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To turn a PC on or off remotely, all you need is a shortcut on the desktop. There are many instructions that describe how to turn your PC on and off remotely. However, most of them seem to handle the subject as if you are in charge of a vast computer network. Others go too far in the details, turning what should be a simple situation into a complicated one.
We have created this article to show you how to remotely turn on or off a PC to help you with the procedure and make it as easy as possible.
1. Configure the remote PC
Although most modern Ethernet network adapters support Wake-on-LAN, many do not have the feature enabled by default. In order for a PC to spring into action when it receives a magic packet, you may need to enable the feature in two seemingly unrelated places:
- In the BIOS / UEFI menu of your PC.
- In your network adapter settings within Windows 10.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide specific instructions to enable Wake-on-LAN in the BIOS / UEFI menu of your PC. The location of the option depends on the motherboard manufacturer. Therefore, you will have to consult your motherboard manual for more information. However, you will usually find it under networking or power related options.
Once you have ensured that Wake-on-LAN is enabled in the BIOS / UEFI of your target PC, start the Windows installation as usual. Open Device Manager. If you are on Windows 10, you can press Windows key + X and run it from the administrative tools quick menu of the operating system. Alternatively, you can press the Windows key or click the Start menu and start typing “Device Manager” to find it.
- Expand the Network adapters category and double-click on your network adapter (or right-click on it and choose Properties (edit)). Move to the Advanced tab and check the entries in Property. Look for the entrance to Wake on Magic Package and enable it.
- While still viewing the properties of your network adapter, go to Power management tab. There, make sure both Allow this device to wake up the computer and Just let a magic packet wake up the computer are enabled.
- Finally, to activate it remotely, you will need the IP address of this PC. If you don’t know, you can find it by pressing Windows Key + R, typing “cmd”, and then hitting Enter to run the command prompt. Type “ipconfig” (without the quotes) at the command prompt and press Enter to run the command. The address you need will be reported as IPv4 address.
- Now you can shut down this PC and go back to the main one.
2. Grab WakeMeOnLan
As we will see, creating a shutdown shortcut on our desktop for our remote PC is easy and feasible with the default Windows tools. However, to turn on a remote PC, you need a way to send the magic packet mentioned above to it. Many remote control solutions can activate your PC in this way.
However, for this article, we do not want to completely remote control our PC. We just want to access your storage as quickly and easily as possible. Therefore, it is easier to use NirSoft’s free WakeMeOnLan tool.
- Download WakeMeOnLan from its official site.
- The tool works as a portable application and does not need installation. However, it comes in a ZIP file. To use it, create a folder where you would like to “install” it from where you will run it in the future. Then extract the contents of the downloaded file there. Remember (or copy to clipboard) the path to that folder.
With everything set up, you can now create the actual shortcuts that will turn your remote PC on and off.
3. Create the activation / deactivation shortcuts
WakeMeOnLan offers a nice graphical user interface, but it also supports command line flags. We will take advantage of this feature to use WakeMeOnLan as the secret sauce behind a shortcut that will turn on a remote PC.
- Right-click on a blank space on your desktop and choose New> Shortcut in the menu that appears.
- Enter the full path to the WakeMeOnLAN executable file (which we suggest you annotate or copy to clipboard above) in the field below Write the location of the item. Alternatively, you can click the Browse on the right, then find and choose the WakeMeOnLAN executable for the requester that appears. Leave a blank space after the executable and type “/ wakeup YOUR_REMOTE_PC’s_IP” (without the quotes). Replace “YOUR_REMOTE_PC’s_IP” with the IP address that you wrote down when you ran ipconfig on your remote PC.
- Enter an appropriate name for your new shortcut. We used a simple “BlackBox_ON”, where “BlackBox” was the name of our remote PC. Click on End up and your first icon will be ready to use.
- Create a second icon as before. For this, you can use the native Windows “shutdown” command instead of a third-party tool. So instead of entering a path to an executable, type “shutdown / s / m REMOTE_PC’s_NAME” (without the quotes). In our case, our remote PC was called “BlackBox”, so our command was “shutdown / s / m blackbox”.
- Enter an appropriate name for this shortcut as well; we use a totally unoriginal “BlackBox_OFF”. Finally, click on End up to create your remote shutdown shortcut.
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