The SHUTDOWN command in Windows CMD is used to shut down, restart, or log off the local or a remote machine. It is primarily used by administrators to manage power functions on multiple computers in a network environment or for script automation of system maintenance.


The basic syntax of the SHUTDOWN command is:

shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e] [/f] [/m \\computername] [/t xxx] [/d [p|u:]xx:yy] [/c "comment"] [/o]

Where each parameter can be defined as:

  • /i: Display GUI interface, must be the first option
  • /l: Log off, cannot be used with /m or /d options
  • /s: Shut down the computer
  • /r: Restart the computer
  • /g: Restart the computer and restart any registered applications
  • /a: Abort a system shutdown, only valid during the timeout period
  • /p: Turn off the local computer with no timeout or warning, can be used with /d and /f options
  • /h: Hibernate the local computer, can be used with the /f option
  • /e: Document the reason for an unexpected shutdown
  • /f: Force running applications to close without warning
  • /m: Specify the target computer
  • /t xxx: Set a timeout for shutdown, in seconds
  • /d [p|u:]xx:yy: Provide the reason for restart or shutdown
  • /c "comment": Comment on the reason for restart or shutdown
  • /o: Go to the advanced boot options menu and restart the computer


  • /i: Use if you need to shut down/restart/log off multiple remote computers simultaneously using a Graphical User Interface (GUI).
  • /l, /s, /r, /g: Choose based on whether you are logging off, shutting down, restarting, or rebooting (and restarting apps), respectively.
  • /f: Typically used in scripts or when applications hang and do not close by themselves during shutdown or restart.
  • /t xxx: Useful for giving users or processes a grace period before shutdown/restart.
  • /d, /c: Important for system administrators to log specific reasons or comments for shutdowns or restarts, aiding in troubleshooting and system management.


  1. Simple Shutdown:
    shutdown /s
  2. Restart the Computer with a Custom Message and 30-second Delay:
    shutdown /r /t 30 /c "Restarting for maintenance"
  3. Abort a Previously Scheduled Shutdown:
    shutdown /a
  4. Shut Down a Remote Computer:
    shutdown /s /m \\workstation01 /f

Common Issues

  • Access Denied Error: Make sure you have administrative privileges to shut down or restart the target computer.
  • Shutdown Aborts: Check for an /a command running in a script or another user aborting the scheduled shutdown.
  • Network Issues: Ensure the target machine name in /m is correct and accessible over the network.


Combine SHUTDOWN with other CMD commands for powerful scripting. For example:

  • Scheduled System Reboot at Midnight:

    at 24:00 shutdown /r
  • Batch File for Weekly Reboot:

    echo off
    shutdown /r /t 300
    timeout /t 604800 /nobreak
    goto loop
  • CMD: Use for other command line operations.
  • TASKSCHD.MSC: Schedule automated tasks including shutdown or restart.
  • PSSHUTDOWN: Part of Sysinternals Suite, for advanced shutdown operations.

For more detailed information, visit the official Microsoft documentation for the SHUTDOWN command: Windows Shutdown Command Documentation.