Security developer NoVirusThanks has released Shutdown Logger, a free Windows service-based application which records details about every shutdown event.
The package logs the time and date of each shutdown, the system uptime to that point, and the names of any logged-in user accounts.
Logs are named by date, dd-mm-yyyy.log, making it easier to spot shutdowns in a time span of interest. The contents are plain text and can be viewed in Notepad or anything else.
Shutdown Logger doesn’t need configuration and has no direct interface. The closest you get is a folder shortcut in the Start Menu, but you can also browse directly to the log folder, normally at C:\ShutdownLoggerSvc\Logs.
Uninstalling the program will remove the service. If you need to tweak it off temporarily, run the Services applet (services.msc), go to “NoVirusThanks Shutdown Logger” and modify the settings as usual.
Shutdown Logger reliably logged shutdowns on our test system, and that could be an interesting way to monitor the usage of a computer.
For an alternative, try NirSoft’s TurnedOnTimesView. This displays far more information about shutdowns and restarts, including shutdown types and the responsible processes.
TurnedOnTimesView takes its data from the Windows Event Logs, which means it works as a portable program, with no need to install anything. But it’s also easier to defeat: if the Event Logs are wiped, TurnedOnTimesView won’t display anything.