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.


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.

By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.