Windows 8

Shutdown Windows 8 from context menu

Accessing the Registry Editor from the Start screen is easy

So as I was creating my article outline I decided to take into account that there would be folks who would want the whole menu as I have created it and there would be folks who would like to be able to customize the menu to their own liking. For the former, I have created a REG file that can be used to instantaneously add my full Shut Down menu to your Windows 8 system. For the latter group of folks, I'll walk you, step-by-step, through the process of editing the registry to manually add the Shut Down menu to your Windows 8 system. Even if you opt to use the REG file method, I encourage you to read through the manual steps in case you later decide that you want customize the menu.

Make a backup

Before you begin, keep in mind that the Registry is vital to the operating system and changing it can be dangerous if you inadvertently make a mistake. As such, you should take a time to back up your system by creating a system image as I showed you in Restore Windows 8 with System Image Recovery. That way if anything goes awry, you can restore your system and get right back to work.

Overview

Before we get started let's take a generalized look at the procedure that we'll be performing as we create a custom Shut Down menu on Windows 8's Desktop context menu. To make this happen, we'll be working in two different sections of the registry.

You'll go to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell key and create a new subkey called Shut Down. You'll then add several entries to this new subkey to configure it as a cascading menu on the Desktop's context menu. Essentially, this new subkey will create an outline of the cascading menu.

You'll then go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CommandStore\shell subkey. Here, you'll define entries containing the command lines for each item that you want to add to the Shut Down menu.

As you may know, the registry in the Windows operating system is huge and navigating in it can be tricky. To make navigation easier, I'll show you how to use two features in the Registry Editor: Find and Favorites. With this in mind, let's jump in.

Launching the Registry Editor

To launch the Registry Editor in Windows 8, use the [Windows] + Q keystroke to access the Apps Search Settings page. Then, type Regedit in the text box and click Regedit.exe, as shown in Figure B. If you prefer, you can use the [Windows] + R keystroke to bring up the Run dialog box. Then, type Regedit in the Open text box and click OK.

Either way that you launch the Registry Editor, you'll see a User Account Control dialog box and will need to click the Yes button. You'll then see the Registry Editor.

Credit: Images by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

11 comments
jrosnow
jrosnow

 When searching for the CommandStore, make sure you have the right path.  The first search I did defaulted to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software|Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CommandStore.

lee_h_shannon
lee_h_shannon

The face that this article exists says it all about the Windows 8 interface.

pradipsagdeo
pradipsagdeo

I have Win7 on my desktop and Win 8 on the laptop. It took me a few seconds to figure out that Win+D brings up the familiar desktop and how to shut down Win 8 by moving the pointer to the lower right corner and bring up the menu that has the shut down button. It has been a reflex action for me now, like driving and occasionally changing the radio station at the same time. Are we so inept these days that a relatively minor change throws us off badly? Thanks. Pradip

Steve__Jobs
Steve__Jobs

*cough* where is the link to the REG file?

sangraal
sangraal

In business nowadays there seems no accountability considered of mindless decisions that bring out poor results and these decisions are even affecting everyone in business and at home! I do not blame Microsoft for their stupid operating system interface. Bu8t, the new decisions makers that I know are there and are in high positions. They fired a fall guy that utilized their own orders efficiently and soon they will have nowhere to turn. It is a shame that innovation is a thing of the past because useless business executives maintain thoughtless control over engineering aspects instead of the individuals trained to do so. It may be a plan to bring the giant down for all we know... btw the start menu is not the only re engineering I've had to do with my installs and it is quite frustrating

arcov
arcov

This is probably better then the start menu, the only thing needed is a free area on the desktop

codemonkey1
codemonkey1

Nice but. Installing stardock star8 is mobetta

MarkWAliasQ
MarkWAliasQ

Not sure how that pans out on a touch screen.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I read a lot of posts asking why people aren't using the same shortcuts in W8 that they did in previous versions. It isn't that people have forgotten them. It's that, unlike we geeks and professionals, the average user never knew them. Mice hit their desks back in the late '80s and early '90s and that's how they learned to interact with Windows. They thought it was easier to look for a visual cue than to memorize keystrokes. I agree with them.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

The link is in image 13 - maybe easier to find in the blog version.