How to Schedule a Windows Reboot at a Later Time

Updated on 8/26/2008 with corrected information!

Window’s simple shutdown command works well, but has some major drawbacks. The major one is that it will only schedule a reboot up to 10 minutes into the future (600 seconds). Linux’s shutdown command makes this easy, just issue the command ‘shutdown -r +60’ for example to reboot an hour in the future.

No such luck in Windows, you need to download a separate program to do this. It is a sysinternals program, you might remember sysinternals from such utilies like FileMon and ProcessMonitor.

The program we use for this is called PsTools and more specifically the file psshutdown.exe.

[Download PsTools here]

Place psshutdown.exe into a directory for future use, for this example we will use c:\tools\.

Easiest Method:

Type the following command into the command prompt:

c:\tools\psshutdown.exe -r -f -c -t 02:00 /accepteula

PSshutdown will respond with:

PsShutdown v2.52 - Shutdown, logoff and power manage local and remote systems
Copyright (C) 1999-2006 Mark Russinovich
Sysinternals -

Local system is scheduled to reboot in 15:08:00.

If all goes will, Windows will reboot at 2:00am, or your specified time. This command will start a system service with the psstools scheduling program, PSSDNSVC.EXE.

Alternate Method:

Then open a command prompt and type the following command:

at 2:00am c:\tools\psshutdown.exe -r -f -c -t 10 /accepteula

This will result in:

Added a new job with ID = 1

You can verify this task has been added by looking at the Scheduled Tasks – the job name will be At1 if you haven’t scheduled any other tasks via the command line.

Dave Drager

Dave Drager


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