Shutdown command in Windows 8.1

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The shutdown command is a Command Prompt command that can be used to shut down, restart, log off, or hibernate your own computer.The shutdown command can also be used to remotely shut down or restart a computer you have access to over a network. This command has been modified slightly in Windows 8/8.1, with more commands available.

Shutdown Command Syntax

shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e | /o] [/hybrid] 

[/f] [/m \\computername] [/t xxx]
[/d [p:|u:]xx:yy] [/c "comment"] [/?]

/i = This shutdown option shows the Remote Shutdown Dialog, a graphical version of the remote shut down and restart features available in the shutdown command. The /i switch must be the first switch shown and all other options will be ignored.

/l = This option will immediately log off the current user on the current machine. You can not use the /l option with the /m option to log off a remote computer. The /d, /t, and /c options are also not available with /l.

/s = Use this option with the shutdown command to shut down the local or /m defined remote computer.

/r = This option will shut down and then restart the local computer or the remote computer specified in /m.

/g = This shutdown option functions the same as the /r option but will also restart any registered applications after the reboot.

/a = Use this option to stop a pending shut down or restart. Remember to use the /m option if you're planning on stopping a pending shut down or restart that you executed for a remote computer.

/p = This shutdown command option turns off the local computer completely. Using the /p option is similar to executing shutdown /s /f /t 0. You can not use this option with /t.

/h = Executing the shutdown command with this option immediately puts the computer you're on into hibernation. You can not use the /h option with the /m option to put a remote computer into hibernation, nor can you use this option with /t, /d, or /c.

/e = This option enables documentation for an unexpected shut down in the Shutdown Event Tracker.

/o = Use this shutdown switch to end the current Windows session and open the Advanced Boot Options menu. This option must be used with /r. The /o switch is new beginning in Windows 8.

/hybrid = This option performs a shutdown and prepares the computer for fast startup. The /hybrid switch is new beginning in Windows 8.

/f = This option forces running programs to close without warning. Except with the /l, /p, and /h options, not using shutdown's /f option will present a warning about the pending shut down or restart.

/m \\computername = This shutdown command option specifies the remote computer that you want to execute a shut down or restart on.

/t xxx = This is the time, in seconds, between the execution of the shutdown command and the actual shut down or restart. The time can be anywhere from 0 (immediately) to 315360000 (10 years). If you don't use the /t option then 30 seconds is assumed. The /t option is not available with either the /l, /h, or /p options.

/d [p:|u:]xx:yy = This records a reason for the restart or shut down. The p option indicates a planned restart or shut down and the u a user defined one. The xx and yy options specify major and minor reasons for the shut down or restart, respectively, a list of which you can view by executing the shutdown command without options. If neither p nor u are defined, the shut down or restart will be recorded as unplanned.

/c "comment" = This shutdown command option allows you to leave a comment describing the reason for the shut down or restart. You must include quotes around the comment. The maximum length of the comment is 512 characters.

/? = Use the help switch with the shutdown command to show detailed help about the command's several options. Executing shutdown without any options also displays the help for the command.

Tip: Each time Windows is shut down or restarted manually, including via the shutdown command, the reason, type of shut down, and [when specified] comment are recorded in the System log in Event Viewer. Filter by the USER32 source to find the entries.Tip: You can save the output of the shutdown command to a file using a redirection operator.

Shutdown Command Examples

shutdown /r /d p:0:0

In the above example, the shutdown command is used to restart the computer that's currently being used and records a reason of Other (Planned).

The restart is designed by /r and the reason is specified with the /d option with p representing that the restart is planned and the 0:0 indicating an "Other" reason.

Remember, major and minor reason codes on a computer can be displayed by executing shutdown without options and referencing the Reasons on this computer table that's displayed.

shutdown /l

Using the shutdown command as shown here, the current computer is immediately logged off. No warning message is displayed.

shutdown /s /m \\SERVER /d p:0:0 /c "Planned restart by User" 

In this shutdown command example, a remote computer named SERVER is being shut down with a recorded reason of Other (Planned). A comment is also recorded as Planned restart by User. Since no time is designated with the /t option, the shutdown will begin on SERVER 30 seconds after executing the shutdown command.

shutdown /s /t 0 

Finally, in this last example, the shutdown command is used to shut down the local computer immediately, since we designated a time of zero with the shutdown /t option.

Shutdown Command Availability

The shutdown command is available from within the Command Prompt in Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP operating systems.

Note: The availability of certain shutdown command switches and other shutdown command syntax may differ from operating system to operating system.