I am looking for a dependable software that I described above.

I know of this because my uni's PC has this kind of timer where it logs off after 30 minutes of quick use.

I need it for Windows, but suggestions for Mac are welcome since I use dual boot. Also, if there is some txt script or other suggestion or Windows/Mac tricks it is also very much welcome.

Does anyone know of it?

If possible:

  • It has notification when there is 10, 5, 3 minutes left.
  • It has to be free.
  • An extra point would be given to those who find a software where it immediately starts to count down when I logged in back (but if not possible I wouldnt mind).

As a start, the one my uni use is called MyPC something and I tried TimeComX but would like to know more alternatives

The reason I am asking this: I tend to procrastinate for many hours (I have ADHD, anxiety, depression) and having short x minutes for a few sessions has shown to help me get back on track since it creates some urgency to finish and save all the tasks before the computer logs off. It also helps, I realized, to browse more important pages and keep track of time since I tend to browse until the wee hours and open so many new tabs.

Pomodoro timer does not help much since I can stop/start anytime.

I tried and experimented with so many Android apps but the ringing/vibration doesn't really work since I tend to ignore it after a while and create much disturbance around me and also it doesn't deal with PC usage and only a soft reminder.

I do favour the idea of having a smartwatch with gentle tap every x minutes though! I am aware of this product somewhere on the internet but still skeptical.

  • Take a look at parental control software. Its common use is filtering websites, but often these programs also have the possibility to set hours of computer use per day.
    – user416
    Aug 6, 2016 at 11:38

2 Answers 2


For Windows press Windows+r and type:

shutdown -s -f -t "your time in seconds without the quotes" -c "your message with quotes"

For example to set a timer for 1 hour, type:

shutdown -s -f -t 3600 -c "shutdown"

Replace -s with -r to restart the PC after the time limit.

You can create a shortcut for this

  1. Right click on desktop
  2. select New
  3. select Shortcut
  4. in the shortcut path write down the above code and save it

Next time just double click on the shortcut to set the timer.


The easiest thing I can think of would work on Mac/Linux (and should be possible on Windows as well): A simple Shell script in your startup folder, scheduling those 3 alerts (xnotify) and the logoff (sudo pkill -u ${USER}). Not being a Windows user, I cannot tell you the pendants to it.

Example corresponding to your description:

echo "xmessage 'Logoff in 10min!" | at now + 20 minutes
echo "xmessage 'Logoff in 5min!" | at now + 25 minutes
echo "xmessage 'Logoff in 3min!" | at now + 27 minutes
echo "sudo pkill -u ${USER}" | at now + 30 minutes

Alternatives to xmessage are notify-send and, on a Mac, display notification (example: display notification "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" with title "Title", see Ask Different; for more Linux alternatives, there's also this question at Ask Ubuntu).

Of course this would require having setup sudo to accept the kill command without asking for a password, which can be done via the /etc/sudoers file – see e.g. What is sudoers file and How to config sudoers file?

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