How To Schedule Windows Automatically Power On and Power Off


There are quite a few reasons why you want to automatically startup and shutdown your Windows machine. You can schedule it to run virus scan periodically when nobody is around, running disk defragmentation or custom downloading tasks. Things like those could take hours to finish. It would be better off to let it run by itself at off hours. An extreme approach to solving this kind of problem is to simply leave the computer on 24/7, and run such tasks while not using the machine. But that might not be an ideal solution; often times, it isn’t doing anything but draining wasted electricity and making unnecessary noise. So if you are using a computer following a predictable pattern, it might be worth it to set up a repeated scheduled job that would automatically power on your machine at a specific time of a day, or a certain day of a week/month, and power off automatically at a predefined time subsequently.

How To Schedule Windows To automatically Startup

To make Windows to power on by itself isn’t something you can achieve inside Windows OS. But you can do this by selecting the right option in your BIOS or CMOS settings. Each machine might have slightly different naming for such configuration. For me, you would first need to go to BIOS > Power Management > Resume By Alarm > Enable. From there you can configure which date of a month to automatically power on or leave it repeated to do this every day at which specific hour of the day. Save the setting when done.

BIOS Power Management

Next Configure Windows to Automatically shutdown

Now that we have configured Windows to start itself, it’s time to configure how to let it shut down at a time of your choice. To do this, we are going to leverage the built-in tool called “Schedule Task”. You can find the setting by going to Control Panel > Schedule Task

Task Scheduler

On the right side, Action section goes find Create Task … 

New Task Scheduler

Under the Create Task wizard make sure “Run whether a user is logged on or not” is selected. Also, make sure “Run with highest privileges” is checked. Give it a name such as “Shut down every night”.

New Task Scheduler

Now go to Actions tab, click New …

New Task Scheduler

This will bring up another pop-up. Select “Start a program” as the action drop down, and under Program/script: enter shutdown

Add arguments (optional): enter -s

New Task Scheduler

Click OK to go back to the wizard. Under Triggers tab click “New …”

New Task Scheduler

At the New Trigger pop-up, you can configure when to execute the action we’ve previously defined. Select Daily and pick the time to shut down the machine. For me, I’ve configured to automatically turn off the computer at 12:15am midnight.

Task Scheduler Trigger

Once you have configured this task, it might ask your password of the user to run this task. Enter the logged in user’s password below.

Finish Create Task

Now when you go back to the scheduled task wizard, you will find that the task we’ve just created “Shut down every night” is showing under Action Tasks.

Start a new task

That’s it; you’ve just configured your computer to automatically start and shut down all by itself. No more wasted energy on not turning off your computer or too lazy to turn it off. Use this at your own need to start the machine either in the morning or after work, you have the freedom to configure this to fit your lifestyle.


    • In the post they speak about adding the parameter -s. You are saying you need to add -f.
      Can you combine those two and place them like “-s -f” in the “add arguments” field?

    • what kind BIOS settings you’ve tried ? have you tried with more frequency? also worth check if there are BIOS updates for your motherboard


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