I have a secondary machine on my local network that I usually use via RDP. Most of the time, it's on 24/7, but there are times when I may want to shut it down from the RDP client machine. The shutdown and restart options aren't available from the Windows XP start menu when you connect to a machine via RDP, so how can I shut this machine off without actually going to the physical machine? Also note that this computer currently doesn't have a monitor attached to it, which is partly why I want to be able to shut it down over RDP.


I would start a command prompt and type the following command:

"shutdown -s" to shutdown in less than a minute.

"shutdown -f" to shutdown immediately.

If you really only want to restart, type the following:

"shutdown -r".

  • afaik, shutdown -f won't shutdown immediately, it will just kill everything in 60 seconds regardless of whether it quits gracefully. for an instant shutdown you need to do shutdown -s -f -t 0. – Matthieu Cartier Dec 23 '10 at 19:20
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    If you want to do these actions immediately, add -t 0 to the command. Or change the 0 to the number of seconds before it happens. Defaults to 30. – vcsjones Dec 23 '10 at 19:21
  • Technically shutdown -f does make the machine shutdown immediately as if you clicking the shutdown button in the start menu. Shutdown -f is initiating the shutdown command. Yes I could have went into extensive details on all of the option with the shutdown command, but he only asked about shutting down and restarting. He didn't ask about everything else. I like my answers to be quick, easy, and direct. – David Dec 23 '10 at 19:29
  • @David That is not the case on Windows 7 or Vista then. Passing in -f will still cause it to wait 30 seconds. I suspect it is the same with XP as well, but don't have a machine to try it on. – vcsjones Dec 23 '10 at 19:50
  • @vcsjones I thought it had changed too. It hasn't... I tested it on a space machine at my work. The T60 Lenovo Laptop shutoff immediately as if I pressed the power button on the start menu. So trust e, I tested it. If you don't believe me, try it. :) – David Dec 23 '10 at 19:55

As others have said, the easiest way is via the Shutdown command from the command prompt or the run box.

If this is a domain and you have the privilage to shut down remotely, you can always use the shutdown command from your machine using Shutdown /s /m \\computername, or shutdown -i for a interactive prompt. alt text

Lastly, if you do want to it via a normal GUI, next time you are connected, click on the option "Windows Security", this will bring you the traditional Ctrl+Alt+Del prompt, where you can shutdown, restart or do whatever you want to the computer!

(You can also right click on the taskbar and choose Task Manager and do it from there).


From Start -> Run... you can run shutdown -s. From a command prompt, you can execute shutdown /? to see a list of options.

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    This would have been a good comment under the original answer that states the same thing other than the "shutdown /?" – David Dec 23 '10 at 18:59
  • @David: When I wrote that answer, there were no other answers. I saw the notice that another answer had been posted just as I was about to post mine, so I just went ahead and hit the Post button. – garyjohn Dec 23 '10 at 20:19
  • @garyjohn7 That's fine. :) Great minds think alike... – David Dec 24 '10 at 3:41

I go to the desktop and do Alt+F4. That will give you the options to shutdown, restart or logoff.

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