Enable Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows 10

When you enable Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows 10, the users cannot shutdown or restart the computer without providing a reason. This let’s you know why was the restart done with a proper reason.

Many people assume the shutdown event tracker is applicable only for servers. While this is not true, you can enable shutdown event tracker even for client OS such as Windows 10.

By default Windows 10 doesn’t display the shutdown event tracker. When you press Alt+F4 key, you see the shutdown options but not the event tracker.

Should I enable Shutdown Event Tracker ?

In some of the organizations, the IT team closely monitors the reasons for shutdown and restarts. In case of a power outage or hardware failure, the user who logs in after the restart is asked to enter a reason in Shutdown Event Tracker.

It is not mandatory to display the shutdown event tracker unless you want to keep a record of machines that were shutdown or restarted.

So where can I see message entered in shutdown event tracker ?. This information entered by user can be retrieved from the Event Log.

Enable Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows 10

To enable Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows 10

  • Login to Windows 10 computer with an account that has administrative privileges.
  • Click Start > Run. Type Gpedit.msc and hit enter.
  • Expand Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates and click System.
  • In the console pane look for policy setting Display Shutdown Event Tracker.
  • Edit the policy setting.

Enable Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows 10

To enable this policy setting, click Enabled.

Shutdown Event Tracker Options :-

  • Always – Displays shutdown event tracker during shutdown.
  • Server Only – Displays shutdown event tracker when you shut down a Windows Server.
  • Workstation Only – Displays shutdown event tracker when you shut down a windows workstation.

Select Always and click Apply and OK.

Enable Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows 10

Open the command prompt and run gpupdate /force.

Now press Alt+F4 and you should see the Shutdown Event Tracker.

Enable Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows 10

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This seems like the easiest way to annoy your end users. What possible data can be gleaned from this? We turn it off on servers first thing as they’re built, otherwise people just pick the first option and a . Or gibberish.
Seems about as useful as prompting a user with “why do you want to log in?” After they enter their creds.

Matthew V
Matthew V

It seems likely this wouldn’t be a solution for your entire domain, rather, unique scenarios: labs, 24/7 ops center with shared devices, financial devices such Bloomberg PCs, warehouse tablets operating SAP or an equivalent, etc. I see a lot of reasons why you wouldn’t want devices that should be up 24/7 to be shutdown. Forces someone to be accountable for their actions.

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