Shutter is a free utility that allows you to do much more than automate the shutdown of Windows-based systems. Based on its built-in set of events the user can set up various actions besides shutdown, such as reboot, hibernate, sleep, log off, monitor turn off, alarm and a few more.
The only settings that need to be performed by the user during Shutter’s installation are choosing the destination location, name of the program’s Start Menu folder and creating a desktop shortcut. No adware or third-party applications are present during installation. To be honest, the whole setup process couldn’t get any easier.
Concerning system requirements, Shutter works on Windows 9x, NT, XP, 2003, Vista and 7. Since it’s a very small program, it doesn’t have additional hardware requirements.
The simple yet functional interface displays a drop-down menu for events and another one for actions. Related settings are displayed based on the currently selected event. There are some very interesting and useful event options such as Countdown which causes the user-selected action to take place after a certain amount of time, On Time for the action to be triggered at a certain hour of the day, when Winamp stops and others such as Battery Low, Low CPU usage, Process/Ping Stops, User Inactive and File Size Limit. The collection of actions covers power management options such as Shutdown, Reboot, Hibernate, Sleep, Log off, Lock Workstation but also others, like Hang Up, Monitor Turn Off, Mute/Unmute Master Volume and Alarm.
The versatility of Shutter is undisputable: from the simple task of automatically shutting down your computer, this tiny application can notify the user when a download completes (through the File Size Limit option), or turn off the monitor when the laptop’s battery is low, for example. The event/action combinations can generate virtually unlimited uses for automating many tasks.
Shutter’s settings are available under the Options menu which allows the user to further tweak the program but also extend the number of purposes it can be used for. The General tab lets you customize the program’s behavior in a number of aspects, like minimization options on certain conditions (event starts, program starts, close button is pressed), autorun at system startup/logon, restart events, stop/start events before/after computer sleep or hibernation and others.
The On Action tab provides the user with options to force close all applications for Shutdown, Reboot and Log off actions, hang up modem connections but also display a custom message before the action is executed. On Action Extra allows you to run a specific program, play a sound as well as close windows that match any of the titles from a user-defined list.
The last tab, Web Interface, makes Shutter even more interesting. It allows users to remotely execute any action but it can also display run-time information about the computer, like the logged in user, up time, list of processes and even a desktop screenshot.
– Very small, lightweight utility with adware-free installation.
– Clean, intuitive interface makes Shutter easy to use and understand by any user with no technical experience required.
– Multiple automated tasks can be defined by the user as a combination of actions and events.
– Remote execution of actions via the web interface with support for command-line execution.
– Free to download and use.
– None worth mentioning.
Shutter’s versatile capabilities are definitely not clouded by its undeniable simplicity and user-friendliness. Besides the fact that this lightweight utility is free, it can be used only as a power management tool as well as an intuitive task automation program.