With the help of the built-in Windows 10 task scheduler, it is possible to set up a process whereby a computer is automatically shut down at a specific time.

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For many companies, it is the standard procedure for employees to leave their workstation computers on when they leave the office. Usually those workstation computers will go to sleep or sleep later in the evening, which reduces power consumption - at least a little. But what if a company wants to reduce electricity consumption even more?

In Microsoft Windows 10, it is possible to set a scheduled shutdown of a PC for a specific time. Theoretically, a computer that is completely switched off will use less power and save a company considerable amounts of money, as well as reducing its carbon footprint. Arranging a closing time outside working hours is achieved with the help of the Windows 10 task scheduler.

This instructional video shows you how to use the Windows Task Scheduler to start a shutdown process for a Windows 10 computer at a specific time.

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Some versions of the Task Scheduler application are part of the Windows Administrative Tool Kit from the first release of the operating system. The Windows 10 version can be opened by typing "task scheduler" in the desktop search box and then selecting the correct result. As you can see in Figure A, the Task Scheduler can perform many tasks and at first sight can be a little intimidating.

Our planned closure is classified as a basic task, so click on the "Create Basic Task" item in the right pane to start the creation process shown in Figure B.

Give your task a name and description, and then click the Next button to open the trigger screen that is displayed in Figure C.

Different choices are shown. You can perform this closing process every day, once a week or perhaps once a month. You can also ask the Task Scheduler to wait for a specific event. We will choose daily for our example. Click Next when you have made your choice. If you choose daily, you will be asked to specify a start date and execution time, as shown in Figure D.

After you have made your choices, click the Next button to go to the action screen that is displayed in Figure E. There are three choices on this screen, but the one we will use is Start a Program.

Enter "shutdown" in the script box and enter "-s -f -t 60" in the Add arguments box. The arguments are part of the default settings for the shutdown.exe program. The -s tells Windows to close, or you can use -r to restart the PC instead. The -f forces active applications to close as part of the closing process and the -t 60 adds a 1-minute countdown. If you want to close it immediately, change that argument to -t 0.

Click Next to go to the Finish screen that is displayed in Figure G, where you will see a summary of your task and the option to open the properties window for this task after you click the Finish button.

If you are satisfied with the setting for your task, click the Finish button to save it and then close the Task Scheduler. In our example, from 11/12/2019 at 1:00 AM, our Windows 10 computer closes all running applications and closes after a 1-minute countdown.

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