How To Check What Time Your PC Was Last Shutdown or Restarted

Key takeaways:

  • Knowing when your PC was last shutdown or restarted can help with troubleshooting issues
  • You can check the last shutdown and restart times using built-in tools in Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • The Event Viewer in Windows provides detailed logs of system events, including shutdowns and restarts
  • Terminal commands like last reboot and last shutdown can be used in macOS and Linux to view reboot and shutdown history

Have you ever wondered when was the last time your computer was shut down or restarted? This information can be incredibly useful when troubleshooting issues or trying to determine if a recent update or software installation caused any problems. Luckily, most operating systems provide built-in tools to help you find out exactly when your PC was last powered off or rebooted.

Checking Last Shutdown and Restart Times in Windows

Windows keeps detailed logs of system events, including when the computer was shut down or restarted. To access this information:

  1. Open the Event Viewer by typing “Event Viewer” in the Start menu search bar and clicking on the app.
  2. In the left pane, expand Windows Logs and click on System.
  3. In the right pane, click on Filter Current Log… in the Actions section.
  4. In the Filter window, select Power-Troubleshooter from the Event sources dropdown, type 1074 in the Includes/Excludes Event IDs field, and click OK.

The filtered log will now display events related to system shutdowns and restarts. Look for events with ID 1074, which indicate when the computer was shut down or restarted, along with the reason (e.g., user-initiated, automatic update).

Viewing Reboot and Shutdown History in macOS

macOS users can check when their computer was last restarted or shut down using the Terminal app. Here’s how:

  1. Open Terminal (found in Applications > Utilities).
  2. To see the reboot history, type last reboot and press Enter. This will display a list of dates and times when the system was restarted.
  3. To view the shutdown history, type last shutdown and press Enter. This will show a list of dates and times when the system was shut down.

Additionally, you can check your Mac’s uptime (time since last reboot) by typing uptime in Terminal and pressing Enter.

Checking Last Reboot Time in Linux

Linux users can also use the Terminal to find out when their system was last rebooted. Open the Terminal and type one of the following commands:

  • last reboot: Shows a list of dates and times when the system was restarted.
  • uptime: Displays the current time, system uptime, number of logged-in users, and load averages.

For a more detailed breakdown of the system’s boot history, you can view the contents of the /var/log/wtmp file, which logs all user logins and system reboots.

Why Knowing Your PC’s Last Shutdown or Restart Time Matters

There are several reasons why you might want to check when your computer was last shut down or restarted:

  1. Troubleshooting: If you’re experiencing issues with your PC, knowing when it was last restarted can help narrow down potential causes. For example, if the problem started occurring after a recent reboot, it could be related to a system update or a newly installed program.
  2. Update management: Keeping track of when your computer was last restarted can help you ensure that important updates have been applied successfully. Many updates require a system restart to take effect, so if your PC hasn’t been rebooted recently, you may be missing out on critical security patches or bug fixes.
  3. Performance monitoring: If your computer has been running for an extended period without a restart, it may start to experience performance issues due to memory leaks or other software-related problems. Checking your PC’s uptime can help you determine if it’s time for a reboot to clear out any accumulated junk and start fresh.
  4. Security: In some cases, an unexpected shutdown or restart could indicate a security breach or malware infection. By regularly monitoring your system’s reboot and shutdown history, you can spot any suspicious activity and take appropriate action to protect your data and privacy.

Best Practices for Managing System Restarts and Shutdowns

To keep your computer running smoothly and securely, consider the following tips:

  • Restart regularly: Even if you don’t need to install updates, it’s a good idea to restart your PC at least once a week to clear out memory and prevent performance issues.
  • Install updates promptly: When important updates become available, make sure to install them as soon as possible and reboot your system if required. This helps ensure that you have the latest security patches and bug fixes.
  • Use automatic update settings wisely: While automatic updates can be convenient, they can also be disruptive if your computer restarts unexpectedly. Consider adjusting your update settings to install updates outside of your normal working hours or to notify you before restarting.
  • Investigate unexpected restarts: If your computer restarts or shuts down unexpectedly, take the time to investigate the cause. Check your system logs for any error messages or warnings, and run a malware scan to rule out any potential security threats.

By regularly monitoring your PC’s shutdown and restart history and following these best practices, you can help keep your system running smoothly and avoid potential issues down the road.


How often should I restart my computer?

It’s generally recommended to restart your computer at least once a week to clear out memory and prevent performance issues. However, if you’re experiencing problems or need to install updates, you may need to restart more frequently.

Can I check my computer’s shutdown history remotely?

Yes, if you have remote access to your computer (e.g., through Remote Desktop Protocol or SSH), you can use the same methods described above to check the shutdown and restart history from another device.

What should I do if my computer restarts unexpectedly?

If your computer restarts unexpectedly, check your system logs for any error messages or warnings that could indicate a hardware or software issue. Run a malware scan to rule out any potential security threats, and consider updating your drivers or rolling back recent changes if the problem persists.

Can I automate the process of checking my computer’s shutdown history?

Yes, you can use scripting or automation tools to regularly check your computer’s shutdown and restart history and alert you to any unexpected events. For example, you could create a PowerShell script in Windows or a Bash script in macOS/Linux to parse the system logs and send you an email if any unusual activity is detected.