I have a Windows 7 desktop that I login to remotely. Something happened and one of the programs froze, and caused the session to freeze. I can remote into the system and get to the login screen, but after typing in the password, I just see the blue login screen with the "please wait" pinwheel.

Is there any way to remotely restart the computer or the user session? The system only has one user, the logged in one. I am 200 miles away on vacation, so remote solutions are best. Thanks for the help.

  • I had a similar problem. It turns out that Windows was installing updates on the remote machine as part of its reboot cycle. Once the updates were finished installing, I was able to connect again. Jun 19, 2016 at 14:46

3 Answers 3


you can connect to a command prompt remotely with psexec. run a command prompt as admin on your localhost, and enter:

psexec \\remotecomputername -u username -p password cmd 

psexec will connect to the remote computer and display a command prompt executing on it. then enter

shutdown -r -t 1

to reboot the machine. your psexec connection will terminate in the process.

I usually start pinging the host (with -t99 in windows) before issuing the shutdown, so I can watch it go down, and come back up.

  • Unfortunately, I do not have another machine on that same network to run this. I tried it remotely, after setting the computer to be the DMZ, to avoid router issues. However, no luck, I get this error message: Make sure the default admin$ is enabled on ip.
    – Bogdan
    Oct 5, 2013 at 8:06
  • Just a correction, it's psexec \\remotecomputername -u username -p password CMD
    – Bogdan
    Oct 5, 2013 at 17:39
  • This may have changed over time but now it's PsExec64 (case matters)
    – Hack-R
    Dec 13, 2016 at 17:37
  • @Hack-R, are you using powershell or cmd.exe? cmd.exe is not case-sensitive. Dec 13, 2016 at 19:18

Assuming you are using the Windows Remote Desktop service included with most all windows computers, Simultaneously press the "Ctrl", "Alt", and "End" buttons. This should bring up a dialog that will give you shutdown and restart options.

Another method of doing such a thing (though I am not sure this could be completed from the logon screen) is opening up the Run prompt (via pressing the "Windows" and "R" Keys) and then entering "shutdown -f -r -t 1" into the prompt.


Just had this problem and googled it. You can get out of the frozen screen on your remote access by pressing control alt end

  • This duplicates another answer and adds no new content. Please don't post an answer unless you actually have something new to contribute.
    – DavidPostill
    Aug 26, 2016 at 8:08

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