Let Cortana Shut Down And Restart Your System With These Handy Tips

Cortana is one of the best parts of the Windows 10 operating system – She can remind you of things, open files and browse the web for you, and can even tell you what the weather is going to be like if you want – but this nifty enhancement is unable to help you with every task (at least not yet, anyway).

Unfortunately, there’s no built-in functionality for Cortana to shut down your PC if, say, you forgot to do it on your way to bed and now you’re super comfy and don’t feel like getting up just to shut off your computer. Lucky for you, though, you can create a shortcut for Cortana that will allow you to do just that! This short post is going to walk you through the process, step-by-step – It’s a lot easier than it sounds!

Configuring Cortana In 5 Easy Steps

Step One: Open the ‘Run Dialogue’ Box

To get to the box with a shortcut, simply press the Windows key + R. Once you’re there, either type or copy and paste this in: appdata%\microsoft\windows\start menu\programs

Step Two: Create A New Shortcut

Once you’ve copied the text to the run dialogue box, this should pop up in your file explorer. Right-click on any open white space between the folders and hover over the ‘New’ option. From there, you want to select ‘Shortcut’ from the menu that appears.

Step Three: Start The Wizard

Clicking on ‘Shortcut’ should start this wizard automatically. In the location field, you’ll want to either enter or copy and paste the following: shutdown.exe -s -t 10

This command will start the shutdown process after ten seconds.

Step Four: Rename The Shortcut

After you click on ‘Next’, you’re given the option to rename your shortcut anyway you’d like. While there’s definitely a time and place to have fun and get creative with your file and folder names, this probably isn’t it; just name it ‘Shutdown’ so that you can easily find it whenever you need/would like to.

Step Five: Complete The Creation

Click on ‘Finish’ and the wizard will finish creating your brand new, super handy shortcut. From then on, whenever you’d like to have Cortana shutdown your system for you all you need to do is press down on the microphone button and say “Open shutdown dot exe”. She’ll do as you ask and, ten seconds later, your computer will shut down.

Note: If ten seconds seems like not enough or way too much time for you, you can easily alter the numerical value after the -t (which represents how long, in seconds, you’d like it to be before the command is followed out). So, if you wanted it to be 30 seconds your command would read shutdown.exe -s -t 30; if you wanted there to be no delay at all you would write shutdown.exe –s.

Changing The Delay

If you happen to decide that you’d like to change the delay on an already configured shortcut, a couple of clicks will get you there. Find your shortcut in the file explorer or search for it in the search box; once you’ve found what you’re looking for, right-click on it and click on ‘Properties’.

A new dialogue box will open; change the time in the ‘Target’ field to whatever your new preference is (or get rid of it all together if you’d prefer), and click ‘OK’.

Cortana Can Restart Your PC too!

The process for having Cortana restart your Windows 10 PC is very much the same as setting things up for her to shut it down, there is only one major value change in the command. So, you’ll want to create a whole new shortcut. This time, we’ll be swapping the s for an r in the command; based on a ten-second delay, the result should look like this: shutdown.exe –r -t 10

You’ll want to name this one ‘Restart’ before clicking ‘Finish’, but other than that, the process is exactly the same. From there on out, anytime you’d like to restart your computer, all you need to do is hold down the microphone button and say “Open Restart” (or just say “Hey Cortana!” if you happen to have that feature enabled).

Though Cortana is super useful and can do things for you that would otherwise take you multiple clicks, the handy Windows virtual assistance isn’t yet a flawless piece of software – Sometimes she opens Bing instead of doing what you ask. If that happens with your new commands, try altering what you say to “Launch Shutdown” or just “Shutdown”. Though it’s not a perfect system yet, it’s still better than having to get out of your nice warm bed because you forgot.

Do you use Cortana to navigate your Windows 10 system? How do you like the functionality of it? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the author

Dan Maslik