How To Shutdown or Restart A Windows PC from Remote Desktop Session

When you are in a remote desktop session that runs on Windows 7, Windows Server 2012 or 2008, you don’t see the Shutdown and Restart option in Start Menu. You can only disconnect or log off the remote session. So what to do if you do need to shutdown or restart the computer from the remote desktop session?

Start - shutdown option windows 2012

Assuming you are part of the local admin group that has the rights to shutdown or restart the computer, you can run the following command line:

shutdown /r - to restart the computer, or
shutdown /s - to shutdown the computer

But, here is a much easy way that doesn’t involve the command line.

Simply focus on the desktop in Remote Session, and press Alt + F4 to bring up the Shut Down Windows dialog box that includes both Shutdown and Restart options.

Windows 2012 - shut down windows

Windows 2012 R2 -Shut Down Windows

Windows 7 - Shut Down Windows

Windows 7 – Shut Down Windows

This isn’t an issue in Windows 10 though, if you are running one of those Insider Builds. You still have the full shutdown options in Start Menu even when you are in the remote desktop session. If not, Alt + F4 is still your friend to shutdown or restart your Windows 10 PC through remote desktop session.

Windows 10 - shutdown options on Remote Desktop Session

 

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 06/27/2016

Posted in: Tips & Tricks
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