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Posted on June 25th, 2012 by David Bayon

How to add a Shut Down button to Windows 8

Shut Down

There are many good things about Windows 8, and there are many not so good things. People have bemoaned the loss of the Start menu, but in my opinion the biggest omission is one specific menu element: the Shut Down button.┬áHaving to open the settings Charm, then click the power button to finally get to the Shut Down option makes no sense. Thankfully, it’s very easy to turn back the clock.

Step 1: Create a shortcut


Right-click on the traditional Windows desktop and select New | Shortcut. In the box that pops up, type your chosen command. You can make it a Shut Down (/s) or Restart (/r) button, and specify how long the system will wait before acting on the command (/t x)

So for a Shut Down button that waits 10 seconds type:

 shutdown /s /t 10

For a Restart button that waits 3 seconds type:

 shutdown /r /t 3

In the next box that pops up, name the button appropriately.

Step 2: Give it an icon


By default it has no icon, but that’s easy to fix. Right-click on your new shortcut and select Properties. At the bottom of the window click Change Icon, and from the list that appears select the orange power icon. Click OK and close the Properties window.

Step 3: Create a Metro button


For the desktop you’re all set, just drag your Shut Down and/or Restart buttons to a safe place. But it makes sense to add them to the Metro Start screen too. To do this, right-click the button on the desktop, choose Pin to Start, and then in the Metro screen simply drag your button to the left so it’s always within reach.


And that’s it. You’ll never have to click through the power options in the settings Charm again.

Tip of the hat to ZDNet’s very good Windows 8 customisation tips page.

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Posted in: Software, Windows 8


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33 Responses to “ How to add a Shut Down button to Windows 8 ”

  1. Noghar Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Holy crap, what a palaver. Stuff like this is why I dumped the W8 beta from my laptop.

  2. Test Man Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Ah, so nice to see the same command that has worked in all versions of Windows since 2000 still works in Windows 8.

  3. Ben Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Ah I remember doing these kinds of ugly hacks and customisations in Windows 95, can’t believe MS are bringing back the need for them! Although it does make people who are in-the-know feel smugly superior, which can only be a good thing.

  4. Bern Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    But isn’t this only important to those of us conditioned never to use the power button to shut things down? It’s been a while since I handled a device where that just clicks off the power – these days it’s simply a programmable shortcut key which avoids all the above faff.

  5. Ryan "The_Scrote" Thomas Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    @Noghar It’s hardly a palaver at what, a minute’s work? You could have done it in the time it took to post your comment! :-)

  6. Dave Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Just press alt+f4 in desktop mode.
    Get log off options etc as well

  7. David Bayon Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks for the comments.

    I’m well aware that 1) this isn’t at all a new command in W8, and 2) there are other shortcuts to shut down. This is simply about re-adding the buttons, as many people miss them.

    I work with computers, I know the shortcuts, yet I still shut down my PC using a button. For some reason I prefer it that way. Each to his own :)


  8. Simon Jones Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I never shutdown my PC. It takes too long to start up again.

    Sleep and Hibernate are much better options these days. Press the sleep button on the keyboard (if you have one) or close the lid of a laptop. These can be programmed to shutdown the PC if you want them to but will sleep by default. I’ll restart once a month or so after the patch Tuesday updates.

    Heck, you could even press the power button on the front of the PC. That would be easier than clicking a button on the screen. By default it does a clean shutdown.

  9. Alan Byrne Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Don’t quite understand why this is needed. The shutdown option is three clicks away or one press if your computer power button is set to shutdown the machine.

    Shutting your machine down is normally done once a day, I can afford two clicks to carry this out natively within the OS.

  10. Effing Windows 8 Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Shutting down this way results in a locked up machine the next time I boot it. I have to use “shutdown /s /full”. The charm power off button works fine.

  11. Cole Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Christ it looks more like a Vista everyday.

  12. wittgenfrog Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Despite many years’ experience of PCs and of Windoze I always seem to favour the same approach as you… Must be getting set in my ways.

    The response to your bloglet merely proves that as ever with Windows, there are multiple ways to exfoliate a feline.

    Personally I like W8, but I’m clearly a lone voice in the wilderness…. :-)

  13. Starkid101 Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Sony vaio with windows 7. 2 days to get an apple keyboard working on Bluetooth. Then came an auto update.

    Windows 8 works straight away. Far superior product than vista/7 prodigy

  14. Damian Jones Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 7:36 pm


    Change the power settings, power button action when pressed, shutdown.

  15. Rich Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    These sort of posts high light how much people have missed the idea of Windows 8.
    I thought Win 8 became clear when MS launched the Surface…
    Stop thinking Win 8 is a desktop OS. It’s a tablet OS.

    How often do you turn off your iPad?

  16. Andy Dring Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 12:08 am

    PC Pro behind the times as usual. ‘Powershell.exe stop-computer’. But really, a whole blog post about 2 clicks and a mouse drag? What a shoddy publication this has become. And yes, I’m also wondering why I haven’t removed it from my RSS list…

  17. Lee Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 7:47 am

    @wittgenfrog – You’re not a lone voice, I like it a lot – I think it’s a lot of people wondering who moved their cheese…

    A lot of people don’t seem to ‘get’ that Metro *is* the W8 Start Menu…

    Also, just as in W8, shutdown in default install of W7 is 3 clicks – start menu, little right-hand arrow next to sleep then shut down.

  18. David Bayon Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I’m not suggesting you’d do this on a tablet. I’m using a desktop, as are most of the people currently running Windows 8. Many will know the shortcuts, or map shut down to a press of their PC’s power button, but many won’t. This is just a very simple blog for those people, not an in-depth analysis of Windows 8.


  19. David Bayon Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    @Andy Dring
    This is just a quick blog explaining a specific task for less experienced users. Everyone uses a PC in a different way.

    As a general rule for the internet, if you read an article that tells you something you already knew, THAT’S OK. Just smile, pat yourself on the back and move onto the next article.



  20. Neil Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Re #8 i saw an ethical hacker get data of an encypted laptop hard disk because it was left in sleep/hibernate. When the machine wakes up the contents were unencrypted. Not sure which encryption tool was used though.

  21. sihaz Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    even easier to press winkey + i – that takes you straight to the setting charm from anywhere at all in win 8, then you can press the power button on screen. dead simple!

  22. thegrifter Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Why can’t people take an article for what it is and accept that not everyone knows everything about pcs. I don’t doubt that some of the deriders of the article could at some point read something of interest which they don’t actually know yet someone else thinks, “I already knew that”
    Personally I kinda like W8 though until I have a tablet or learn all the keyboard shortcuts I have to say I think that it’s a little cumbersome to navigate using a mouse.

  23. Vincent Halas Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I have a quicker way…don’t install Windows 8!

  24. Richard Guilcher Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    This going to become a “Bash” windows “Praise” Linux thread so stop it now!
    Some people want the old school way of shutting down or restarting a PC. Whether it is the right way or not, this guy is posting a reply to an obvious need. Don’t knock it because you like the new way.

  25. Mark Hetherington Says:
    July 1st, 2012 at 12:58 am

    I’m not very clued up on computers and I didn’t know how to do it so welcome the article – thank you. Those who are deriding it, just wondering since you already knew how to add the button, why you were dumb enough to waste your time reading it in the first place.

  26. Yeah Says:
    September 4th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Re #20 – Cool story bro.

  27. simone Says:
    October 24th, 2012 at 2:03 am

    To resolve this problem i’ve created this small program :

    pw: “power”

  28. yas Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    i followed your instructions but when i click on the icon, it only shows me a quick small black screen and then nothing happens. Have you had this problem? did i miss anything? :(

  29. Dave Says:
    December 4th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I just set up all new systems in our office and most of our staff are completely unfamiliar with Windows 8, let alone computers in general. A number of people asked “where’s the power button on my desktop!?” So it was a small thing to add a power button for the people that wanted them. I’m not a tech guru, so I look up how to complete computer tasks as I need. We have no IT department and really dont want to call in the computer guts just to do routine (and sometimes banally simple) tasks. This article was easy helpful and a number of people here appreciated the assistance! So many thanks to the author!

  30. Ooii Says:
    December 5th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    i made an simple exe to shutdown\restart\logout

  31. Cal Says:
    December 13th, 2013 at 3:19 am

    Thank you so much for this. Was searching all around the web for just this, and thank God!!!

  32. james Says:
    February 16th, 2014 at 12:04 am

    i have tried to get this to work ,type in shutdown/s/t 0 next . cannot progress from there –shutdown cannot be found ???????

  33. Rob Says:
    March 6th, 2014 at 8:38 am

    James – You typed it wrong. There are no spaces. It’s

    shutdown /s /t 0


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