Windows 8

How do I shut down Windows 8

You can indeed shut down a device running Microsoft Windows 8. One easy way to accomplish the task is by using a desktop shortcut.

I have been using the Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview for about a week, and while it does have its quirks, I find myself generally liking the operating system. However, since I am using Windows 8 on a notebook, I have been mostly using the desktop interface rather than the Metro UI. Here's a little secret: Once you go to the desktop interface of Windows 8 it is pretty much just Windows 7.

This blog post is also available as a Slideshow TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

Shutdown

There is one common complaint I have been seeing in TechRepublic Forums, though, that I'd like to address: Shutting the computer down. The official shutdown button is located within the charms bar, which you can reveal by hovering the mouse cursor in the bottom-right corner. That concept may work for a tablet, but on the desktop, that is hardly acceptable.

Lucky for us, Windows 8 is so much like Windows 7 that we can use an old trick documented on TechRepublic several times in the past: the shutdown shortcut.

Creating a shortcut

Creating a shortcut should be familiar to almost everyone, but with Windows 8 there is one extra step -- click the desktop tile to get to the desktop interface. Once you are at the desktop, right-click on a clear spot and navigate to New | Shortcut, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Navigate the menu to create a new shortcut.
When you click the Shortcut menu item, you will arrive at the input screen shown in Figure B. This is where you will enter the specific command strings to make your new shortcut do what you want it to do.

Figure B

Enter the command for your new shortcut.

For our example, we will enter the specific command that will shut down Windows 8. Type the following command into the box and then click Next.

shutdown.exe -s -t 00
The next screen (Figure C) asks you to name the shortcut. I suggest you name the shortcut to correspond to the action it will perform. In this case, we name it Shutdown.

Figure C

Give the shortcut an appropriate name.

New icon

Technically, you could stop here, but I prefer to give these shortcuts an icon that will help me remember what it is they do. In Windows 8, changing an icon is done exactly the same as it was in Windows 7.

Right-click on the icon in question to get the context menu shown in Figure D and then navigate to the Properties menu item.

Figure D

Find Properties on the menu.
From the Properties control panel, shown in Figure E, select the Change Icon button. Windows 8 will warn you about changing icons, but just click OK anyway.

Figure E

Select Change Icon.
The next screen (Figure F) will show you a list of potential icons; choose the one you want to use and click the OK button twice. Note: I don't see any new icons in the system32.dll for Windows 8, which is sort of disappointing.

Figure F

Choose your icon and click OK.

You should now have a new shortcut on your desktop. When you click the shortcut, Windows 8 will shut down, so make sure you save your work before you test it.

Just like Windows 7

One of the nice features of both Windows 7 and Windows 8 is that you can pin your new shortcut to the Start Menu and/or to the Taskbar. I am a big Taskbar user myself so that is where I want to put it. Right-click the shortcut to get the context menu and click the Pin to Taskbar menu item. (Figure G)

Figure G

Pin the shortcut to the Taskbar.
Once the shortcut is pinned (Figure H), you will always have access to a quick shutdown.

Figure H

Shut down anytime.

Only Windows 8

One difference in Windows 8 is the "Pin to Start" feature. Since there is no Start Menu, this command actually pins a tile to the Metro Interface, as you can see in Figure I.

Figure I

Pin to Start adds a new tile.

Additional shortcuts

There are several shutdown and power down commands that you can make into shortcuts. Creating shortcuts for these commands works exactly the same as our example shutdown shortcut.

Restart Computer

shutdown.exe -r -t 00

Lock Workstation

rundll32.exe User32.dll,LockWorkStation

Hibernate Computer

rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll,SetSuspendState

Sleep Computer

rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0

Bottom line

While it may not be obvious at first glance, you can indeed shut down a device running Microsoft Windows 8. One easy way to accomplish the task is by using a desktop shortcut, which also doubles as a Metro tile, giving you several shutdown options. So with a little interface trickery, you can actually go from no way to shut down to three or four ways.

Also read:

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

49 comments
andyhartono2
andyhartono2

I am using Rainmeter since 4-5 years ago, at the beginning I thought it was a waste of ny precious memory resources to run this small tool. I upgraded to Windows 7 from my XP about 2 years ago, and since the I used the included Sidebar gadget for a while, but I realize that Windows gadgets are lame to load and 'eat' lots of memory and processor load for every single gadget we use So I decide to use Rainmeter to check how it behaves, and voila... surprisingly, rainmeter is so light and has a small footprint Here is my screenshot, a skin I made myself with features: - big clock with an extended graphic - the second hand, is 'running light indicator' - at the bottom: digital clock, Upload and and Download status, core temperature (coretemp app must be loaded) - and some interface (round dots) for RSS, Links etc - Shutdown, hibernate and restart... And all this consume just: 0.0% CPU load, 5,9 MB RAM/Memory... Compare to Windows Sidebar with same features: 1.6% CPU load, constantly and peak at 8% and 8-12MB memory for each gadget running, and in fact, if I want all the features I am running on Rainmeter, there are at least 5 gadgets must be loaded, and it means around 40-56MB is wasted Note: I want to show my screen, but unfortunately it's not allowed here to paste a screen cap directly Regards, Andy

nigel
nigel

Just visited www.startmenu7.com and downloaded the Windows 7 startmenu freeware product. It senses Windows 8 and installs giving the user a familiar feel to the desktop. It works within the Desktop metro environment but it does 'stick' in some instances, clicking the options button (bottom RH corner of Startmenu display) corrects this. The familiar Windows 7 Power down options menu is displayed giving access to all the options. Can't get it to work in the Metro interface even though the icon is displayed in the bottom LH corner. You can still get access to the 'Metro Start' icon. The product would appear to still be under development but then so is Windows 8!

micker377
micker377

No, that shortcut doesn't work. I've tried both - X, and / X. But even the Windows 8 shutdown (Settings > Power > Shutdown) doesn't do anything! AS for "finding your way around", that's difficult when you can't even close programs! Sometimes Alt-F4 works, but not all the time! I usually get (XXX not responding), and have to hard power off! Even Solitaire is slow! AMD 2.2 ... 4 gig mem. New SATA drive. Tried "Optimizing" the hard drive - after 2 DAYS it got to 41% and quit responding! No problems at all installing on the new hard drive - no errors, or indication of not meeting minimum standards.

yousure?
yousure?

I haven't played with W8 yet - do I need to brush up on my DOS to work with it?

da philster
da philster

Is it just me or has the meaning of "New and Improved" now turned into: "Jump through more hoops". Shutting down a computer is a simple task that shouldn't be made complicated. Come on Microsoft, fix it for the final release.

cgrantham65
cgrantham65

Does the "Alt" "F4" function not work? There is no need to add clutter when such an easy option is readily available.

coreygerhardt
coreygerhardt

Being that Windows 8 is not just for PCs and that most other devices require a phyical button to power down the device, I'm guessing that Microsoft's intent is for PC users to either let their PC's hibernate to make the user hit the PC's power button. I think that the missing shutdown command wouldn't be a big deal if user's were informed of the reason for it missing.

harrywilsokenll
harrywilsokenll

There are many features of windows 8 among them the grouping of apps and on screen key boards are cool features.

awgiedawgie
awgiedawgie

They keep omitting more and more with each new version of Windows, so end users essentially will have to finish designing the user interface themselves. Before you know it, they'll be back to DOS, and we'll have to design our own interface from the ground up. I'm hoping it's just an oversight, and when Win8 is finalized, they will have a sensible shutdown button that's not hidden in some unseen corner of the screen. But it doesn't look too promising. Is Microsoft really that stupid, or do they just hate their customers and want to see how much abuse they'll take?

stiingya
stiingya

you go "charms", "settings", "power". Doesn't matter if your in Metro or Desktop mode, nor does it matter if your working from a desktop, laptop, or tablet, and finally it doesn't matter if you access your charms with touch from the side or mouse one of the right corners. EASY! The idea that a "tech" website is suggesting people create work arounds for such simple tasks instead of just learning HOW to use a new operating system should be embarrassing for you. NOW if you wanted to just write an article complaining that win8 "consumer" preview doesn't seem to have basic user operating instructions leaving a person to randomly push things till they get their machine to work I'd support that. How do you get "tech" writers that are afraid of change...? The first "APP" in metro should be "how to use Win8"!!!

jimmeq
jimmeq

In a sense, one might think the article is a prank. I realize Windows 8 is in beta, but for a user to need to "create" a way to shun down a device is archaic. I just use the power button and that works very well.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Mark, thanks for providing a work-around for something MS should have included in the first place. Now, can anyone tell me how the bottom left hot spot is supposed to work? I move my cursor to the bottom left, the 'Start' button appears, but when I move my cursor to click on it, it goes away.

Vern Anderson
Vern Anderson

That's just silly it's not that hard to find the power down button. Go to the bottom right hand corner Go to the gear "Settings" at the bottom of resulting menu is the power button. Also launch Powershell and type "Stop-Computer"

thekman58
thekman58

Since we are talking about a notebook, why not simply press the power button?

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Microsoft's new pay for use program requires you to purchase a new copy of Windows 8 every time you use it.

rahbm
rahbm

format c\: install Ubuntu / Mint / OS X etc.... EASY!

Htalk
Htalk

That was one of the first things I noticed about Win8 when i installed the preview on a VM: I felt trapped. There's no easy way to discover how to change the environment: add and remove software, shut down, restart, etc. So after I'd finished testing its IE10 browser on a site, I haven't booted that OS since.

ted
ted

Does anyone know what the command sequence is to create a shortcut for Log Off? Also, I'm wondering if there is any way to save these articles as a download? Thanks!

alex
alex

Just press Win+I and you get the Shut Down button right there.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What other features or elements have you found quirky about Windows 8?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm not sure what you could brush up on that would be of any help; Windows Phone 7 or XBox, maybe. I've heard it compared to Apple, but I'm not familiar with OS X so I can't say. It's unlike anything I've encountered, but I'm strictly a Windows guy.

DarkGuardian
DarkGuardian

In my testing, if you're on the Start screen, it doesn't work. If you are on the Desktop, it works fine. Ctrl+Alt+Del works no matter where you are. The point is, though, it should be more readily available w/o keyboard commands for the average user (who typically looks astonished when they find out the Windows key has a function). A shortcut on the Charm bar would be a proper solution IMO.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

otherwise, on-screen keyboards are of no value. Grouping of apps isn't new; previous versions allow far more freedom in how you can arrange shortcuts, and groups go back to Windows 2 or 3.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

This shutdown shortcut trick has been around for years and for many versions of Windows. It is traditionally one of the first tip articles we do on TechRepublic for each new version of Windows. Personally, my bias is not use a shortcut because it is unnecessary, but then I don't usually try to impose my bias on everyone else.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Plus, on a laptop, that's likely only going to put it in sleep or hibernation instead of shutting it down.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

try that on a dual-monitor system. It's too easy to end up on the second monitor. What a pain in the (you know what). I agree with GSG. MS screwed the pooch here.

GSG
GSG

You think that 1500 users, most of which only use a computer at work, and can't even find a power button will know to go to settings, get the menu and find what they need, or be able to launch powershell? No, what's good for the techs is one thing, but we have to think about our customer base (unlike Microsoft) and make their jobs as easy as possible, especially, when the computer is supposed to be a tool that they use to assist in their primary job. Someone sitting at a desk has the luxury of figuring this stuff out, but my nurses and doctors need to focus on their patients, not on figuring out the magic combination to reboot the workstation.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I haven't heard about this. Can you provide links documenting this policy?

Jaytmoon
Jaytmoon

So, you are advocating the installation/use of an illegal OS on a non-apple hardare platform?

bahnjee
bahnjee

Holy cow! That's *so* very clever!! And oh so original, too. You are a laugh riot! I bet you're a real charm at parties.

mad-doggie
mad-doggie

you could just as well save an offline version of the webpage. The process for doing that varies between the different browsers, but it should be as simple as "file/settings/spaner icon in Chrome" and then "save page as..."

mad-doggie
mad-doggie

If you want to log off then rather use the keyboard shortcut (Winkey+L). It will be way easier.

DarkGuardian
DarkGuardian

While it seems to work from the Desktop, it doesn't do *anything* when under Metro. I think I'll stick to the trusty Ctrl+Alt+Del

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

That is certainly another way to approach it. I guess it is time to revisit keyboard shortcuts too.

stiingya
stiingya

I think the article is written with clear bias against Win8/Metro. If it was written as "just another way to shutdown" as you bring it up than I'd have no issue. But the end of the article suggests there is "no way" to shut down. Or that mousing to the corner to bring up the charms is "unacceptable"? Sure it's different and if this person doesn't like it that's fine. But suggesting there isn't a perfectly fine way to shut down is biased and stupid! (will stupid, stupid, stupid and biased actually) :)

sandse
sandse

Windows 7 and 8 come with pushing the power button as the default method of doing a software shutdown. Holding it for 5 seconds will cause a hardware shutdown and should only be used when all else fails.

GSG
GSG

doesn't a hard power down eventually cause issues? I know if you didn't shutdown gracefully in older version, you eventually got all sorts of issues. Even on Windows 7, when we lost electricity during the tornado, and my workstation lost power (this building is not on generator), when I was finally able to power up, I got the message about the shutdown and I needed to scan the disk, blah blah blah. If you can shut down gracefully, won't it be a better choice than just powering off? I guess we could do what a user of mine did years ago... when she left for the night, she just stomped the power strip under her desk, which cut power, then stomped it again in the morning. After the 4th pc replacement in 4 months, I had her demonstrate how she powered off at night. When I threatened, er, educated her, the workstation didn't have to be replaced for years after that.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Yeah, that works. So the 'Start' critter displayed apparently isn't a button, just some kind of indicator? This may explain other hot spot behaviors that have confused me. Another case of what MS has trained me to do in previous versions now working against me.

Vern Anderson
Vern Anderson

Windows L is "lock" not log off. I know this because I press it every time I get up from my desk.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

but users are going to want a shortcut. If MS's goal is for everyone to revert to keyboard shortcuts, why have a GUI at all?

khiatt
khiatt

However it is set in the Power Options. I haven't tried 8 yet, but I assume it has Power Options, in the Control Panel or Settings or where ever, like the previous versions did, so you can set the desired option when the power button is pressed. Based on what stiingya said below, it sounds like it's 3 clicks instead of 2 to shutdown, and that they changed the labeling and look of the controls.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I wouldn't do it by preference. I'd always go for the clean shutdown if possible. When it isn't possible, I usually perform one immediately after logging back on.

GSG
GSG

The majority of our apps are web-based and launch off of a dashboard on our intranet. They have plug-ins that have to be installed, and you can usually launch them from the PC, but we have very few that we cannot launch that way, so the app shortcuts would be fairly minimal for the clinical staff. The non-clinical staff is another story.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

They'll have to see the Start screen sooner or later. Are you going to create shortcuts for all apps for all users? The common ones won't be any problem, but there are always those niche applications run by a handful of users. Do you want to bother creating OUs and a policy to target them?

GSG
GSG

There's no way that I could get all of my users to remember the shortcuts. I wonder if you could set a policy for default profile for all of your users that would default the workstation/laptop to "desktop" so the users would never see the metro interface? I know we can now, but Win8 looks so screwy that I'm not sure what works and what doesn't. If you can, then we could put the shortcuts in as a default profile as well.

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