Automatically Turn Off Windows Computers on Your Network

As an IT administrator these days, it’s a good idea to think green and find ways to save energy and reduce power consumption. If you manage a large network of servers and PC’s, you might want to consider using software that can automatically shutdown PC’s after a certain time or based on activity.

I’ve previously written about software that can be used to automatically shutdown computers and I’ll now try to write up a list of programs as a reference. Overall, energy conservation can be best achieved by the IT department at a company since it’s probably uses the second highest energy user behind the actual buildings themselves.

Software to turn off computer automatically

AllOff allows you to monitor a computers’ keyboard, mouse and CPU activity and initiate a shutdown of the PC if there is no keyboard or mouse activity or if the CPU falls below a certain threshold for a certain amount of time.

AllOff not only supports Power Off, but also Hibernate, Monitor, Reboot, Shutdown, or Standby. It can be started automatically, so if a user forgets to shutdown after leaving, AllOff will turn off the computer.

turn off computer

You can set values between 5 and 1800 seconds for no activity, 5 and 50 for CPU threshold, and 1 and 30 for CPU Averaging Over.

shutdown computer automatically

The other cool thing about this program is that is has a Slave mode option that you can choose when you install it. You can install the Slave mode onto remote computers in your network and control the program over the network or the Internet.

MS Shutdown Manager is another free program that can shutdown computers automatically, but only using a timer countdown. You can either shutdown the computer at a specified date or time or after a specified period of time.

It also supports restart, hibernate, and standby.This program also has two more interesting events: Logoff and Lock Workstation. So if you need to automatically lock a workstation or have the user logged off, then this program is a good choice.

shutdown pc

The only issue with this program is that you cannot remotely control it, which is necessary in an IT environment. However, if you are working at a very small company and you can trust your employees to use the program, then it could be worth it.

The program can also be used to launch scripts, macros, files, internet shortcuts, etc at a specified date or time.

NirCmd is a command-line utility that can be used to perform all kinds of useful tasks on a computer silently (meaning without having to display a command prompt). IT people love the command prompt, so learning this program should not be an issue.

You can create a script to shutdown the computer and then have that script run automatically by making it into a scheduled task. All of this can be done through Active Directory, so there is no need to go to each computer individually.


These are three simple ways you can help to conserve energy at your office by turning off IT equipment that is not being used. Of course, there are tons of commercial  software packages that can shutdown computers remotely, but if you don’t want to spend any money, check out the above programs. Enjoy!

Comments [1]

  1. AllOff version 5 is now availailable and offers many more options xompared to version 2.2 reviewed above including download monitoring, fixed time sutdown and fixed delay shutdown.

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