Windows: Whether you're downloading something or streaming media to your smartphone, sometimes you have to leave your computer on while you're out. Instead of leaving it on all day, free utility Switch Off will schedule shutdowns by time, CPU usage or remotely.
We've shown you how to shut down your computer from elsewhere in the house, and there are a number of ways to schedule your computer to shut down after a specific amount of time. Switch Off, however, puts all these functions into one simple system tray app: you can schedule shutdowns, restarts, logout, sleep, hibernate, VPN connections and even custom scripts as you choose. You can schedule them simply by time or by CPU inactivity.
Possibly the coolest feature is being able to remotely shut down your computer using Switch Off's mobile-friendly web interface, whether it be from another computer or on your smartphone. All you need to do is go into the program's options, and on the remote tab, enable the web interface. You can even password protect it, if you prefer. To access the interface, you just need to type your computer's IP address into the address bar of your browser with Switch Off's port tacked on the end (i.e. http://123.456.7.8:8000, where 123.456.7.8 is your IP address and 8000 is the port in Switch Off's remote preferences). It's pretty handy for letting longer tasks run while you're out without wasting all your power.
Switch Off is a free download, Windows only. Note that there is a portable version available, though I couldn't get it to work on my 64-bit system — but the installable version worked just fine.