Scheduling the shutdown of your PC can save energy, money, maybe improve your security, and you don’t need to install any extra software to make this happen. A few minutes spent with Task Scheduler and reminding yourself of shutdown.exe’s command line switches will point you in the right direction.
Choosing the right shutdown scheduler can give you much more flexibility, though. DShutdown has been around for so long that it still supports Windows 9x, but it’s still being developed, with the latest release giving you even more PC management power.
The program is a tiny 402KB download, and portable, with no dependencies or intrusive system components. Just unzip it and launch DShutdown.exe to get started.
The interface looks cluttered – because, well, it is – but spend a moment browsing the sections and it’ll start to make sense. Start at the bottom-left “Timer” panel and you’ll find options to run your shutdown after a period of time (a two hour countdown, say), at a specified time, or on certain days of the week or month.
That’s familiar enough, but DShutdown can also kick in when a program closes, a pixel colour changes, if the user is idle, if internet activity or CPU usage falls below some specified level, and more.
There’s real depth here, too. Turn on the Internet Activity Monitor and you’re able to choose the network adapter, then check the upload, download or overall net traffic rates, or monitor whether you’re on or offline.
DShutdown has even more flexibility in its actions. As well as the usual shutdown/ standby/ hibernate/ restart, you could schedule a log off, a power off, maybe lock the workstation, and optionally force any of these actions, ensuring it’ll work even if a running process tries to stop it.
This would be useful all on its own, but DShutdown is also able to wake up a computer on schedule. And it can apply any of these actions to one or more local or remote PCs.
The program has a stack of general actions, too, like the ability to run or close a program on schedule. And the latest version has an option to take a screenshot just before shutdown, or email the image to you along with a log file.
DShutdown’s interface could really use a redesign – putting it politely – but there’s nothing wrong with its functionality, and if you need a flexible startup/ shutdown scheduler then the program deserves a closer look.