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FileReboot - Remotely reboot a computer with a simple file edit

By Nelson Pires
Updated on


FileReboot is a free tool designed to remotely reboot a computer simply by editing a file. To achieve that, and in the least intrusive and most efficient way, this tool was conceived to run as a Windows Service which by nature runs in the background.

The service then monitors a file once every 10 seconds. This file is a simple text file "FileReboot.txt" and is located in the program directory.

When it reads the watcher file and finds the word "reboot" (case insensitive) inside, FileReboot immediately initiates the restart/reboot process of the machine. FileReboot waits around 30 seconds to allow the host machine time to stop all services and prepare for the imminent restart. During this process, FileReboot will not wait for save dialogs, the focus is on rebooting and nothing should stop that. Anyone connected to the machine will receive a dialog box announcing the restart.

This tool is helpful for the cases when you can't access your server for example or any other remote computer through the normal means but still have access to FTP for example, in which case you can edit the watcher file, then type the word "reboot" in it (only that word nothing else), save, upload and wait for your remote computer to reboot, hopefully giving you the missing control back.

Believe it or not, I have been locked out of a server twice but somehow FTP would still work, so this functionality would have been a life saver at the time. On one of those occasions I almost lost an important contract because the server was in Argentina and it was Friday night so we had to wait till Monday morning for someone to reboot the server so we could get control of our server back.

So here it is, another tool developed out of a specific need and now there's a solution that's efficient and one that works. It should run on all versions of Windows.


FileReboot does not have an installer, but it has to be registered as a Windows Service. For that it provides a couple of .bat files for easy registering/unregistering. Simply right-click on the .bat files and hit "Run as administrator". I advise you to look inside the .bat files with a text editor to assure yourself that it does not harm your computer in any way. The App does not access the Windows Registry and all input/output is done through text files on the application directory.

When you register (install) the service, it will create a file "FileReboot.InstallState", DO NOT delete this file, it will be used to unregister (uninstall) the service later if you need to. Two more files are created alongside; "FileReboot.log" which is where the service logs everything it does and the watcher file "FileReboot.txt". The log file and watcher file are re-created if deleted. When no longer needed, unregister the service, delete all files and you are done.



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Due to the ongoing wave of malware, spyware and other disruptive software found on the Internet, you must only download software from trusted websites. It's always safer to download from official websites like this one. My software contains no such dangers and you are encouraged to diligently perform further checks before installing and running this program. Never just download from any website.


This software is free to download, use and distribute, but you may NOT modify it in any way and redistribute. File copyright information and readme files must accompany the software at all times. NO WARRANTIES of any kind are given, and in no event shall I be held responsible. That remains solely with you.

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