How-to remote shutdown/restart of Windows 8

How to remote shutdown or restart a Windows 8 PC inside a Workgroup will be explained in this How-to.
Windows has already a integrated solution to remote shutdown an other Windows system. But there are some points that must be cleared before you can use this.

Workgroup and User

At first, the local and target system must be in the same workgroup and have indentical user account (same user name and password). How to do this will be explained in this section.

Same Workgroup on local and target system

The first point is to define an own workgroup that will be used on the local and target system. You should take a Workgroup name different to the default one (“WORKGROUP”).

Look at the following tutorial: How to Change the Workgroup in Windows 7 & Windows 8

The same in short:

  • Right click to “Computer” -> “Properties
  • In “System” window click to “Advances system settings
  • In “System Properties” window click to “Computer Name” tab and there to “Change…
  • Change there to Workgroup name and click to “OK
  • After that, you must restart the PC to apply these changes

Do this on the local and target system. The workgroup name must be the same of this systems.


Same User with admin rights on local and target system

Now we need the same user on the local and target system with the same password and admin rights. Create this user as follows:

  • Right click to “Computer” -> “Manage” (or run “compmgmt.msc“)
  • In “Computer Management” window go to “System Tools” -> “Local Users and Groups” -> “Users
  • Click to “Action” and “New user
  • Fill in all necessary field and click to “Create
  • Now you can see the new created user in the list
  • Open this user and go to “Member of” tab
  • Click to “Add” and choose Administration group -> click to “OK


User Account Control

Remote shutdown is blocked by active UAC, so we must disable this on the target system.

Note: Disabling UAC will lead to a less secure system.

How to do this, you can see in the following blog (works also for Windows 8): How To (Really) Completely Disable UAC on Windows 7

The same in short:

  • Start “regedit.exe” and go to the following entry:
  • Change the “EnableLUA” from value 1 (enabled) to 0 (disabled)
  • Restart to apply this change


Local Policies

Now we must set permissions to the remote shutdown policy.

Therefore we must do following:

  • Go to “Control Panel” -> “Manage” -> “Local Secuity Settings” (or run “secpol.msc“)
  • Expand “Local Policies” and then “User Rights Assignment
  • Go to “Force shutdown from a remote system” and open it.
  • Check the User/Groups there. They are allowed to execute the remote shutdown.
  • Add the specific User/Group here who should be able to shutdown this system.


Remote Shutdown command

If all above points are ready, you can run the remote shutdown command.

How to use the “shutdown” command you can read here: How to Use the Remote Shutdown Command in Windows

In short:

  • Start command prompt: “cmd.exe
  • Write the following command to restart the target system:
    shutdown /r /m \\TARGET_SYSTEM_PATH
  • This command will trigger the restart command of the target system
  • For more information look at the command line options with:
    shutdown /?

Note: The shutdown command must be executed with the user account created above. To do this, you can run the command prompt with a speific user account if you hold “shift” and than do “right click” to the “cmd.exe“. You will find a new option “run as” in the context menu. Or you can use a 3rd party tool to send remote shutdown command called psshutdown (PsTools download here).