One of the big names among the cloud storage services is Dropbox. Apart from giving a 2 GB free space, Dropbox also allows to integrate it with different services for a better cloud computing experience. I do use this cloud service in various purposes. But did you ever think that you can shut down your computer (Windows 7) remotely using Dropbox?
If you forgot to shut down your PC when leaving your home or office and suddenly realized about your mistake after traveling a long distance, you would return and then shut down your PC. To get rid from such situation you can use Dropbox to remotely shut down PC or notebook from a Mobile Phone. What you need to do is to follow anyone of the following step-by-step guides and make your PC ready to shut down from a remote computer, Android, iPhone, iPad or any mobile device with internet feature.
How to Shutdown PC Remotely From Mobile Phone
Before getting started, get Dropbox client installed at your computer. Once installed, you can go through the following instructions to configure your computer.
1. Your computer must be pre-installed with Dropbox.
2. The computer should be connected with internet.
3. Internet enabled mobile phone e.g Android, iPhone, Nokia mobile phones etc.
4. A simple script to check for a file in your Dropbox folder. Download the zipped file and extract it at any location of your computer.
A small editing in the script
Right-click on the file, remote_shutdown.vbs and select ‘Edit’. After extracting the zipped file you can see two files:
2. trigger.bat under the folder
You will get the following code in your notepad editor.
Dim fl1 Set fl1 = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") If (fl1.FileExists("your_dropbox_folder_path\secret_file.txt")) Then Dim oShell Set oShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell") 'shutdown, wait for 5 seconds, force running apps to close oShell.Run "%comspec% /c shutdown /s /t 5 /f", , TRUE Msgbox "You will be shut down shortly" End If
Replace the highlighted part with your Dropbox account path (Don’t remove the quotes). By default it should be
C:> Users> user_name> Documents>My Dropbox
After editing the line it should look like this:
If (file1.FileExists("C:\Usersuser_name\Documents\My Dropbox\secret_file.txt")) Then
Save the file by pressing
CTRL + S. You can change name ‘secret_file’ with some secret name. Actually, the above code will search for this file in your Dropbox folder. If it finds that, it will command the computer to shut down.
Configuring the Task Scheduler to trigger the above batch file in Windows 7
1. Press the Win key and type ‘task scheduler’ at the search box. Right-click on Task Scheduler and select ‘Run as administrator’.
2. In the upcoming window, click on ‘Create Task’ from the right pane.
3. Give a reasonable name of the task and check the box to “Run with highest privileges”.
4. Head to the Trigger tab and click on the ‘New..’ button. A pop up window will appear.
5. Now keep the ‘Begin the task’ option as ‘On a schedule’ and choose the ‘Daily’ button under Settings. At the starting time option, delay the time about 10 minutes. Under the Advanced settings, check the box to ‘Repeat task every: 5 minutes and set ‘Indefinitely’ as the duration. (Set the values from the drop down menu) and finally, click on OK.
6. Flip to ‘Action’ tab and click on ‘New’. Set the action as Start a program at the ‘program/script’ box, locate the batch file (trigger.bat) by clicking on the ‘Browse’ button and click OK.
7. Finally, head to the ‘Settings’ tab and check the box to ‘Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed’.
8. Now click on OK.
Your computer is now completely configured. When you are outside and your computer is on, just log-in to your Dropbox account from your mobile phone or any other computer, upload a text file with the same name as you specified earlier to Dropbox folder (secret_file.txt).
You are done! your computer will shut down in next 5 minutes. An you will get detailed log at test.txt file in the same directory drds.
Note: Immediate after the next time of logging into your PC, delete the secret_file.txt from your Dropbox account, nevertheless your computer will again shut down. You can also build your schedule task settings as such a way, so that the task starts after a specific time every day.
Shut Down Windows XP From Mobile Phone Using Dropbox
Here is the complete workarounds to remotely shut down your Windows XP PC from mobile phone or other computers using Dropbox.
Though the working algorithm is same for both Windows 7 and XP, I made some small changes in the batch file trigger.bat to work properly in Windows XP. Also the options in Task Scheduler wizard is little different for Windows XP.
Here is the complete guide to remote shut down your Windows XP via Dropbox. Your Windows XP must be pre-installed with Dropbox . Just download the zipped file for Windows XP and follow the steps below.
- Extract the zipped file at any location of your computer. You will get two files as remote_shutdown.vbs and trigger.bat.
- Now right-click on remote_shutdown.vbs and select to edit.
- Replace the part “your_Dropbox_folder_Path” with your Dropbox folder path and save the file. As example, E:\My Dropbox.
- Now Press the
Win + Rkey and type “control schedtasks” without the quotes and hit Enter.
- Click on Add Scheduled Task > Next. You will be asked to select the program that you want to run in a scheduled manner.
- Click on “Browse” and locate the file trigger.bat, give a suitable name for this task, select ‘Daily’ to perform this task and then Next.
- Change the starting time to delay it for 5-10 minutes from current one.
- Specify the user name and the password under which the task will run and click ‘Next’.
- At the finishing step of the wizard, check the box to open advance properties after the ‘Finish’ and click on Finish.
- A window with your task name will appear. Flip to ‘Schedule’ tab and click ‘Advanced’.
- In advanced schedule option check the box to repeat task, change the repeating properties as the screenshot below and then click OK.
- Notice that at the “Until” option I have put the time 1:29 PM as the starting time was 1:30PM. Put this option wisely for yourself.
- Now head to the Settings tab and deselect the check box pointing ‘Stop the task if it runs for’.
- Click on ‘Apply’ then ‘OK’.
Now your Windows XP is configured. Whenever you want to shut down your PC remotely, just log-in to your Dropbox account from the remote device like Mobile phone or PC and send the file secret_file.txt to your Dropbox folder. Your home or office computer will shut down in next 5 minutes.
If you don’t like to go through the long process, here is a simple script to get your job done with fewer clicks.
Configuring your computer to shut it down remotely
To shut down your computer remotely, you just need to download this zipped file. No coding knowledge is needed. Extract the downloaded file into your local Dropbox folder. You can choose any place in your Dropbox to keep it. Just make sure that you can easily remember the path. Because, you will have to upload a secret file to that location to shutdown the remote PC. You can use any computer or smart phone to upload the secret file at your Dropbox.
The extracted result is nothing but a folder called as ‘DropboxRemoteShutdown’ containing four files.
1. First of all, click the file ‘create-startup-file.bat’. As soon as you click that, it will create another file called as “deleteonce.bat”.
Right-click on the ‘deleteonce.bat’ file and choose Send to > Desktop (create shortcut) option. This creates a shortcut icon at your desktop.
Cut the shortcut icon from your desktop and paste at the following location:
C: > ProgramData > Microsoft > Windows > Start Menu > Programs > Startup
2. You are almost done. Now go back to the folder ‘DropboxRemoteShutdown’ and double-click the file ‘start-remote-shutdown.bat’.
That’s it! Now if you left your computer open in your office, arrange a computer or smart phone which as an internet connection. Rename any image (must be JPG) as secret_file.jpg and upload it to the Dropbox (here it is Dropbox > DropboxRemoteShutdown) using the browser or Dropbox client.
The remote computer should shutdown within a minute.
1. To make this process working, make sure that the computer you try to shutdown is already connected with Internet and the Dropbox instance is running.
2. If you ever think that you want to stop the script from running, just double-click the end-remote-shutdown.bat file.
Understanding the codes
Here, I have created four code-files to make the whole thing successful. Three of them are BATCH file and one is VBSCRIPT file.
1. Remote_shutdown.vbs : It is a simple vbscript which uses a conditional block to fire the Windows shutdown command. It only executes the shutdown command when it finds the file secret_file.jpg into the Dropbox (Dropbox > DropboxRemoteShutdown).
2. Start-remote-shutdown.bat : This batch file schedules the above vbscript file which runs after every one minute. That means the vb file will check for that secret file in every minute.
3. End-remote-shutdown.bat : It deletes the scheduled task at Windows task scheduler.
4. Create-startup-file.bat : This batch file creates a file for the Windows Startup folder so that the secret_file.jpg gets deleted automatically at the next reboot. Otherwise, the computer will go for an infinite shutdown loop.
Let us know if you’re having any problem to shutdown your computer remotely using Dropbox.