HOWTO: Restart Remote Computer

There will be times as a Windows Administrator that you will need to restart remote computer or server.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you two easy methods for rebooting remote computers.

1. Open Command Prompt

Open Start menu, type Command prompt or cmd

2. Input Following Command to Restart Computer

By default, this will prompt the remote computer and give it about a minute before it restarts:

shutdown /r /m \\your_computer_name

The pop up below is what a Windows 10 system will display.

3. Restart With a Custom Message

You may want to display a custom message to the logged on users, to do that just use the /c command:

shutdown /m \\your_computer_name /c "The IT department has initiated a remote restart on your computer"

Below is the pop up on the remote computer with the custom message.

4. Immediate Restart no Countdown

If you want to immediately restart with no countdown or message use this command:

shutdown /r /m \\your_computer_name /t 0

If you want a longer countdown just specify the seconds /t 60

5. Use Powershell to Restart a Computer

This command will immediately restart a remote computer. The -Force option will force a restart even if a user is logged on:

Restart-Computer -ComputerName REMOTE_COMPUTER_NAME -Force

6. Use PowerShell to Restart a List of Computers

This is handy if you have several computers to restart. Just list all the computers you want in a text file and add that to the PowerShell command:

restart-computer (get-content c:\work\computers.txt)

Also consider using Action1 to restart remote computer if:

  • - You need to perform this action on multiple (hundreds or even thousands) computers simultaneously.
  • - Some of your endpoints are laptops not connected to corporate network at all times.

Action1 is a cloud-based platform for software deployment, software/hardware inventory, patch management, endpoint configuration and more. It is free with basic functionality.

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