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How to Shutdown or Reboot a Remote Computer: Step-by-step Guide

Shutdown or Reboot a Remote Computer

Hitesh J

Suppose you are a Windows System Administrator and responsible for managing remote computers. In that case, there will be times that you will need to restart or shut down a remote computer or server. There are several tools available to manage and shut down the Windows system remotely. However, Windows has some in-built tools that allow you to shut down or restart a computer remotely.

In this post, we will show you how to shut down or restart a Windows computer remotely.

How To Enable Remote Shutdown

Before performing remote shutdown, all computers must be in the same network, and all should have one common administrative account. You will also need to configure the target computer to allow the remote shutdown.

To allow the remote shutdown, perform the following steps on all target computers:

Step 1 – Press the Windows + R key, type services.msc, and click on the OK button. This will open the Windows service manager as shown below:

open remote registry

Step 2 – Scroll down and right-click on Remote Registry, then select the properties icon. You should see the following screen:

enable remote shutdown

Step 3 – Click on the Startup type drop-down menu and select Automatic. Then, click on the OK button to save the changes.

Step 4 – Next, you will also need to allow remote shutdown in the Windows firewall. To do so, open the Windows firewall as shown below:

allow app through firewall

Step 5 – Click Allow an app through Windows Firewall. You should see the following screen:

enable wmi

Step 6 – Scroll down and find the “Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)” then enable it and click on the OK button to apply the changes.

How to Shutdown a Remote Computer Using PsExec

PsExec is a portable tool by Microsoft that allows you to run commands on the remote computer using the user's credentials. By default, PsExec is not installed on any Windows operating system. You will need to install it manually.

To use this tool, file and printer sharing must be enabled on local and remote computers. Also, both computers belong to the same Workgroup.

You can download the PsExec on the computer from which you will need to perform the remote shutdown.

Once the file is downloaded, extract the files from the PsTools.zip download. Next, open the Windows Command prompt and navigate to the PsTools folder. You can now start running PsExec.exe on the remote computer.

The basic syntax to perform a remote shutdown is shown below:

PsExec.exe \\remote-pc-name shutdown /s

For example, to shut down a remote computer named CLOUD-9GA5IF08G, run the following command:

PsExec.exe \\CLOUD-9GA5IF08G shutdown /s

To restart a remote computer, run the following command:

PsExec.exe \\CLOUD-9GA5IF08G shutdown /r

reboot using psexec

Shut Down a Remote Computer Using a Native Windows Shutdown Command

Windows also provide a native shutdown command-line utility that allows you to shut down and restarts a remote computer.

The basic syntax to perform a remote shutdown is shown below:

shutdown \\remote-pc-name

There are several options available that you can run with the shutdown command:

  • /s – Shut down the remote computer.
  • /r – Restart the remote computer.
  • /l – Log out the remote computer.
  • /c – Display a message on the screen before performing restart or shutdown.
  • /t – Set a timeout period before performing shutdown.
  • /m – Specify the remote computer.

For example, to restart a remote computer named CLOUD-9GA5IF08G, run the following command:

shutdown /r /m \\CLOUD-9GA5IF08G

To shut down a remote computer named CLOUD-9GA5IF08G, run the following command:

shutdown /s /m \\CLOUD-9GA5IF08G

To restart a remote computer and display a custom message, run the following command:

shutdown /r /m \\CLOUD-9GA5IF08G /c "The IT administrator is going to initiate a remote restart on your system"

restart with message

To restart a remote computer after 90 seconds, run the following command:

shutdown /r /m \\CLOUD-9GA5IF08G /t 90

To shut down a remote computer without any prompt, run the following command:

shutdown /s /m \\CLOUD-9GA5IF08G /p

Shutdown a Remote Computer with PowerShell

You can also shut down or restart a remote computer with PowerShell. However, compared to the shutdown command, PowerShell does not have many options.

PowerShell provides two commands Restart-Computer and Stop-Computer, to restart and shut down a remote computer.

To restart a remote computer forcefully, run the following command:

Restart-Computer -ComputerName CLOUD-9GA5IF08G -Force

To shut down a remote computer forcefully, run the following command:

Stop-Computer -ComputerName CLOUD-9GA5IF08G -Force

To shutdown multiple remote computers, run the following command:

Stop-Computer -ComputerName "pc1", "pc2"

Suppose you want to restart several computers. Just create a text file named computer-list.txt, add all remote computer names and run the following command:

Restart-Computer (get-content D:\computer-list.txt)

Conclusion

The guide explained how to shutdown and restart a remote Windows computer using PsExec and the shutdown command. I hope this helps you if you want to continue or shut down multiple remote computers.

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