How to shut down or restart the computer with a batch file

Batch fileBelow are steps on how to restart, shutdown, and hibernate a Windows computer from a batch file or the command line.

Windows Vista, 7, and 8 users
Windows XP users
Windows 95, 98, and ME users
MS-DOS users

Windows Vista, 7, and 8 users

Microsoft Windows Vista, 7, and 8 includes a similar shutdown command feature that XP did to shutdown the computer through the command line, shortcut, or batch files. Below are the steps required for creating a shutdown, restart, and hibernate shortcut.

1. Create a new shortcut.

2. For the location of the shortcut type one of the below commands depending on what you want to do.

To shutdown the computer type the below line in the location text field.

shutdown.exe /s /t 00

To restart the computer type the below line in the location text field.

shutdown.exe /r /t 00

To hibernate the computer type the below line in the location text field.

shutdown.exe /h

3. Click Next, and then for the name of the shortcut type either Shut down, Restart, or Hibernate and then click Finish.

After completing the above steps, double-click the shortcut icon to shut down, restart, or put the computer into hibernation.

Additional information and options about the shutdown command is on our shutdown command page.

Windows XP users

Microsoft Windows XP includes a new shutdown command that allows users to shutdown the computer through the command line, shortcut, or batch files. Below are the steps required for creating a shutdown and restart shortcut.

1. Create a new shortcut.

2. For the location of the shortcut type one of the below commands depending on what you want to do.

To shut down your computer type the below line in the location.

shutdown.exe -s -t 00

To restart the computer type the below line in the location.

shutdown.exe -r -t 00

3. Click Next, and then for the name of the shortcut type either Shut down or Restart and then click Finish.

After completing the above steps, double-click the shortcut icon to shut down or restart the computer.

Additional information and options about the shutdown command is on our shutdown command page.

Windows 95, 98, and ME users

Create a batch file with the lines mentioned below for the action you want to perform.

Restarting the computer

START C:\Windows\RUNDLL.EXE user.exe,exitwindowsexec
exit

Shut down the computer

C:\Windows\RUNDLL32.EXE user,exitwindows
exit

Note: When typing the above two lines, spacing is important. Also, make sure to enter the exit line at the bottom of the batch file in case Windows cannot restart the computer because of the open MS-DOS window.

Microsoft Windows 98 and Windows ME users can also run the below command to perform different forms of rebooting or shutting down.

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,SHExitWindowsEx n

Where n is equal to one of the numbers below, depending on the action you want the computer to perform.

  • 0 - LOGOFF
  • 1 - SHUTDOWN
  • 2 - REBOOT
  • 4 - FORCE
  • 8 - POWEROFF

MS-DOS users

If you need to restart from MS-DOS, see the debug page for steps on how to write a debug routine to restart these computers.

Additional information