How To Restart Windows Server 2016

There are many different ways we can restart Windows Server 2016, in this quick guide we’ll demonstrate how to perform a reboot through the graphical user interface, with command prompt, PowerShell, or even remotely.

The command prompt and PowerShell options are particularly useful if you need to script these tasks.

Restart From GUI

If you have the graphical user interface component installed in Windows Server 2016, you can restart simply by clicking the start button followed by the Power button, and then Restart.

Restart Windows Server 2016 Through GUI

Restart From Command Prompt

If you do not have the GUI installed, or you simply prefer the command line, we can also perform a system reboot with the ‘shutdown’ command.

C:\> shutdown -r

The -r option is used to specify that we want to perform a reboot. By default this will start less than a minute after the command has been run, however with the use of the -t option we can alternatively specify the number of seconds we wish to wait.

Restart From PowerShell

Similarly to the above example we can perform a reboot with the command line using Microsoft’s newer PowerShell by running the ‘Restart-Computer’ cmdlet.

PS C:\> Restart-Computer

With no options specified, this will initiate a reboot of the local computer after a default period of 5 seconds. This period can be modified with the -Delay option, followed by a number of seconds to wait.

Restart Remotely

We can also use PowerShell to remotely reboot a Windows Server, again this is done with the ‘Restart-Computer’ cmdlet, except we specify the name of the computer that we want to restart.

PS C:\> Restart-Computer -ComputerName "web01"

This will initiate a restart of the ‘web01’ server, as specified by the -ComputerName option. It will only work if either the credentials on “web01” are the same as the current machine the command is run from, for instance if the remote server is a member of the same domain and your user account has these permissions.

If the remote server requires authentication, we can first use the Get-Credential cmdlet followed by the ‘computername\username’ at which point we will be prompted for the password. In the below example we store this output into the variable ‘$a’. We then perform the restart and specify the -Credential option, passing it the contents stored in $a.

PowerShell Get-Credential

PowerShell Restart-Computer Remotely


We have seen that there are a number of different ways in which we can safely perform a restart of Windows Server 2016. You can perform a reboot through the GUI, command prompt, PowerShell, or even remotely from another system.

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