I have a couple of machines on my local network that I only
access via Remote Desktop Connection. They are “headless” – meaning that they
have no keyboard, mouse or monitor attached. When I access them remotely, there
is no “Turn Off Computer” item on the Start Menu. How do I turn it off, or
And as you’ve seen, when you use Remote Desktop to get to your machine, the
“Turn Off Computer” item is missing from the Start menu. To be honest, I’m not
really sure why Microsoft chose to do that, it is inconvenient.
But we have ways.
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I previously recommended using a copy of psshutdown
from the folks over at Sysinternals.com. This is a
command line tool that will allow you to shut down or restart a computer
remotely. It actually has several options to control how quickly, whether to
force running applications to close, and so on. It’s quite handy for batchfiles
and to create shortcuts for shutting down.
Another approach doesn’t involve downloading any additional software. As it
turns out Task Manager already has what we need.
On the remote machine, right click on the clock, and select Task
Manager. Task Manager has a Shutdown menu, which
includes items to Turn Off and Restart. Those do the same thing as the missing
Start Menu items.
Watch the video: Restarting Windows XP Remotely where I walk through the steps using Task Manager.