How-To Geek

Keep Track of Why Windows 7 is Being Shutdown

When you shutdown or restart your computer, you may want to keep track of the reason for it. Today we look at enabling Shutdown Event Tracker which will allow you to document why the system is being shutdown or rebooted.

Shutdown Event Tracker

Note: This process uses Local Group Policy Editor which is not available in Home versions of Windows. We also show how to enable Shutdown Event Tracker with a Registry hack below.

To enable this feature, click on Start and type in gpedit.msc and hit Enter.


In Local Group Policy Editor navigate to Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ System then on the left hand side under Setting, scroll down to Display Shutdown Event Tracker under setting.


Click Enabled and under Options make sure it is set to Always, then Apply and Ok and close out of the remaining screens.


Now when you go to restart of shutdown your system, Shutdown Event Tracker is displayed where you can leave a comment on why you’re shutting down the system.


There is also a dropdown list of various reasons for the shutdown or restart.


You can then go in and check out the logs in Event Viewer.


Registry Hack Method

Click on Start and type in regedit and hit enter.


Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Policies \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ Reliability. Double Click on ShutdownReasonUI and ShutdownReasonOn and change the Value Data to “1”.



This feature was introduced in server 2003 and is important for administrators for keeping track of why servers are being rebooted. But if you’re a hardcore geek and want solid control over your Windows 7 system, Shutdown Event Tracker is another tool for the box. With it enabled, you won’t be able to shut down the system until you’ve entered in a reason for the shutdown or reboot. Setting up this feature is recommended for experienced users, as the casual PC user won’t get much benefit from it.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 12/1/09

Comments (5)

  1. Neut

    Please note that gpedit.msc can only be found in the Ultimate and Professional versions of Windows 7!

  2. Baseball Mike

    What version of Windows 7 do you have? My Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (clean install) doesn’t have these settings at all….

  3. Scott

    Are you insane I run 2 server’s and thats the first thing I diasbled on both of them

  4. JHubbard92

    T’is quite a handy tool for Server which will need to be running 24/7, If I remember rightly it comes pre enabled with Server edition of Windows. Cool idea though for computers as well :-)

  5. JonMCC33

    I remember when this was first out on Windows 2003 Server. It was quite annoying then. Most production servers aren’t going to be rebooted/shutdown without someone’s knowledge anyway.

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