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windows auto shutdownWhen was the last time you actually shut down your computer before bed? I’ve had to ask myself the same thing, and I can’t remember. When you’re trying to save power and potentially preserve the lifespan of your system, it’s something that you’ve got to consider.

One of the biggest things that prevent you and me from doing this is probably the fact that our desktop or laptop is its own machine. We have it set to perform certain actions when idle, or we’ll go to bed after starting a heap of torrent downloads. But, after your your PC has finished its job, it’s left to sit there and do nothing. It doesn’t have to be that way, and I’d like to introduce you to two applications that can change that.

Shutter

Shutter takes our predicament and offers the simplest solution to it: condition-based events that you can use to send certain actions to the Windows system while you’re away.

windows auto shutdown

Shutter allows you to set up timed or scheduled events to shut down, reboot, log off, lock, sleep, hibernate, and more.

windows shutdown

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Shutter offers extreme flexibility that allows you to send operations when Winamp Want One Of The Simplest Desktop MP3 Players? Winamp Lite Still Exists! [Windows] Want One Of The Simplest Desktop MP3 Players? Winamp Lite Still Exists! [Windows] There are some desktop applications that suck the nostalgia right out of our hearts. mIRC maybe? Off the top of my head: AOL Instant Messenger, Paint Shop Pro, BearShare, WS_FTP, ICQ, and RealPlayer. Most of... Read More stops playing, a process or ping stops, a file reaches a certain size, a window closes, and more. Some are so specific and obscure that I can’t imagine finding such control in an alternative software.

windows shutdown

In the screenshot above, it took me a matter of about 10 seconds to set up a rule to automatically hibernate my laptop when the battery reaches 10%. Clicking Start will immediately put the rule into effect.

The program’s options are also very extensive, and allow you to set up things that should occur when the action takes place. For example, you can trigger a message to come up on screen, force a program to run, or play a sound.

windows shutdown

I think the coolest feature is being able to set up web access to remotely control and monitor Shutter, similar to how uTorrent Do You Use uTorrent? Then Be The Master Of Your Preferences Do You Use uTorrent? Then Be The Master Of Your Preferences uTorrent is by far the most widely used BitTorrent client, and for very good reason. uTorrent is very small, very fast, and portable. It is packed with every feature you'd need to be a total... Read More offers a web UI. For such a small program, Shutter is packed with functionality and features. Shutter was tested and works with versions of Windows from 98 forward.

DShutdown

DShutdown takes most of the features from Shutter and offers them under a different interface.

windows auto shutdown

Key differences between the two include DShutdown’s timer. You can set an exact time and date for an action, should you want to lock or shut down your PC at a much later time. Another cool feature is the pixel color monitor, which can serve a ton of purposes. If a particular pixel changes color, you can trigger an action.

DShutdown does suffer from a few gaffes. It’s been reported that DShutdown doesn’t work so well with 64-bit versions of Windows. DShutdown’s version of remote network access is also a little buggy. Allowing you to send commands to other PCs on the network is a great idea, but the application makes a lot of assumptions (such as certain ports already being open).

Overall, I’d settle for calling DShutdown the next best thing to Shutter (if you don’t like it for whatever reason). DShutdown works with versions of Windows from 98 to 7, but only on 32-bit systems.

These two applications are completely portable and give you an overwhelming amount of control over how to manage your PC while you’re away from it. Which gets the job done better for you? Let me know in the comments!

  1. Eric Jay Palomar
    January 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    airytec is also good. lightweight app though lacking some features when compared above.

  2. Kamil Ko
    January 15, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Do any of these (or others) let you set it once and never require any input from a user?

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      January 16, 2013 at 5:02 am

      Maybe you can use the program along with Windows Scheduler.

  3. Mihovil Pletikos
    January 15, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    i like the most command prompt shutdown commands like
    shutdown -s -t 60 //shut down in 60 seconds
    shutdown -s -t 60 -c "it will shut down in 60 seconds" //shut down in 60 seconds with message
    etc

    • Adrian Cozma
      January 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      I always get a tray message, no matter how many seconds I type. I've noticed that I also get a system message when the countdown reaches 10 minutes.

      Extremely valuable is the "shutdown -a" command to cancel any screw-up.

  4. James LaBarre
    January 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Funny, on *MY* system "Shutter" is a screenshot utility....

  5. anon5
    January 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    airytec switch off is excellent too

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