Shutdown: Allow system to be shut down without having to log on

Applies to

  • Windows 10

Describes the best practices, location, values, policy management, and security considerations for the Shutdown: Allow system to be shut down without having to log on security policy setting.


This policy setting determines whether you can shut down a device without having to sign in to Windows. When you enable it, the Shut Down option is available on the sign-in screen in Windows. If you disable this setting, the Shut Down option is removed from the screen. To use the option, the user must sign in on the device successfully and have the Shut down the system user right.

Users who access the console locally can shut down the system. Attackers or misguided users can connect to the server by using Remote Desktop Services, and then shut it down or restart it without having to identify themselves. A malicious user might also cause a temporary denial-of-service condition from a local console by restarting or shutting down the server.

Possible values

  • Enabled

    The shutdown command is available on the sign-in screen.

  • Disabled

    The shut down option is removed from the sign-in screen. Users must have the Shut down the system user right to do a shutdown.

  • Not defined

Best practices

  1. On servers, set this policy to Disabled. You must sign in to servers to shut down or restart them.
  2. On client devices, set this policy to Enabled. Define the list of users who have the right to shut them down or restart them with the User Rights Assignment policy Shut down the system.


Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options

Default values

The following table lists the actual and effective default values for this policy. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.

Server type or GPO Default value
Default Domain Policy Not defined
Default Domain Controller Policy Not defined
Stand-Alone Server Default Settings Disabled
DC Effective Default Settings Disabled
Member Server Effective Default Settings Disabled
Client Computer Effective Default Settings Enabled

Policy management

This section describes features and tools that are available to help you manage this policy.

Restart requirement

None. Changes to this policy become effective without a computer restart when they are saved locally or distributed through Group Policy.

Group Policy

For info about the User Rights Assignment policy, Shut down the system, see Shut down the system.

Security considerations

This section describes:

  • How an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration.
  • How to implement the countermeasure.
  • Possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.


Users who can access the console locally could shut down the device

Attackers who have access to the local console could restart the server, which would cause a temporary DoS condition. Attackers could also shut down the server and leave all of its applications and services unavailable.


Disable the Shutdown: Allow system to be shut down without having to log on setting.

Potential impact

You must sign in on servers to shut them down or restart them.