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How To Reboot or Shutdown Windows Vista In Remote Desktop Connection?

Remote Desktop allows Windows users to remotely access another networked computer (normally is Windows machine) that supports Remote Desktop protocol (RDP).

For the sake of security and performance, I recommend my friends to use RDP, simply because RDP is Microsoft own solution and is supposed well integrated.

That’s the reason of why I only remote back to Vista Desktop at home over RDP.

However, my friend rang me an hour ago, asking for help on how to reboot his Windows XP in Remote Desktop Connection?

Well, I thought he could just click the Restart or Shutdown option in Windows Start menu? No, he said.

How to reboot or shutdown remote Windows machine in Remote Desktop Connection?
How to reboot or shutdown remote Windows machine in Remote Desktop Connection?

Now only I know that there is no Shutdown or Restart option in Windows Start menu of the remote computer, whenever you’re in the Remote Desktop Connection window. There are only two options – Log off or Lock the Desktop.

How to restart / shutdown remote Windows machine in Remote Desktop Connection?

You’ve two options; both are easy to follow, except that the second option required some typing. And I confirm these options work on my Vista Ultimate SP1 machine at home too:
  • While the Remote Desktop Connection window is in focus (i.e. while you’re in the remote Windows Desktop) press CTRL+ALT+END hotkey to bring up GUI menu with options for restart / shutdown (you might find these options on the red colour power button at bottom-right corner in Windows Vista).
  • Type shutdown /i in Windows Vista Start Search text-box and press Enter key (when the “shutdown /i” shortcut is highlighted in Programs list)

Although the first option is easier, but there is no harm to remember both options.

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  1. Joe 14-10-08@11:34


    This is just what I was looking for. I created an easy shortcut on my desktop to reboot my remote machine.

    “shutdown /r /f /m \\”

  2. Steve 02-10-09@09:50

    Thanks, I’ve been looking for this answer, great!!!

  3. Ronn 20-08-10@04:12

    Rock On! This works for 7 too. I was overlooking the red shutdown button in the lower right corner after using the hotkey option.

  4. Pinky 24-03-11@05:17

    How about a powerscript command that could restart the system remotely. That could be easier in the long run?

  5. Rachelle 21-04-12@04:51

    Definitely not intuitive, yet so simple, thanks for the info!

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