During your busy life, there may be circumstances where you forgot to turn off our desktop computer or laptop at home or office. A running computer consuming the increasingly valuable electricity is a waste of energy. You may go back to the computer and shut it down manually if you’re not in a rush, but what if you got a plane to catch up or you’re already miles away from the computer? Well, it can be quite annoying.
In this article, I will explain quick tips on how to use a simple command prompt (batch Windows file) and send it via email to turn off or reboot a remote computer. You can use the reboot or shutdown instructions regardless of operating systems you’re using, without having to know the IP address of the target PC. The bat files work with either older versions of Windows such as Windows XP, Windows Vista or earlier Microsoft Windows versions.
Keep in mind, you need to create the command files in advance and put them somewhere on your computer folders before being able to shut down or restart it remotely.
A. Send Remote Restart/Shutdown Using Outlook
Without further ado, here is a step-by-step guide to shutdown/restart remote computers using simple bat file sent via email
A.1 STEP ONE: Create the bat file
Create a bat file by opening notepad and type the following command line and then save on your computer with any name. Don’t forget to append it with .bat extension and use Save as in all file options dialog box, example: shutdown.bat
The Shutdown command:
C:\WINDOWS\system32\shutdown.exe -s -f -t 00
The Restart Command:
C:\WINDOWS\system32\shutdown.exe -r -f -t 00
The above command lines will force close all running applications on the computer.Make sure you don’t have unsaved data on your computer before executing the files.
Save the newly-created bat file somewhere on your computer or put it as a shortcut in Windows desktop. To avoid cluttering your desktop with shortcuts you may want to put the file in the following folder:
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator folder
A.2 STEP TWO: Configure Outlook to execute the Batch File
- Go to Tools —-> Rules and Alert and create a new rule that enables Outlook to execute the command file. Under the E-mail Rules tab,click on “New Rules” and then click Next. You will be prompted with the following dialog box:
- Next: Under the “Which condition(s) do you want to check”, tick the “with a specific word in a subject or the body” checklist.
- Now go down to to the Step2: Edit the rule description (click underlined value) dialog box: Click on the underlined “specific words” replace it with ” shutdown” (without quote) dialog and then click “Add” and “OK”
- Click Next and tick “Start Application” under on the “Which condition(s) do you want to check” and then click on the underlined “Application” and then browse to the .bat file on your computer.
- Click Finish; now Outlook has been configured to run the bat file every time an email containing “shutdown” word in the subject arrives. The command prompt file is an executable file that turns your computer off automatically.
B. Using Thunderbird to Execute The Bat File
The trick also works with Thunderbird, a free email client from Mozilla if you don’t have a corporate email and use a free email such as Yahoo Mail or Gmail.
B. 1 Download email client Thunderbird
Download Thunderbird here install it on the computer you want to remotely shutdown and configure it to use your favorite email service, in this case, I use Gmail.
B.2. Install Thunderbird
At first installation, Thunderbird will look up the right settings for your email account automatically after you fill in your email username and password.
Alternatively, you can manually enter the settings: click Tools ——> Account settings.
Here are the manual server configurations you should enter if you choose to use POP3 :
- POP server settings: pop.gmail.com port 995,
- SMTP server setting: smtp.gmail.com port 465
B.3. Install and Configure Thunderbird Mailbox Alert Addon
In Mozilla Thunderbird, find the Mailbox Alert in the Extension/ Add-ons from the Tools menu.
Click the Install button —–> click “OK.”
Go to Mailbox Alert Menu preferences by right clicking on the Inbox ———> Mailbox Alert—–Edit Mailbox Alert preferences and configure it to execute the shutdown bat file once it receives an email containing the shutdown on the subject it as shown in the picture below. Tick the “execute a command’ browse to the folder path where you put the bat file.
Now, whenever you forgot to turn your computer, you can send an email via your mobile phone (if you’re on the go) or other computers with the subject “shutdown” (without quote) to the remote computer you want to turn off.