Windows 8

Slideshow: Set up a Windows 8 shutdown shortcut

Create a blank 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 slideshow is also available as a TechRepublic Windows Blog post.

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 that 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 mostly 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.

Image by Mark Kaelin for TechRepublic. This gallery was originally published in March 2012.

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.

14 comments
Foveator
Foveator

Ideally, Windows 8 should have a TOGGLE button to switch between a touch screen interface and a conventional screen. It wouldn't have been so difficult to have a fully functional Windows 7 shell available. Three or four clicks to shut off the computer is asinine when a single click used to do the trick. This is just a sample of what users are afraid of with the new Windows OS. Maybe SP1 will fix the GUI. (Not everyone has a touch screen.)

Bryan T
Bryan T

I've just upgraded to Win8 Pro, and altho MS "has moved my cheese", I am learning to understand all the changes. However... I use MSTSC for remote desktop connections. I have saved the data in an "RDP" file, and created a desktop shortcut from that file. However, when I right click on the desktop shortcut to open the "Context Menu" the option to "Pin to Start Menu" is not displayed. Any suggestions how I can get the shortcut on the Start Menu? Thanks

g-w-l
g-w-l

After struggling with MS products since the first PC in the 80s, I switched over to Apple 3 years ago. I was always against Apple because all Win fans have to... I experienced to make a giant leap forward and don't have to find this kind of awkward solutions anymore. The Mac OS is for me today a 100 times better and more stable system for professionals. As IT engineer I have repaired ten thousands of machines during the last 30 years and know what I'm talking about. Now I have changed nearly all my machines and devices to Apple and they all running fast and stable - something I have never experienced before, They all talking together without drivers and 1000 of .dll files and extra devices to manage simple tasks. They all starting up and are ready after just 2 seconds also after 3 years everyday use. My only PC needs 10 minutes to start up after just one year and several minutes to shut down. I have now access to much more sophisticated and 100% stable programs and apps and they all talking together whether it is on a PC or iPad or iPhone. I buy the program or App just one time and can use it on all my machines in house. And I can start a document at home, continue in the bus / train or plain on my iPad and finish up the same document on a different Mac in another country. Without installing any extra software or any extra devices. A much more intelligent OS to me. I also can show wireless everything from my iPad on a TV screen or projector - showing HD movies or slideshows or whatever I like. This kind of freedom is build in and just needs one tip with my finger. Shut down is just on tip - my mouse 'wheel' works in any directions - without wheel ! - and a huge amount of other advantages compared to awkward PC with MS Operative system. Yes, you have more games and a lot more small programs from around the Win world. Actually you don't need this small programs in a Apple machine. It's complete from beginning and you can create new programs with specific functions with just a few clicks. The Hardware and Software is not made in hundreds of different places like in the PC world, but all fits perfect together, made by the same group of people. This makes a real different. The only program who is able to freeze my Mac today, is MS Office. I use it for cross platform documents. So MS revealed it self as a week and not really thought through system, when I compare this two systems in my daily life - professional or private - from a neutral position. Certificated on many levels for MS products, it was hart for me to admit, the 'enemy' has a much better product - whether I like it or not. 2012 - Win 8 and still the most fundamental functions has to be created and still needs several operations for a simple task shows me, PC is loosing ground every single day... The people still hear the old condemn and beliefs made up by MS interests about Apple. Try Mac and give it a chance to get used to a new way of thinking. I think you will be equally convinced, when you catch the idea and whole new level of experience working with computers in 2012.... And No - I do not work for Apple and have never done - I just like to be free to create things without searching and installing a lot of crap first, without finding all kind of extra devices (and every device needs his own power supply). I need a complete and intelligent system and did find it with Apple, without being Apple fanatic. If somebody makes a better system in the future, I will change again, without feeling guilty or not loyal...

wwgorman
wwgorman

I have been using this method as a desktop icon for years. You can also make a Restart shortcut by substituting an r for the s. In other words: %windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -r -t 00 The method shown in the article and the command line shown above uses 0 (no) seconds before execution. I found it better to use 01 or a one second delay and that gives you an extra screen that says it will shutdown in 1 second.

jagerde
jagerde

The command may work in the Consumer Preview, but not in the Release Preview

hhoffman
hhoffman

If you have a physical power button on your computer, that should get the default setting of shutting down the computer. If you need to adjust the settings, it's in the control panel - hardware & sound - power options. The shortcut works well especially if you put it on a dock along with your most accessed programs - I'm using Rocket dock which works really well despite having been developed for win XP.

Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson

%windir%\System32\SHUTDOWN.exe -r -t 01 (I like to give myself a second to change my mind if I accidently clicked the shortcut). I have an old notebook that is dedicated to a specific task. It is sitting on top of a high shelf and rarely do I touch this notebook physically. I just remote into it with RDP. However RDP won't let you access the GUI for shutdown, restart, etc. The only option is to disconnect from the RDP session. So I set up my own shortcuts. The restart is especially handy following software updates or if things start acting flaky.

panzer
panzer

I guess the one thing that leaves me cold is the look of the Metro start screen in Windows 8. The boring color scheme and the simplistic tiles remind me of a old cga/ega screen from 25+ years ago. First impressions are important and the look of the interface is simplistic in the extreme compared to what we have used in Windows for years. I have a low expectation for the rest of the interface after seeing this screen.

eye4bear
eye4bear

If MS had gotten it right from the start, these kind of hacks in the first place.

c_van_doorn
c_van_doorn

When I first preview 8 I looked around for button to get out in the end I just used Alt + F4

richcobrien
richcobrien

Shutdown Command works with -r (Restart) -l (Logoff) NOTE: Could not get this to work from Metro. Does work from desktop tho. -s (Shutdown) Get all shutdown commands from cmd.exe and run shutdown.exe /help

eScoop
eScoop

Thanks for the great tip! The real question is why should we need 3 clicks to turn the box off? Really Microsoft ? First, swipe the right side of the screen to expose the ?Charms??? Next Press "Settings" - sure really intuitive to all my users. Then I can actulally find the Shutdown button. Thanks for making it so easy and "just works" intuitive Microsoft! Again thanks for the great hack - but why on Earth do we need a hack just to turn our computer off?

ejakob
ejakob

Works as well in all versions from Windows 2000 to 7. You can also enter the command shutdown.exe -l , which will log you off (I use this in Terminalserver environments)

jaythom1969
jaythom1969

Over the last 10+ years in IT I have noticed that software and programming are like art. Those who can't paint become critics of those who do.