How to Schedule Windows XP to Restart Automatically

By Allen Bethea

Rebooting helps rid your PC's RAM of unneeded code and data that slows performance.
i Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Just as you and your employees need a good night's sleep to refresh and recharge mind and body, your company's Windows XP PCs occasionally need to shut down and restart to maintain optimal performance. You can choose to wait and use "Ctrl-Alt-Del" to reboot your XP systems once they develop problems or start to run sluggishly. You also have the option of scheduling your Windows XP system to restart automatically at a specific date and time by using the Scheduled Tasks Wizard.

Open XP's Control Panel and select "Scheduled Tasks."

Double-click the "Add Scheduled Task" icon, and then click the "Next" button.

Click the "Browse" button, then use the file manager to open the "Windows\system32" folder. The "system32" folder on some XP systems may be under the "WINNT" folder instead.

Select the "shutdown" file, and then click the "Open" button. You can also type “shutdown.exe” into the “File name” input box.

Type a name for your task, select how often you want this task to run and then click the "Next" button. For instance, if you want your system to restart daily, select the "Daily" radio button.

Click the spin control arrows to set the exact hour and minute you want your system to restart, and then click the "Next" button.

Type your password twice and click "Next."

Select the checkbox labeled "Open advanced properties for this task when I click Finish." Click the "Finish" button followed by "OK."

Click your mouse after the command "C:\Windows\system32\shutdown.exe" in the input box labeled "Run," press the "Space" bar and type "-r". The "C:\Windows\system32\shutdown.exe -r" command will restart your PC rather than shut it down completely.

Press the "Apply" button, type in your password twice and click "OK."

Click "OK" on the final Scheduled Tasks Wizard screen.