If you're frequently using the Windows Remote Desktop feature (aka Terminal Services) during your daily activity, you most likely already know that the "System Shutdown" and "System Reboot" options are missing from the GUI. As a matter of fact, these buttons have been intentionally removed to protect the remotely connected user from accidentally or unwillingly shutdown or reboot the machine, thus shutting out himself and without being able to operate with it anymore.
That said, if you know what you're doing and you really need to remotely perform a system shutdown or reboot, you can use one of the following methods.
Method #1: Keyboard Shortcut
This is a neat & clean solution, fully manageable via GUI, which will most likely be appreciated by most keyboard shortcut fans.
- Ensure that the focus is on the Desktop by simultaneously pressing Win + D
- Press ALT + F4 to bring up the "Shut down Windows" popup window.
- From such window, you'll be able to choose between the following list of actions: Disconnect, Sign out, Shut down, and Restart. Just pick the one corresponding to what you need to do, and you're done.
Method #2: Command Prompt
This option is slightly more complicated, however it might have sense whenever, for any reason, you are unable to use keyboard shortcuts in a decent way - for example if you are connecting via a mobile device using some not-so-great RDP native app.
- From the START menu, go to All Programs > Accessories (on Windows 7) or just type "prompt" (Windows 8 / 8.1 and Windows 10).
- Right-click on the Command Prompt icon, then left-click on Run as Administrator. Depending on the security settings on your machine, a warning popup might appear or not: if it does, just click OK to continue.
- A black window will appear on the screen: in case you don't know it already, this is the Command Prompt.
- Click inside the window to make sure you have the focus in it, then type in one of the following commands:
- To perform a machine shutdown: shutdown /s /t 0
- To issue a machine reboot: shutdown /r /t 0
That's it, at least for now: we hope this post can be useful for those who need to turn off or restart their machines remotely.