of the program's functionality. It also means that you can prevent a power state change by closing the program.

You can enable a reminder that displays a notification that a task will be executed 5 minutes before that is the case.


Wise Auto Shutdown may be the program for your if you sometimes want to schedule the automatic shut down, restart or other power state changes of your system  and do not want to do so using the Task Scheduler. The application's greatest strength is that it makes everything available on a single configuration screen so that it is less complicated to configure than in the Task Scheduler.


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  1. Grantwhy said on January 18, 2013 at 6:30 am

    I’m still on XP and I have used shutdown.exe to shutdown this computer after a given amount of time (1 hour, 3 hours etc) but I know that when using shutdown.exe any open programs are *not* given as much time to close (or crash gracefully) as they get when using XP shutdown.

    Does Wise Auto Shutdown act like the regular XP shutdown, or does it act like shutdown.exe?

  2. JoJo said on January 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Dear Martin,
    Hope you are doing well.

    Thank you for all the tips and hints for Windows 8 so far, but having so many tips makes me wonder; why not making your own “Windows 8 inside-out book”? I have really enjoyed both of your books for windows 7 (the intro with beginner’s guide and the troubleshooting of windows 7″.

    To me; I don’t think you like windows 8 as much as 7.

    So? What do you have for us this time? Cant wait!!

    Good luck and keep it up.

  3. mmg1818 said on January 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    this is good, thanks.

  4. Tim said on January 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Looking at the screenshot, it would good if they added an option to shutdown if computer is idle for X amount of time. Although most would be happy with sleep, some people would prefer it to shutdown (particularly if it’s an encrypted drive) so people can’t just wake it.

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