Can't shut down from command line

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 25 April 2006 / Last Updated on 25 April 2006]

How to resolve a problem when using the shutdown.exe command when logged on with non-admin credentials.

If you have a Windows XP desktop computer and you try to shut down your machine from the command-line by typing shutdown -s then you may get the following result in response to this command:

The operation completed successfully.
A required privilege is not held by the client.

This will happen if you are logged on to your machine as an ordinary (domain) user instead of an account having administrative credentials. This happens because of a bug in how the shutdown.exe command works in Windows. Fortunately, there's a workaround:

1. Log on as an administrator and open Local Security Settings from Administrative Tools.

2. Select Security Settings \ Local Policies \ User Rights Assignment

3. Open the user right named "Force shutdown from a remote system" and add the INTERACTIVE group to this user right.


The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see .

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