Your boss has scolded you for the umpteenth time: yesterday you left the office PC on again and it was running all night long. You would like to prevent the same thing from happening again, so you thought it would be a good idea to use some programs to turn off the PC automatically. You know what? That sounds like a really good idea! While I’m at it, let me recommend some of the best ones currently available.

I already anticipate that all the solutions I will talk about in a few moments are free and easy to use. These programs, in fact, allow you to set an automatic shutdown time for your computer in a very simple way. This means that when the time comes, the computer will be turned off automatically. Very convenient, isn’t it?

So, what are you still doing standing there? Courage: make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need to focus on reading the next paragraphs and, most importantly, try to put into practice the directions I’m about to give you. I am convinced that, thanks to my “tips”, you will not have the slightest problem in completing your “mission” today’s technology. Happy reading!

Sleep Timer (Windows)

Let’s start this review with Sleep Timer: a free application for Windows that allows you to set your PC to automatically shut down at a certain time or after a certain amount of time, so that the system shuts down when you’re away from home and saves on your electricity bill: it’s a portable program, which means it doesn’t require installation in order to be used. Not bad, right?

To use it, go to its download page, click on the Zum Download link located at the bottom and wait for the download to complete. Since, as I said, the program does not require any installation procedure in order to work, all you need to do now is to open the .exe file you have obtained and, if necessary, consent to the installation of Microsoft’s .NET Framework component by clicking the Download and install this feature button. After the operation is complete, you may need to restart your PC.

Once you get to the main Sleep Timer window, you can set the time when you want to shut down your PC. Select Time from the Mode dropdown menu, make sure that Shutdown is selected in the Action menu and set the time when you want to shut down the system automatically by typing it into the two text fields next to Perform action at.

Now, click on the Play button at the bottom and that’s it: when the countdown ends, a warning will appear informing you that the system is about to be shut down and, after a few moments, the PC will automatically shut down (closing any programs that may still be running). If for some reason you want to stop the automatic shutdown of your computer, press the Stop button and close the program window by clicking on the (x) in the upper right corner.

In case you are interested, you can set the program to shut down your computer after a certain amount of time from the current time or after a certain period of inactivity. To do this, select Countdown or Inactivity from the Mode (instead of Time) dropdown menu and you are done.

I’ll also point out that it’s possible to restart or hibernate the system instead of shutting it down: all you have to do is select the Restart or Hibernate option from the Action drop-down menu.

Shutdown8 (Windows)

Another program to shut down the computer automatically that I recommend you try is Shutdown8. In case you have never heard of it, it is a very “light” application that allows you to shut down your PC by activating a customizable timer, thanks to which you can also reboot, hibernate or disconnect the computer. Let me tell you how to download it and make the most of it.

First, connect to the Shutdown8 download page, click on the Download Shutdown8 button located at the center of the screen and, after the download is complete, open the .exe file you obtained, then click on the OK button and click on Install.

At this point, a menu will open on the program’s icon: select the Timer item and set the countdown to shut down your computer automatically by selecting one of the available options (e.g. Shut down in 10 minutes, Shut down in 30 minutes, Shut down in 1 hour or Shut down in 2 hours).

Now, you’ll see a new window appear on your desktop indicating the countdown you just set. From the window in question, you can increase or decrease the time using the (+) and (-) buttons and possibly choose the action you prefer to perform automatically when the time expires (e.g. Disconnect or Restart, instead of Shutdown).

If you want to stop the countdown, simply close the application window by clicking on the (x) in the upper right corner.

Wise Auto Shutdown (Windows)

As an alternative to the applications mentioned so far, you can opt for Wise Auto Shutdown, which is another free application to shut down your PC automatically. What are its strengths? Its interface is translated into Italian and offers various customization options related to shutting down, restarting, disconnecting and hibernating the computer.

To download Wise Auto Shutdown, connect to its official website and click on the Free Download button. Once the download is complete, open the .exe file you have obtained, click the Yes button, check the I accept the terms of the license agreement box and click the Next button twice in a row. To finish, click the Install, Finish and Yes buttons.

In the main Wise Auto Shutdown window, place a check mark on the Shutdown item located in the left sidebar, place a check mark on the At specified date and time item and use the menus and text fields you see on the screen to specify the exact time when you want to shut down your PC automatically. To finish, click on the Activate button and you’re done.

When the time comes, the system will be shut down without you lifting a finger. If you have left the Warn 5 minutes before running option active (bottom right corner), 5 minutes before the computer is shut down you will be informed about it.

If you want to stop the automatic shutdown of the computer, open the program window, click on the Disable button in the lower right corner and answer Yes to the warning that appears on the screen. If, on the other hand, you wish to restart the system, disconnect it, hibernate or suspend it, you should select the appropriate option from the menu on the left and then follow the steps above to customize the schedule of the chosen action.

Energy Saver (macOS)

Do you use a Mac? If so, you can automatically turn off your computer by using the Energy Saver feature that comes “standard” in macOS, without having to install any third-party program. Not bad, right? Let’s find out now how to take advantage of this useful feature included by default on Apple-branded computers.

To begin with, go to System Preferences by clicking on the gray icon with the gears that is located on the Dock bar, select the Power Saver item from the window that opens and then click on the Program… button, located at the bottom right.

In the window that appears at the top of the screen, tick the second box, open the menu next to it and select the Shutdown item (alternatively, you can choose to shut down the computer or even restart it using the other available options). Using the other two menus, you can select the time of the week when the computer should be turned off (e.g. Every day, Weekend, Monday, Tuesday, etc.) and the time. Finally, confirm the changes made by clicking on the OK button.

At the time you set, your Mac will automatically shut down (as long as the computer is active and you are logged in to the macOS user account with which auto shutdown has been set).

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