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automatically shutdown after downloadLeaving your computer on to download files can be a smart move, but what happens when the download completes? Your computer will stay powered on, doing nothing but wasting electricity How Much Power Does Your PC Need? [Technology Explained] How Much Power Does Your PC Need? [Technology Explained] We all know computers need power. Their use of electricity is obvious. They turn it into heat, noise and light – almost like magic. But how much power does a PC need, exactly? This can... Read More and costing you some money Does Saving Energy With Your PC Really Help Your Wallet? Does Saving Energy With Your PC Really Help Your Wallet? Computers, like all electronics, consume a fair amount of electricity. And while the efficiency of the modern computer hardware has improved relative to older parts, there’s still a lot of energy wasted. Finding ways to... Read More . If you want to leave your computer on to download files, you can have it automatically shut down after the download process completes.

You can also use these tricks to hibernate or suspend your computer Windows 7 Power Options and Sleep Modes Explained Windows 7 Power Options and Sleep Modes Explained When Windows 7 launched, one of Microsoft's selling points was that it was designed to help your battery last longer. One of the main features users will actually notice is that the screen dims before... Read More instead of performing a full shut down. You’ll still get the power-saving benefits, but you’ll be able to resume your session without losing any data. You can even wake your computer at a time you specify.


SmartPower is an application for automatically turning your computer off and waking it up. You can use SmartPower to set a schedule that controls when your computer will turn off and on. SmartPower can also automatically power your computer off when its CPU What Is A CPU and What Does It Do? [Technology Explained] What Is A CPU and What Does It Do? [Technology Explained] Read More isn’t being used, allowing you to have your computer power off when it’s done doing other long-running, intensive tasks.

To have SmartPower automatically power your computer off when a download process is finished, use the Schedules tab to set a Power Off rule. For example, if you usually go to bed around midnight, you can set a rule that will automatically power your computer off at midnight. (You can also optionally have your computer turn back on at a specific time, so it’ll be ready and waiting for you in the morning.)

automatically shutdown after download

Next, click over to the Networks tab and enable the Stay on checkbox. Select your network interfaces and specify a traffic threshold. At the scheduled time – midnight, for example – SmartPower will try to automatically shut down your computer. If there’s network traffic, SmartPower will wait until the network traffic drops below your configured threshold (in other words, it will wait until the download is finished) and shut down your computer.

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auto shutdown download

Note that this traffic threshold also takes into account uploads, so take that into account. In other words, if you’re using BitTorrent and your BitTorrent client 6 Lesser Known BitTorrent Clients That You May Not Know About [Windows] 6 Lesser Known BitTorrent Clients That You May Not Know About [Windows] If you know about BitTorrent, then you’ve likely already heard about the big name programs - uTorrent, Vuze/Azureus, BitComet, BitTornado, etc. They’re so well-known in fact, that they don’t really need any more publicity -... Read More  continues uploading after all downloads are complete, SmartPower will consider the interface active as long as the upload continues.

You can get around this by setting an upload speed limit in your downloading program and setting the threshold in SmartPower above the upload limit, ensuring that uploads alone won’t keep your computer on.


AMP WinOFF is another app you can use to automatically power your computer off when certain conditions occur. It’s more flexible than SmartPower for scheduling shut downs based on network activity. You can have it pay attention only to input (download activity) rather than output (upload activity). Enable the Network transfer trigger in AMP WinOFF, select Input transfer, enter a speed, and select your network adapter.

auto shutdown download

Once you’re done setting it up, click the Activate button to activate an automatic shut down based on your triggers and settings.

AMP WinOFF works well if you’re stepping away from your computer and want to have it shut down when a download is complete, while SmartPower works well if you want to set up an automatic schedule that shuts your computer down at specific times – except when it’s downloading.

auto shutdown download

Integrated Shut Down Features & Commands

Many file-downloading programs contain integrated support for automatically shutting down your computer when they’re finished downloading files. They may also contain a “run a program when a download completes” feature, which you can use to run a program that shuts down your computer. The following examples are for uTorrent, but other download applications will often have similar features.

For example, if you’re downloading files with uTorrent, you can click the Options menu, point to Auto Shutdown, and select one of the options to hibernate, suspend (standby), or shut down your computer when your downloads complete.

automatic shutdown download

Let’s say you instead wanted to shut down your computer when a single download completes – perhaps you’re downloading multiple files and only one is important. Or perhaps you’re using an application that doesn’t have an automatic computer shut down feature, but does have a “run a program when download completes” feature.

In uTorrent, right-click a downloading torrent file and select Properties.

automatic shutdown download

Whatever program you’re using, enter the following command into the “run a program” box:

shutdown.exe /s

When the download completes, your file-downloading program will run the shutdown.exe command and power off your computer. (If you want to hibernate your computer instead of shutting it down, use the shutdown.exe /h command instead.)

automatically shutdown after download

How do you automatically shut down your computer after downloads are complete? Do you prefer another application we didn’t mention here? Or do you leave your computer running overnight instead? Leave a comment and let us know!

Image Credit: Monitor Power Button Close-Up in Darkness via Shutterstock

  1. Kevin Christian
    December 30, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Hey, I wanted to ask you. Is there any app , if I shut down my computer but I'm still downloading from the internet, it will continue downloading when I turn on the computer.

  2. gaston33
    April 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Here is simple steps to simply shutdown your computer after a specified time !!

  3. Frank Zedmore
    December 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

    This is kind of cool but I can't think of an immediate use for it

  4. Rigoberto Garcia
    November 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Great article Chris. I try it. Thanks...

  5. Joshua Rodriguez
    November 2, 2012 at 8:35 am

    An easy way to do it is to type in command prompt:

    shutdown /s /t (time)

    Time is in seconds by
    This is a simple way to shutdown your computer and it requires no additional software!!!
    The only problem is estimating the seconds left to shutdown which might be tedious when you do it regularly

  6. Hasit Bhatt
    October 31, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Already using it... :)

  7. Zaiyuddin Abdullah
    October 31, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Using Internet Download Manager that has an auto shutdown. This mean you can just forget your PC when you're in a hurry.

  8. Efi Dreyshner
    October 30, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Thanks for sharing (:
    AMP WinOFF is awesome.

  9. Saurav Azad
    October 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    wonderful .
    power up and down manually any time I want my PCs by using the WOL(Wake On LAN) which in fact is Wake On LAN over WAN mostly from anywhere in the world an so I can turn on whichever PC whenever I want

  10. Scutterman
    October 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Can these programs also be used to shutting down when updates have been installed? I find that sometimes, when Windows wants to install 40-odd updates just before I want to go to sleep.

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      That should probably work, although Windows usuallly offers to install updates right before the computer is shut off, anyway.

      • Scutterman
        November 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm

        It does when they're already downloaded, but I prefer to only download the updates I choose to install so my network isn't bogged down with updates for bing toolbar or other stuff which Windows choose to bundle into the same updater as the core and security updates.

        • Chris Hoffman
          November 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

          Good point. It's a shame Windows is putting junk into Windows Update, it's almost as bad as Oracle bundling junk with Java security updates.

  11. Kingsley Watson
    October 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    quite useful article already know about utorrents option for shutting down the computer

  12. Grr
    October 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    It is essential to keep the computer running for torrent downloads, as one should seed the download. Shutting down after a download is not helpful.

    Though I don;t download a lot from torrent, I keep it running unless a ration of 1 is reached.

    • Yang Yang Li
      October 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Most torrent applications automatically stop seeding once a ratio of 1.1 is reached. Seeding 1:1 is good enough considering all those people who just download.

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Not a bad idea, but perhaps you want to download the file as soon as possible and continue seeding when you turn your computer back on. It's more energy efficient.

    • schrislim
      December 12, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Can I continue seeding after turning off my computer? When I turned off my computer and restarted it, files that I was seeding disappeared. Is there any way to continue seeding? if there is, can you tell me ways to continue seeding after turning off my computer?

  13. Alex Perkins
    October 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I use the shutdown feature in uTorrent all the time, especially useful for download those big files while I'm asleep!

  14. Dhruv Sangvikar
    October 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    unless you are downloading a large file directly in your browser.. this app is useless i would say.. most of the downloaders like idm or torrent downloaders like utorrent do provide auto shutdown option.. :-\

    • Chris Hoffman
      October 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Don't underestimate the amount of people downloading files in their browsers!

  15. Yang Yang Li
    October 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I use Simple ShutDown Timer to turn off my computer after a certain amount of time. For uploading or downloading anything, I use a low power Pogoplug running Transmission. Leaving my main desktop on drives my electricity bill through the roof. Running my 500W computer is like burning eight 60W light bulbs at the same time!

    • Chris Hoffman
      October 27, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Yikes, good thing computer manufacturer's are focusing more on power efficiency!

      • Yang Yang Li
        October 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm

        I should have mentioned its a gaming computer. Power efficiency is not as important as POWER.

        • george lopez
          December 31, 2012 at 7:49 am

          especially with my computer using a 1050w power supply

  16. Anonymous
    October 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    a handy feature indeed :D

  17. Patrick Jackson
    October 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I liked the article very much as now I know a better way to shut down the PC after finishing downloads from all means but uTorrent.

  18. kumar raja
    October 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Its simply superb hatsof to

  19. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    October 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Internet Download Manager (IDM) has this option built in. For any other purpose, the lightweight Chronoshutdown will do.
    If you need the opposite, a nifty little program called 'coffee' will keep your machine awake even if the machine is idle.

    • Chris Hoffman
      October 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Chrono Shutdown looks good if you only want to set a timer and don't need any fancy features, thanks!

    • Douglas Mutay
      November 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks for the tip Lisa. I use the built in option in IDM but didn't know I could have something that could do the opposite. I have tried to find the link to download 'cofee' but couldn't. Can you help?

  20. Nikhil Chandak
    October 27, 2012 at 8:08 am

    amazing way to shut down

  21. salim benhouhou
    October 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    download accelerator plus do this when the download completes . it is awesome

  22. Xantes
    October 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I can power up and down manually any time I want my PCs by using the WOL(Wake On LAN) which in fact is Wake On LAN over WAN mostly from anywhere in the world an so I can turn on whichever PC whenever I want.
    Since I can check whenever I want my PC's download status I don't worry too much about turning off my PC wright away next to downloading conclusion.

    • Chris Hoffman
      October 27, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      Wake On LAN is definitely usable, too -- as long as you're not sleeping or anything.

    • Samarth Hegde
      October 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Hey!!! why dont you use ?
      its a cmd timer!! we can use cmd to run it! :)

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