Restart Windows Over Remote Desktop Connection (Step by Step)

Restart Windows Over Remote Desktop Connection (Step by Step). The following guide shows you how to restart Windows over Remote Desktop Connection (Step by Step Tutorial). Many people, especially professionals have a network of internet enabled devices. In turn, this includes PCs for their home and work offices. All in all,  Remote access software allows us to control and monitor your computers from a distant device. If you have the professional edition of Windows, you don’t even have to download additional. You can simply control your computer using Windows Remote Desktop Connection. It allows you to perform administrative tasks such as restarting it or shutting it down completely. Again, this guide shows you how to perform the former.

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The Importance of Restarting Your PC Remotely

At the time of this guide’s conception, there was an energy crisis in various parts of the world. It forced many of us to be more conscious about how we use electricity and gas. Thus, there also should be a consideration to shut your PC or at least placing it in sleep mode when not in use.

Albeit, you may be using your computer as a server. Therefore, there may be some precedence for it to remain turned on for a large portion of the day. Regardless, there are still ways to ensure that it’s saving as much power as possible while it’s running. This includes terminating unnecessary apps and services.

Some background processes may be stuck. Thus, taking up memory and CPU usage. Often the easiest way to release this memory, free up the cache, and push changes is to restart your computer. Additionally, you may also need to restart your PC because of software updates. This is all be done through Windows Remote Desktop Connection.

The biggest worry that most people have is re accessing their PCs once they’ve restarted them remotely. But as you’ll see, your worry is unwarranted.

We have arrived to the main part of Restart Windows Over Remote Desktop Connection (Step by Step).

Easiest Way to Connect to Remote Computer on Windows 10/11

The first thing you must do is connect to the host computer using a remote desktop connection. This requires you to have the host/computer name or the IP address.  Alternatively, you use the Network from the Windows file manager. This also allows you to see if the computer is available on your network.

  • Open the Windows File Explorer (WinKey + E)
  • Select Network from the navigation pane. You’ll find a list of all your network devices here. This includes your remote computer which should be located under the Computer section. Of course, Network Discovery and Sharing must be turned on before your PC can find other PCs on your network. You can change this setting under Network and Sharing Center or use a Network Auditing tool to keep track of all your network settings.   
  • Once you’ve found your remote computer, right click on it. This brings up a small context menu.
  • Select Connect with Remote Desktop Connection.

Remember, Windows may ask you for a username and password. Fill in the necessary details and hit the enter key on your keyboard. Then, Windows should connect you to the remote computer, barring any network issues.

Again, if you don’t see your remote computer under the computer section, it may not be turned on or connected to the network. In these cases, it would be nearly impossible to connect to it remotely, not until it’s powered on and correctly connected to your network.

However, the issue may be related to your local PC’s/Window’s ability to discover and/or locate the remote PC. In such cases, you try manually connecting to the remote computer using the hostname or IP Address.

We have arrived to the main part of the article Restart Windows Over Remote Desktop Connection (Step by Step).

Restarting a Computer Through Remote Desktop Connection

There are several ways you can restart Windows over Remote Desktop Connection. This section will explore a few ways.

Using The Logon Screen

Depending on how you’ve set up your computer, Remote Desktop Connection should show you the Windows logon screen upon a successful connection.  

Clicking on the bottom right power button produces a context menu containing a list of power options. You then click on the restart option to restart Windows over Remote Desktop Connection.

Windows will most likely display a warning message indicating that someone may be logged on to the PC and if you restart it, they’ll lose any unsaved work. If you’re confident that it’s safe to restart the computer you confirm the warning message.

Afterwards, Windows should now restart. It logs you off Remote Desktop Connection. You’ll also notice that the remote computer is suddenly absent from the Network folder. Nevertheless, you are required to wait a few minutes (depending on your computer’s specs) before you access it again. If it takes too long to reappear, the computer may be stuck due to an issue it found during POST.

This situation cannot be remedied remotely. You must hop on to the computer physically and clear any BIOS related errors or messages. Regardless, restarting your computer without logging in first isn’t a good idea. Again, it can terminate processes and important downloads and cause applications to crash. This can in turn corrupt their configuration files. Therefore, it’s safer to log in first before restarting your computer remotely.

Restarting Windows via RDC after Logging In

You can restart Windows over Remote Desktop Connection once logged in using the following steps:

  • Log onto the remote PC using Remote Desktop Connection.
  • Close all running applications and ensure that your important work is saved.
  • Click on the Start Menu.
  • Click on the power icon/option.
  • Select Restart from the context menu.

Again, this will restart Windows and log you out of Remote Desktop Connection. It may also display an error message. You can ignore it. Alternatively, you restart the Windows computer through the following steps:

  • Right click on the Start Menu to open the Windows Power Menu.
  • Hover over the Shutdown or sign out menu item.
  • Select Restart.

In addition, you can also restart the remote PC using the CLI command. In fact, this allows you to schedule a restart.

  • Open the Power Menu by right clicking on the Start Menu.
  • Select the Run.
  • Type CMD into the run dialog and hit the enter.
  • Type: Shutdown /r into the command line screen. Alternatively, you set the computer to restart in 60 seconds by adding -t 60 to the command:
					shutdown /r -t 60

After that, Windows flashes a message informing you that you will be signed out in a minute:

Of course, you use any time you deem appropriate with the -t flag. This isn’t the only thing the shutdown command can do. In fact, it has several parameters and flags that are used for custom power options.

Thank you for reading Restart Windows Over Remote Desktop Connection (Step by Step).

Restart Windows Over Remote Desktop Connection (Step by Step) Conclusion

Once again, the above guide explores how to restart Windows over Remote Desktop Connection (Step by Step Tutorial). The process is very simple. However, you must ensure that you are set up correctly to do so. The remote computer must have remote desktop enabled, which requires the professional edition of Windows (10/11).

Additionally, you must ensure that you have permission to access the remote computer and make changes to it. If you have problems with signing onto make the computer, make sure that you have at least one password protected local account registered on the computer. Ensure that you’ve logged into this local account.

Of course, Remote Desktop Connection isn’t the only remote access solution available to you. Additionally, you don’t have to log onto the computer to restart it. You can use the shutdown /i command to restart or shut down a computer on your network. However, you must have rights/permissions to do so. Nevertheless, we hope you’ve found this guide to be helpful. Please leave a comment down below if you have any queries or corrections. As always, thank you for reading.

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Avatar for Mduduzi Sibisi
Mduduzi Sibisi

Mdu is an Oracle-certified software developer and IT specialist, primarily focused on Object-Oriented programming for Microsoft and Linux-based operating systems. He has over a decade of experience and endeavors to share what he's learned from his time in the industry. He moonlights as a tech writer and has produced content for a plethora of established websites and publications - including this one. He's always open to learning and growing.

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