PC Doctor December 19, 2012

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Dear PC Doctor,

Is there a way to get my computer to shutdown automatically at a certain time every day?  Sometimes I forget that I left my computer on and it stays on all night!  I know it goes to sleep after an hour of me not using it, but I would feel better if it was turned off. 


Dear Gerry,

You did not say what computer operating system you were running so I will be sure to cover both! 

Windows has a neat little application already installed that most users might not be aware of.  It is called “Task Scheduler” and you can find it by clicking Start and typing “Task Scheduler” in the search box.   A new window for the application will appear.  Click Create Task in the right windowpane.  Name it “Auto Shutdown” and check the radio button for “Run whether user is logged on or not” and the check box for “Run with highest privileges”.  Under the Settings tab, check the box “Stop the task if it runs longer than” and set the time frame to 1 hour.  Under the Actions tab, click New and choose “Start a Program” as the action.  Under “Program/script” browse and select the “shutdown” application (it is in there, just scroll until you find it!).  Type “-s” into the Add Arguments box. Click OK, then click on the Triggers tab.  Click New and set the trigger to run daily and choose a time that works for you.  Click OK to close the New Trigger window and then OK again to save your newly created Task. 

For Mac fans, it's (thankfully) a lot easier to set up.  Open up System Preferences and click Energy Saver.  Click the Schedule button in the bottom right corner.  Check the box next to “Start up or wake” to create a schedule when your computer goes to sleep, restarts or shuts down.  Make sure to set a time and the rate of occurrence then click OK. 

Good luck!  
           PC Doctor

Until next time… happy computing!