The easy way to schedule a Windows PC's shutdown

Do you need a quick and easy way to schedule when your Windows computer or device shuts down or restarts? Do you want to schedule other things like when it enters Sleep mode? Luckily, we have found a way to do all this, with the help of a simple app that's free to download and use. You don't have to use complicated tools like the Task Scheduler or the Command Prompt. Here's how it all works:

Why is this method better than others?

When you search for a way to schedule the shutdown procedure of a Windows computer or device, you will find many websites telling you to use the Task Scheduler in Windows or the Command Prompt, where you run the shutdown command with a special parameter. While all these methods work well, most users will prefer to avoid them because they are rather technical. In the end, most users haven't even heard about the Task Scheduler or when they see the Command Prompt they feel lost and want to get out.

Our method is better because it involves using a simple app for this task, that anyone can download, install and use. Clicking on things you understand is always preferred to using an admin's tool like the Task Scheduler.

Download and install the Simple Shutdown Scheduler

Simple Shutdown Scheduler is a free open-source app that anyone can download and install on their Windows computer and devices. First, download the app from its official project page. You will download a file named SSS-v1.1.0-Setup.exe will less than 1 MB in size. When you run it, you might be informed that it needs Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 in order to work. Click or tap Yes.

Your default web browser will download it in the form of a file named "dotnetfx35.exe". Run the file and install the .NET Framework. If you are using Windows 10, you will download version 3.5 which includes .NET Framework 2.0.

NOTE: If you need to manually download the .NET Framework, you will find it here, on Microsoft's website.

If you are not told anything about the .NET Framework, it means that it is already installed on your Windows computer and you just go ahead with the installation of the Simple Shutdown Scheduler app.

When you run the SSS-v1.1.0-Setup.exe, the installation wizard is started. Press Next and customize the installation of the app.

At the final step, press Finish and run the app.

How to schedule a computer shut down with the Simple Shutdown Scheduler

In the Simple Shutdown Scheduler app, first go to the General tab and click or tap Options. Make sure that you enable the following options:

  • "Start SSS on Windows startup" - this makes sure that the app always starts automatically each time you sign into Windows. This way, if you create recurring schedules for shut downs and other operations, the app will always work in the background and do what you want it to do.
  • "Start with scenarios enabled" - in order to schedule regular shut downs and other operations, you must create scenarios. You want them enabled each time the app starts.
  • "Start minimized" - if you want to run the app in the background and do its thing without bothering you, you will want it to start minimized.

To save your configuration, press Save and then Close. Then, go to the Scenarios tab. Here you can create new scenarios.

To create a new scenario, first click or tap the "New scenario" drop down list and select the action that you want it to perform. In our case, select Shutdown.

To make sure that the shutdown is performed now matter what, even if there are apps blocking it, check the Force option. Then, if you want to set a regular schedule for your shutdown (like running the shutdown daily, at a specific time), select Date & time and click the drop-down list with the same name. Then, select the interval when you want the scenario to run: one time, daily, weekly or monthly.

Then, modify the time when you want the scenario to run and click or tap "Add scenario".

If you go to the General tab, you will see that the scenario is added and active.

You can also set a countdown and have the shutdown performed after a certain amount of time passed. If you want this, select Countdown, set the time you want and press Add scenario.

Now go back to the General tab and you can see the countdown working and informing you when your Windows computer is about to shut down.

Try out the app and see how it works.

How to delete scenarios from the Simple Shutdown Scheduler

While the app is easy to use for most people, it could be improved. For example, it is not very evident how to remove a scenario that you no longer want to use. In order to do this, select the scenario in the General tab and press the Delete key on your keyboard. Then, you are asked to confirm that you are OK to delete the selected scenario. Press Yes and you are done.

Another issue is that you can't edit saved scenarios. Therefore, you have to delete the scenario that no longer works the way you want to and then create a new one.

Other things that you can do with the Simple Shutdown Scheduler

The Simple Shutdown Scheduler app is very flexible and it allows you to schedule many other things besides computer shutdowns. You can schedule restarts, sleep procedures, the locking of your PC or your user logging off. Also, you can use it to set schedules for running certain desktop apps that interest you at regular intervals.

Another way you can use it is to perform immediate actions instead of scheduled ones.


Use the Simple Shutdown Scheduler app and let us know how it works for you. What would you want its programmers to improve and what do you use it for? You can access the comments form below and share your experience.