Windows – How to shutdown, restart, or log off Windows via a bat file


I've been using Remote Desktop Connection to get into a workstation. But in this environment, I cannot use the power options in Start Menu. I need an alternative way to shutdown or restart.

How do I control my computer's power state through the command line?

Best Solution

The most common ways to use the shutdown command are:

  • shutdown -s — Shuts down.
  • shutdown -r — Restarts.
  • shutdown -l — Logs off.
  • shutdown -h — Hibernates.

    Note: There is a common pitfall wherein users think -h means "help" (which it does for every other command-line program... except shutdown.exe, where it means "hibernate"). They then run shutdown -h and accidentally turn off their computers. Watch out for that.

  • shutdown -i — "Interactive mode". Instead of performing an action, it displays a GUI dialog.

  • shutdown -a — Aborts a previous shutdown command.

The commands above can be combined with these additional options:

  • -f — Forces programs to exit. Prevents the shutdown process from getting stuck.
  • -t <seconds> — Sets the time until shutdown. Use -t 0 to shutdown immediately.
  • -c <message> — Adds a shutdown message. The message will end up in the Event Log.
  • -y — Forces a "yes" answer to all shutdown queries.

    Note: This option is not documented in any official documentation. It was discovered by these StackOverflow users.

I want to make sure some other really good answers are also mentioned along with this one. Here they are in no particular order.