Automatically shut down or sleep on a schedule


Have you ever wanted to perform some action on the computer automatically? Shutter Lite is a utility that enables you to monitor events and define actions that are automatically performed. Using these facilities it is easy to automatically shut down the computer at a predetermined time of the day, when it is idle or music has stopped playing.

Shutter Lite is a portable Windows application, which means it does not need installing. Just unzip it, open the folder and double click Shutter.exe.

The software is free for personal use and there are two parts. The top part contains a list of events and the bottom part contains a list of actions.

 Shutter Lite main window

The first step is to define a event that will trigger an action to be performed. Click the Add button above the top section. There are over a dozen different events and the range of options is interesting. An event could be a countdown timer reaching zero, it could wait until Winamp stops playing, check if the battery is low or when a specific Windows opens or closes. It can detect when the computer is idle by watching the CPU usage or when a download has finished by monitoring the network usage.

In this example, On Time has been selected and this enables the computer to be shut down at a specific time of the day.

 Shutter Lite events

Multiple triggers can be set and it is possible to choose whether one or both need to be triggered. For example, you could set one event to On Time and another event to CPU Usage. Then you could perform an action, such as shutting down the computer, if the time is later than 6pm and CPU activity is less than 5%, indicating that no-one is using the computer. So either even on its own would not trigger an action, but the first AND the second together would. You can also use OR, so one or the other event would trigger the action.

After defining one or more events, the next step is to define the action to be taken. There are lots of options and the computer can be shut down, rebooted, put into sleep mode, the user can be logged off, and so on.

For this shutdown example, let’s display a warning message on the screen, so if anyone is still using it, they know what will happen and can save their work. Click the Add above the bottom section on the main screen.

Selecting Message enables a message to be entered. There are options to enable/disable Cancel, Exit and Restart buttons. The message can be displayed for the length of time set at the top.

 Shutter Lite actions

After adding this, add another action and this time select Shutdown. Any number of events can be added, but we only need two.

 Shutter Lite actions

Here is what it now looks like.

 Shutter Lite for Windows

The actions are performed in order, so the message is displayed first and then the Shutdown is executed afterwards. All that remains is to click Start. Shutter Lite minimises to the notification area at the right side of the taskbar out of the way.

The Options button enables various options to be set in Shutter Lite, for example, it can automatically be loaded with Windows and started. This enables it to be made permenently active, shutting down every day for example. It can be password protected to stop other people from changing the settings. There is also a web interface so it can be accessed over the network.

This is an excellent free utility that can perform several different tasks and it does more than just shut down the computer.

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