There seems to be lots of third party tools (both freeware and non-freeware) available to automatically shut down a computer. But we really do not need them as Windows OS provides built-in utility for this task. This article explains you how to do this in simple steps. (The below steps are explained for Windows XP. Though the detailed names/buttons vary the same procedure works for Vista/Windows 7 too).
- Open Control panel from Start menu
- Open Scheduled Tasks (You can also open it from All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Scheduled Tasks)
- Double click on Add Scheduled task
It will open Scheduled task wizard.
Click on Next button.
Now you will be asked to choose the program which you want to run.
We need to choose shutdown program which is not shown in the list of applications. Click on ‘Browse‘ button to manually locate the program in your disk. In the next window enter C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe in the File name field.
Click on Open button. In the next window enter a name for the task(it suggests shutdown by default) and also select the frequency for the shutdown. If you want to schedule this everyday then select daily. You need to choose an appropriate option based on your requirements.
Click on Next button. In the next window you need to choose the time you want to schedule the shutdown of the computer. You can also specify if you want the shutdown to be invoked only on weekdays etc.
Specify your required settings in this window and click on Next.
In this window specify your login id and password details and then click on Next button.
Now it shows you the summary of the settings for the task of automatically shutting down the computer. Select the check button ‘Open Advanced properties for this task when I click finish‘ as shown in above snapshot and click on Finish button.
It will open the properties windows of the newly created task. click on Task tab.
Now in the Run field add -s to the path of shutdown.exe as shown in the below snapshot.
Now click on Apply and close the window. That’s all, you are done.