Abort Windows Shutdown with a Keyboard Shortcut

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There is a way to abort a shutdown (or restart) in Windows using a built-in command and a keyboard shortcut.

To do that first, we’ll need to create two shortcuts, one for shutdown and another for abort.

To create the first shortcut, we’ll use the shutdown.exe command that is available in XP and Vista. Then we’ll create a keyboard shortcut key that will be used to abort shutting down Windows.


Create the first shortcut, for shutdown, by right clicking on the Desktop (shortcut must be created on your Desktop), and select New \ Shortcut.

Then in the ‘Type the location of the item text’ field enter:

%SystemRoot%\System32\shutdown.exe -s -t 30

NOTE: The %SystemRoot% is a System variable for the location of Windows folder.

Click Next to continue and name the shortcut Shutdown and click Finish.

Create a second shortcut, except copy the following command in the ‘In the Type the location of the item’ text field:
%SystemRoot%\System32\shutdown.exe -a

Then save the shortcut name as Abort.

Now, right click on the Abort shortcut icon, select Properties, and in the Shortcut tab, click in the Shortcut key box (where it says None) and press ‘A’ on the keyboard. Notice that it automatically enters ‘CTRL + ALT + A’.

Now, to abort a shutdown, make sure you double click on the Shutdown shortcut when you want to shutdown your Computer. A window will pop up. During this time, if you need to abort, press CTRL+ALT+A on your keyboard.

That’s it!

This will only work when clicking on the Shutdown shortcut. If you shutdown Windows any other way (using the Start menu, CTRL+ALT+DEL, etc…) you cannot abort it using this method.

You can also use other options with the shutdown.exe command, such as restart, logoff, standby and hibernate as well as change the time delay. To see all the options, just open a command prompt and type: shutdown /?.