How to disable Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows Server 2008 R2

How to disable Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows Server 2008 R2

Scenario: You have people in your office, you are in the middle of work in 2 different Dev VMs plus Visual Studio on your host or you are working on several servers plus your local Dev VM while writing admin scripts (making this viable for Admin and Dev types alike).  Time for a reboot of your Dev VM so you click on reboot and flip back to your other work and figure you will check back in 10 minutes once it has had time to reboot.  An hour goes by and you are finally rearing to go on the Dev VM so you flip back to it only to find this screen:


Anyone else want to throw a virtual rock at the virtual screen at that point?

I am in the middle of building out 5 new VMs for my lab and always find having to enter a reason for rebooting to be painful, so I FINALLY decided to do something about it. 

There are a number of articles out there on how to do this, but many of them are out of date.  I tried every one of them and this was the one that I found that works every time:

How to enable and disable Shutdown Event Tracker

  1. Open gpedit.msc

  2. Go to Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | System

  3. Set “Display Shutdown Event Tracker” to Disabled


A reboot is not required for this to take effect.  You set a Group Policy if you are in a domain or multi-machine situation, but for standalone systems, this works just fine.

CAVEAT: I highly recommend this only be used in development/test VMs.  This makes it so there is no safety net if someone accidentally clicks restart or shutdown instead of logoff. 

I am big on giving credit to those who I find information from, but in this case there were so many different options that I lost track of who I got this lead from, so thank you to the unnamed tipster for this lead.

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