Have you ever left your computer logged into Windows and suddenly remembered you did so when you were far away from your computer? What’s worse, have you ever kept it logged on when you knew there were going to be many people around the computer’s vicinity and you were going to be away for a while? This scenario certainly could end badly. People could search your computer for files and see what you have been up to or they could use your computer for activities you do not approve of (use your imagination). Luckily, this problem can be eliminated by setting up your computer to be shut down remotely using the e-mail capabilities of your cell phone, your Gmail account, and Mozilla’s popular e-mail client Thunderbird.
First, download the portable Thunderbird application. You can find that here.
Click the Download button to begin. Once the download is complete, open the application and click Run to begin the installation process. Click Next, select Browse, and choose to save the folder on your Desktop. Finally, click Install, to save the application to your desktop.
Go to your Desktop and open the folder entitled Thunderbird Portable. Click on the application file to begin setting up a portable version of Thunderbird on your computer (if you already have an instance of Thunderbird running, close it before opening Thunderbird Portable as it will not open with another instance running).
Once you have opened Thunderbird Portable, type your name, e-mail address, and password of your Gmail account when prompted. If you have typed everything correctly, the window should look something like this:
Click Create Account to successfully complete the installation.
Once the main window is open and your account is set up successfully, open your browser and go to the Mailbox Alert Add-on page. Click Download Now and wait for the add-on to download.
Go back to your Thunderbird Portable window and click Tools and then Add-ons.
Click Install and find the location where you downloaded the add-on (it will usually be on your Desktop). Select the add-on and click Open.
Ignore the warning and click Install Now to begin installing the add-on into Thunderbird Portable. Select Restart Thunderbird when you are prompted to do so.
Right click on your Inbox and select New Folder. Name it whatever you want to (I named mine shutdown). Once the folder is created, click Tools and select Message Filters.
Select New to create a filter.
Name the Filter Name whatever you wish, (I named mine Shutdown). In the Perform these actions window, ensure Move Message to is enabled. Click the second drop-down menu and select shutdown on xxxx @ gmail.com. Once everything is set correctly, select OK.
Now you will need to create a batch file. Right click on your desktop, click New, and select Text document. Open your newly created text document and enter the following code: shutdown.exe –s. Click File, select Save File As, and name the file Shutdown.bat.
Open Thunderbird Portable again and choose the folder you created earlier in the tutorial (mine was “shutdown”). Click Tools and select Mailbox Alert Preferences.
Check the box entitled Execute a Command and select Browse. Find the batch file you created earlier and click Open.
Once your window looks similar to this, click OK.
Now you will need to decrease the delay between sending your e-mail from your cell phone to your Gmail account and Thunderbird Portable actually receiving the e-mail. Click Tools, Account Settings, and select Server Settings.
Ensure your Account Settings box looks similar to this and select OK.
Always keep this program running. Now, if you find that you did not shut down your computer and will not have a chance to shut it down any time soon, send an e-mail to your Gmail account with the word “Shutdown” in the body of the e-mail message. Once Thunderbird Portable finds this e-mail, it will automatically run the batch file you created which in turn will shut down your computer, ensuring that your computer and all of its data is safe.