How to Shutdown a Remote Computer From the Command Prompt

By Jim Campbell

Reboot a remote computer using the command line.
i computer image by Orlando Florin Rosu from

The Windows networking software structure provides several command line statements that allow administrators to quickly execute functions on a desktop. These command line functions are beneficial when the administrator is away from a server and needs to execute commands on a user's desktop, including the "shutdown" command. The shutdown command allows you to power off or reboot a remote computer on the network.

Click the Windows "Start" button and enter "cmd" into the text box. Press the "Enter" key. This opens your Windows command line.

Enter "shutdown.exe /?" into the command line and press "Enter." This displays the command's syntax and the options you have such as shut down or reboot the remote computer.

Type the following command to shut down the remote computer:

shutdown.exe -s -m \computername -f

Replace "computername" with the name of the remote computer. The "s" switch instructs the shutdown utility to power off the machine, and the "f" switch forces any open applications to close.

Enter the remote computer's administrator password. Only administrators can shut down a remote computer, so this is required if you are not logged into the network with an administrator account.