In Windows, you can schedule a shutdown by using something like,

shutdown /s /t 600 //shut down after 10 minutes

How do I cancel it after it's done?

3 Answers 3


shutdown /a will abort the operation.

Here is a list of all the arguments for shutdown:

Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e] [/f]
[/m \\computer][/t xxx][/d [p|u:]xx:yy [/c "comment"]]

No args    Display help. This is the same as typing /?.
/?         Display help. This is the same as not typing any options.
/i         Display the graphical user interface (GUI).
           This must be the first option.
/l         Log off. This cannot be used with /m or /d options.
/s         Shutdown the computer.
/r         Shutdown and restart the computer.
/g         Shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is
           rebooted, restart any registered applications.
/a         Abort a system shutdown.
           This can only be used during the time-out period.
/p         Turn off the local computer with no time-out or warning.
           Can be used with /d and /f options.
/h         Hibernate the local computer.
           Can be used with the /f option.
/e         Document the reason for an unexpected shutdown of a computer.
/m \\computer Specify the target computer.
/t xxx     Set the time-out period before shutdown to xxx seconds.
           The valid range is 0-315360000 (10 years), with a default of 30.
           If the timeout period is greater than 0, the /f parameter is
/c "comment" Comment on the reason for the restart or shutdown.
           Maximum of 512 characters allowed.
/f         Force running applications to close without forewarning users.
           The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is
           specified for the /t parameter.
/d [p|u:]xx:yy  Provide the reason for the restart or shutdown.
           p indicates that the restart or shutdown is planned.
           u indicates that the reason is user defined.
           If neither p nor u is specified the restart or shutdown is
           xx is the major reason number (positive integer less than 256).
           yy is the minor reason number (positive integer less than 65536).
  • 8
    Stuck in my head since Blaster worm in 2003 ;)
    – dertkw
    Oct 30, 2011 at 21:48

C:\> shutdown /a should stop the currently pending shutdown; unless it has already begun, in which case it will alert you that it can't.

From the shutdown.exe help:

/a - Abort a system shutdown.


Well, if you're using XP like me, DO NOT press Stand By or Restart, because after your computer finishes that task, it will shut down. Depending on your preferences, Ctrl+Alt+Delete and finding the Processes tab, I'm not 100% sure in this but you should see processes ending "by themselves," this is what shutdown does, it ends processes. Now if you think about it, wouldn't you need a process to end other processes and afterwards delete itself? There should be a process called something similar to "shutdown.exe," or if you're logging out, "logout.exe," simply ending these programs BEFORE they end any important SYSTEM processes should cancel the shutdown. However, be prepared for a ton of crap saying something like "Windows could not be shut down/logged off due to an abrupt stop of 'shutdown.exe/logoff.exe."

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