How to Shut Down a Computer Remotely

If you have two or more computers connected to your home network, you can use one of them to shut down the others remotely. Windows, Linux, and Mac computers all support this feature, but some exclusions apply.

How to Shut Down a Computer Remotely

For instance, Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions work with the procedures below because they include the required Group Policy Editor and Remote Registry functions.

To use Windows 10 Home, you need to add the Group Policy Editor, a third-party application, or try a registry tweak first. More details and cautions are found below.

Here’s how to remotely shutdown any PC on your local network using Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Shut Down a Windows PC from another Windows PC

To use one Windows PC to shut down another Windows machine, Remote Services requires modification on the computer you want to remotely turn off. This is not an alteration or a circumventing procedure of any kind; it’s just a change in already-present options within Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 Pro and Ultimate editions. For Home editions, see below.

Note: Active user administrative privileges are required on both Windows PCs to use remote shutdown, and you must be logged into the same administrative account.

  1. On the remote PC that you want to shut down, click on the Cortana Search Bar in the bottom-left area of the Taskbar, type “services” and select “Services” from the list.
  2. Left-click on “Remote Registry,” then select “Properties.”
  3. In the “Startup type” section, select “Automatic” from the dropdown menu
  4. Click on “OK” to confirm your choice. There’s no need to click the “Apply” button, but you may want to click the “Start” link under the “Service status” section.
  5. In the Cortana Search Bar, type “firewall” and select “Windows Defender Firewall” from the list.
  6. Click on “Allow an app or feature through…” on the left side of the window.
  7. Click on “Change settings” to edit the options.
  8. Check the box next to “Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).” This step also ticks the “Private” box automatically. Never click on “Public” when using your local area network.
  9. On the PC controlling remote shutdown, type “cmd” in the Cortana Search Bar and click on “Comand Prompt.”
  10. Once the program opens, type “shutdown /I” or “shutdown -I” (whichever you prefer) without the quotes and confirm by pressing “Enter.”
  11. When the “Remote Shutdown Dialog” window launches, click “Add.”
  12. In the “Add Computers” popup window, type the name of the PC (hostname) you want to shut down. The characters only appear in lowercase so no need to capitalize hostnames. You can find the name by typing “hostname” without quotes in the Command Prompt terminal. After entering the name, click “OK” to save it.
  13. Choose your shutdown/restart options, then click “OK” to activate the process on the remote Windows system. The “Restart” option is also available, but don’t choose “Other” for that one or it will not work.
  14. If the above instructions fail to complete successfully, try editing the registry before you enter the “shutdown” Command Prompt step above, then continue to follow the steps. Type “regedit” without quotes in the Cortana Search Box at the bottom and select “Registry Editor” from the list.
  15. Navigate to “Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System” or copy and paste it into the address bar at the top of the Registry Editor.
  16. Right-click on “System,” select “New,” choose “DWORD (32-bit) Value,” then change the value from “0” to “1” in the “Value data” box. Resume instructions from the Command Prompt step above.

The above processes help ensure compatibility amongst various Windows Operating Systems and Editions. However, Windows 10 Home appeared to work by adding a new registry entry to the “Windows 10 remote PC” only. There was no need for any other steps.

Shut Down Windows 7, 8, 10 Home Edition PC from another Windows Computer

As previously mentioned, Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 Home editions DO NOT unlock Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc), making remote shutdown more difficult to achieve. It exists deep inside the operating system, but it is locked and inoperable in several ways.

The Group Policy Editor is “technically” required to perform the previous steps to turn off a Windows 7/8/10 PC remotely, although the registry change previously mentioned did the trick fine on a Windows 10 Home Edition system. Regardless, you have three options at this point: try the registry fix (recommended first), add/unlock gpedit, or install a third-party application. Here are the options.

Option 1: Try the Registry Fix

As mentioned in the previous steps above, head to the Registry, navigate to “Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System,” add a new DWORD (32-bit) Value, then change the value to 1. It’s as simple as that!

Option 2: Adding/Unlocking Group Policy Editor in Windows Home Editions

To add the Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc) to Windows Home Editions, hackers, programmers, and technicians alike have found ways to add Gpedit.msc and Remote Registry to Windows 10 Home and other Home editions, creating downloadable executables, zip files, and batch files.

Regardless, the downloads don’t make Gpedit fully functional due to other Windows OS differences. Still, the files operate enough to perform the remote functions and carry most of the group policy functionality. Just be aware that most batch files and executables ARE NOT uninstallable and can cause other issues. This scenario is common amongst Windows users.

For “Failed to open registry” errors or group policy issues, try this Windows Home Edition gpedit installation fix or follow this gpedit enabler procedure.

Option 3: Installing Third-Party Windows Remote Shutdown Applications

There are also third-party applications that perform remote shutdown functions. The apps usually need to alter some files (and move some of them in many cases) to prevent the “Failed to access registry” error when trying to remotely shut down a Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10 Home Edition PC.

For “Access Denied” or “Failed to open registry issues, try using the free ManageEngine Shutdown/Restart application or the Remote Shutdown Manager.

Note: Microsoft Windows Terms and Conditions prohibit OS alterations, reverse engineering, and the circumvention of restricted features, so do so at your own risk.

Shut Down a Windows PC from a Linux Computer

You can remotely shut down your computer from a Linux computer, as well. In order for this to work, you will have to prepare your Windows PC the same way you did for a remote shutdown from another Windows PC (Steps 1-10). With that out of the way, let’s see how to remotely shut down your Windows PC from a Linux computer.

There are two things you’ll have to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to have administrator’s privilege on the Windows PC. Second, both computers will have to be connected to the same LAN/Wireless network.

  1. Find out your Windows PC’s IP address. You can find it through Command Prompt. Open it and type “ipconfig” and press “Enter”. You need the IPv4 address. You can also find it in the router’s configurations. It is in the DHCP client table. Write the remote computer’s IP address down because you will need it later.
  2. Next, launch your Linux computer’s terminal.
  3. Install Samba, a protocol you’ll need to connect your Linux computer to your Windows PC. For Ubuntu, use this command: “sudo apt-get install samba-common”. The terminal will ask you for your root password before installation.
  4. Once you’ve installed Samba, type “net rpc shutdown – I IP address – U user%password”. Replace the IP address part with the actual IP address of your Windows PC. Instead of “user”, write the Windows user’s name and instead of “password” type the password of your Windows admin account.

Remotely Shut Down a Mac

You can also remotely shut down a Mac. Have in mind that the Mac and the computer you’re using to perform the remote shutdown have to be connected to the same network. Also, you will require administrator access on both computers.

The process looks very similar, whether you’re using another Mac or a Windows PC to shut down your Mac. Let’s see how to remotely shut down a Mac:

  1. Open another Mac’s terminal. Alternatively, you can perform this operation via PuTTY if you’re using a Windows PC to remotely shut down your Mac.
  2. Once the terminal or PuTTY launches, type in “ssh username@ipaddress”. You should replace the “username” with the remote Mac’s user name. Also, replace the “ipaddress” part with your Mac’s actual IP address. To find your Mac’s IP address on OS X 10.5 and higher, go to Apple Icon > System Preferences > Network. If you’re running OS X 10.4, go to Apple Icon > System Preferences > Network > Your Network > Configure > TCP/IP.
  3. When asked, provide the remote Mac’s user password.
  4. Next, type “sudo /sbin /shutdown now” if you want to shut down your Mac immediately and press “Return” or “Enter”. If you want to restart it, the command should look like this: “sudo /sbin / shutdown –r”.

Final Thoughts

Instead of shutting down or restarting each computer on your network manually, you can do it remotely from a single computer in a matter of minutes. To work, you only need to have admin access on each computer and perform some basic system settings tweaks if you’re working with a Windows PC. Don’t forget that Windows Home Editions do not unlock Group Policy Editor or Remote Registry functionality, but the options above should do the trick!

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