How to Shutdown Windows Remotely Using The Shutdown Command

Groovy Windows 7 Tips, Tricks, Techniques, Fixes, Solutions, Tutorials, How-To, Updates, Downloads, News, And More If you are using a remote desktop connection to access one of your systems you may have noticed Windows 7 removes the shutdown option from the start menu.  Lucky for us there is an easy way to get around it using an old school shutdown command.  Let’s get to know it.

What is the Windows 7 shutdown command?


The shutdown command in Windows 7 is just that, shutdown.  However, only typing shutdown will render no results. It needs to have a letter (argument) typed after it.  Here’s the easy to understand example given by Microsoft:

Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e] [/f] [/m \computer][/t xxx][/d [p|u:]xx:yy [/c “comment”]]

To translate, the command is:

shutdown /LETTER

or a more specific example:

shutdown /s

However, some letters have variables after them, such as /m which allows you to type the address or name of a network computer you want to remotely shutdown.

There are quite a few of them so here is a list of the available shutdown options for the command.

/i         Display the graphical user interface (GUI).
This must be the first option.
/l         Log off. This cannot be used with /m or /d options.
/s         Shutdown the computer.
/r         Restart the computer.
/g         Shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is
rebooted, restart any registered applications.
/a         Abort a system shutdown.
This can only be used during the time-out period.
/p         Turn off the local computer with no time-out or warning.
Can be used with /d and /f options.
/h         Hibernate the local computer.
Can be used with the /f option.
/e         Document the reason for an unexpected shutdown of a computer.
/m \computer Specify the target computer.
/t xxx     Set the time-out period before shutdown to xxx seconds.
The valid range is 0-315360000 (10 years), with a default of 30.
If the timeout period is greater than 0, the /f parameter is
/c “comment” Comment on the reason for the restart or shutdown.
Maximum of 512 characters allowed.
/f         Force running applications to close without forewarning users.
The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is
specified for the /t parameter.
/d [p|u:]xx:yy  Provide the reason for the restart or shutdown.
p indicates that the restart or shutdown is planned.
u indicates that the reason is user defined.
If neither p nor u is specified the restart or shutdown is
xx is the major reason number (positive integer less than 256).
yy is the minor reason number (positive integer less than 65536).

For /d – Reasons on this computer:
(E = Expected U = Unexpected P = planned, C = customer defined)
Type    Major   Minor   Title

U       0       0       Other (Unplanned)
E       0       0       Other (Unplanned)
E P     0       0      Other (Planned)
U       0       5       Other Failure: System Unresponsive
E       1       1       Hardware: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P     1       1       Hardware: Maintenance (Planned)
E       1       2       Hardware: Installation (Unplanned)
E P     1       2       Hardware: Installation (Planned)
E       2       2       Operating System: Recovery (Planned)
E P     2       2       Operating System: Recovery (Planned)
P       2       3       Operating System: Upgrade (Planned)
E       2       4       Operating System: Reconfiguration (Unplanned)
E P     2       4       Operating System: Reconfiguration (Planned)
P       2       16      Operating System: Service pack (Planned)
U       2       17      Operating System: Hot fix (Unplanned)
P       2       17      Operating System: Hot fix (Planned)
U       2       18      Operating System: Security fix (Unplanned)
P       2       18      Operating System: Security fix (Planned)
E       4       1       Application: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P     4       1       Application: Maintenance (Planned)
E P     4       2       Application: Installation (Planned)
E       4       5       Application: Unresponsive
E       4       6       Application: Unstable
U       5       15      System Failure: Stop error
U       5       19      Security issue
E       5       19      Security issue
E P     5       19      Security issue
E       5       20      Loss of network connectivity (Unplanned)
U       6       11      Power Failure: Cord Unplugged
U       6       12      Power Failure: Environment
P       7       0       Legacy API shutdown


How do I use the shutdown command?

In Windows 7 there are a few ways to enter commands like the shutdown one.  The easiest is going to be by using the Start Menu to enter it.

Click the Start Menu Orb and then just Type in the shutdown command such as:

shutdown –g

Then Press Enter.

using a shutdown command in windows 7


Windows will go ahead and shutdown, even if the computer you are working on is a remote desktop client!  This procedure is a groovy technique. I use it frequently to quickly restart pesky virtual machines that are running on my Windows servers. Just one thing to note, don’t run that command unless you mean it. It’s not easy to stop, and it WILL reboot your system after about 20 seconds.



  1. shockersh

    LOL yeah and um… don’t test this by typing shutdown -g in the start box lol… yeah, my box reboot.

    The cool thing about -g is all the apps that were open were re-opened after the restart. That’s cool. Didn’t know about the -G switch so that’s cool.

    Here’s my question, why the -g instead of /g? From all the switches you would think the -g would not work…???? /g is the correct switch isn’t it?

    • grooveDexter

      Hehe nice shocker, -g is the most harmless one so I’m glad you tested that one!
      Don’t forget you can do shutdown -a to abort the process but you have to do it quick.

      There isn’t much of a difference between -g and /g, both are equally effective in Windows 7 whether you are using the start menu text box or a CMD prompt to enter the command.

      • shockersh

        Yeah… hehehe, I figured out quickly it worked well heheh… Nice to know the -a switch as well!

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