This tip was provided by TechRepublic’s moderator Tammy Cavadias.

In Windows Vista, when you want to shut down your PC, you typically first click on the Start button. At the bottom of the menu, you see three icons: a power symbol, a padlock, and an arrow. Clicking the Power button would seem like the logical choice to turn off your system, but it actually places your computer into Sleep mode. Instead, you have to select the arrow and then choose shut down from the menu.

Follow these steps to change Vista’s shut down behavior:

  1. Click the Start button and type Power Options in the Search box, or open the Control Panel | System
    and Maintenance | Power Options (this brings up the “Select a power plan” sub-configuration header by default)
  2. Under Preferred plans, select Change Plan Settings
  3. Navigate to Change Advanced Power Settings
  4. Click the + sign next to “Power buttons and lid” to expand the menu
  5. Expand the “Start menu power button” menu, and change the selection to “Shut down” (the default is Sleep)
  6. Click OK to apply the changes

Voila! Not only can you now easily shut down Vista using the Power button icon, but you should also notice that the color of this icon has changed to red.
For you geekier folks out there, you can use this method:

  1. Press the WindKey + R to open the Run dialog box
  2. Type cmd and press Enter
  3. Now type powercfg.cpl,1 to open the Advance settings under Power Options
  4. Follow directions 4-6 as mentioned above

Do you know other ways to accomplish this task? Please post them in this discussion thread.

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