How to Shut Down Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 In Just One Click

Windows 8's Buried Power Button

Where Windows 7 displays its power button in a prominent place on its Start Menu, both Windows and the new Windows 8.1 make you perform several actions just to turn your computer off and they’re all buried. To get to the power button in Windows 8, you must pull out the Charms menu, click the Settings charm, click the Power button and then select Shutdown or Restart. In Windows 8.1, you can also shut down by right clicking on the Start button and selecting Shut down from the Shut down or sign out menu, but that’s still a couple of clicks away.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to put the shutdown and restart functions just one click away from the desktop and Start screen. Just create shortcuts for both actions using the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the desktop.
  2. Right click on the desktop and select New -> Shortcut. A shortcut menu appears.
     Create new Shortcut
  3. Enter shutdown /s /t 0 (that’s a zero) in the location box and hit Next. 
    Enter Shutdown /s /t 0 in the location box of the create a shortcut window.
  4. Enter a name for the shortcut and click Finish. A new shortcut will appear on your desktop.
    Name your shortcut and click Finish 
  5. Right click on the shortcut and select Properties. A dialog box appears.
  6. Click Change Icon under the Shortcut tab then Click Ok in warning box that says shutdown.exe contains no icons.
    Click Change Icon
  7. Select an Icon from the list of available images Click Ok twice (once to close the Change Icon window and once to close Properties window). Your shortcut will now have an icon.
     Choose the Icon for Your Shortcut
  8. Right click the shortcut and select Pin to Start. The shutdown icon will now appear on your Start screen.
     Pin to Start
  9. Drag the shutdown icon to a prominent place on your Start screen. We recommend putting it in the first column to the left so you will always see it.
    Drag your button to a prominent place
  10. Right click the icon and select Pin to Taskbar if you want the shortcut to live on your desktop’s taskbar as well.
    The Shutdown icon can be pinned to taskbar
  11. Repeat the previous steps to create a Restart button. Use the command “shutdown /r /t 0″ in the location field. 
AUTHOR BIO
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. Glenn Geary, Jr. Says:

    Been using this trick myself since Windows XP. Also works well for Windows 7.

    Additional tips:

    Restart Computer:

    1. Navigate to the desktop.
    2. Right click on the desktop and select New -> Shortcut. A shortcut menu appears.
    3. Enter %windir%\system32\shutdown.exe /r /t 0 (that’s a zero) in the location
    box and hit Next.
    4. Enter a name for the shortcut (Restart Computer) and click Finish. A new
    shortcut will appear on your desktop.
    5. Right click on the shortcut and select Properties. A dialog box appears.
    6. Click Change Icon under the Shortcut tab then Click OK in warning box that
    says shutdown.exe contains no icons.
    7. Select an Icon from the list of available images Click OK twice (once to
    close the Change Icon window and once to close Properties window). Your
    shortcut will now have an icon.
    8. Right click the shortcut and select Pin to Start. The shutdown icon will now
    appear on your Start screen.
    9. Drag the shutdown icon to a prominent place on your Start screen. Put it in
    the first column to the left so you will always see it.
    10. Right click the icon and select Pin to Taskbar if you want the shortcut to
    live on your desktop’s taskbar as well.

    Put the Computer to sleep:

    1. Navigate to the desktop.
    2. Right click on the desktop and select New -> Shortcut. A shortcut menu appears.
    3. Enter %windir%\system32\shutdown.exe /h in the location box and hit Next.
    4. Enter a name for the shortcut (Sleep Computer) and click Finish. A new
    shortcut will appear on your desktop.
    5. Right click on the shortcut and select Properties. A dialog box appears.
    6. Click Change Icon under the Shortcut tab then Click OK in warning box that
    says shutdown.exe contains no icons.
    7. Select an Icon from the list of available images Click OK twice (once to
    close the Change Icon window and once to close Properties window). Your
    shortcut will now have an icon.
    8. Right click the shortcut and select Pin to Start. The shutdown icon will now
    appear on your Start screen.
    9. Drag the shutdown icon to a prominent place on your Start screen. Put it in
    the first column to the left so you will always see it.
    10. Right click the icon and select Pin to Taskbar if you want the shortcut to
    live on your desktop’s taskbar as well.

  2. Howard Says:

    The switching from Desktop to Start menu is so fast that it doesn’t cause much issues for me that is, I can contain the context mentally. And I pin to Task bar or Start screen whichever makes more sense. For infrequent apps, its easier since you get an entire screen in the search so that you can see more results and easily classify.

    I do wish that you can just punch in your PIN or password without swiping up the lock screen. However, on my laptop you just have to swipe your fingerprint (no swiping up the lock screen).

    On my desktop computer, I use the physical power button to shutdown Windows 8 and the Sleep button on my keyboard. On my laptop, I do have to use the shut down function and I use the physical power button to tell Windows 8 to sleep. These behaviors are programmable, search for “Change what the power buttons do” in the Start screen under the Settings category.

  3. joe Says:

    I finally got out my windows 7 disk and reformated my entire harddrive then reinstaled 7 bill has a lot of work to do before i will even test that monster again

  4. Chris Grella Says:

    Similarly, you can make a shortcut for Log Off: shutdown /l

    And to make it even faster you can assign the “shortcut key” of that shortcut to Ctrl+Alt+L or Ctrl+Alt+Shift+L. I prefer the latter because it is much less likely to be triggered accidentally.

  5. Ranch Says:

    You can use Shutdown Windows from surfacesoft.com and shut down with just one click too!

  6. Steve Allen Says:

    I just tried this on a newly-installed Windows 8 Release Preview. When I press the shutdown icon, it quickly flashes a DOS screen with a lot of errors, including security issue, but it’s so fast I can’t read anything else. Anyway, it doesn’t shut down.

  7. Joe Gilbert Says:

    The fact that this is so ridiculous to do such a simple task is why Windows 8 will flop. What a dumb ass piece of Microsoft junk.

  8. DK Says:

    Just tried this shortcut (Shutdown and Restart) on a clean install of Win 8 Pro and it did not work.
    Just like Steve Allen says, it flashes a DOS screen and does nothing after that.

  9. Robert L Cobb Says:

    I had to check the “Run as Administrator” box in Properties to get it to run

  10. ng Says:

    they may be forcing people to log out of the account before shutting down as there is a nice power button in the bottom right hand corner for you when you are at the login screen…still unintuitive not to have it quickly accessible

  11. rollchan Says:

    Windows Symbol Key + i > Power > Shutdown (or restart or sleep)

  12. Dennis Says:

    Works like a charm and I have borrowed this to help my customers out. If you wish it removed, just email me and it will be done. As for those that are having issues, make sure you are using the zero and not the letter o. You also have to make sure there are spaces in between the command as shown in Avram’s tutorial. Well done.

  13. marie Says:

    this did not work. I typed it in and it says there is no such file. any ideas?

  14. george Says:

    you can use ctrl+Alt+ Del as usual to shut down your computer

  15. Paul Says:

    Wow… I really like the look of Win8 and the new feel of it… But the fact that they make you click FOUR times just to shut the PC down is a huge, huge fail.
    Also the setting locations are totally retarded…

  16. Paul Says:

    PS:
    Sorry for my rudeness – thank you very much for this shortcut!

  17. 0030 Says:

    Thanks- By any chance do you know the coding for doing this with a file folder. I would like to access my downloads folder from the task bar instead of double clicking. Thanks in advance if you know the coding….

  18. ben Says:

    yeah, i’ve tried almost everything on this screen and none of it works but the actual use of windows buttons and menus. Any ideas why – the DOS menu pops up and that’s it! There is no “run as administrator” in the properties as it is a shoprtcut!

  19. nrmr44 Says:

    In Step 3 (shutdown /s/t0) there needs to be a space between ‘shutdown’ and ‘/’. Then it works. I’ve generated buttons for SHUTDOWN, RESTART and SLEEP (thanks to Glenn Geary), both on the Desktop and Start Screen, and they work like a charm!

  20. learner Says:

    hi folks

    in case the shutdown commands not working

    make a shortcut as follow, it will work 100%.

    C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe /s

    hope it helps!

  21. David Says:

    Only got a couple of steps. After typing in “shutdown” and clicking on “finish” everything went walkies — a new shortcut did not appear — no new boxes appeared — nada!

    Anyone have a problem like this?

    This was an upgrade from Vista to 8 not a completely new install from 8, but I shouldn’t think this would make a difference.

  22. Barryballbag Says:

    Alt-F4 Will Bring Up Shutdown Prompt Etc……God People Annoy Me But Thats One Click More Than Win 7…….. Get A Life people

  23. Ron Kinney Says:

    Why not just hit the power button your PC? Windows 8 added this feature so no need to use the hack in the article. Just hit the button and windows will shut down as if it done by clicking an icon on your desktop.

  24. Saeed Says:

    Rollchan has just offered the simplest solution to sleep or shutdown. I’ve been looking everywhere even though the steps above did work this is by far the easiest. Thanks rollchan.

  25. richu Says:

    while at the desktop press alt+f4 , thn clik shutdown…
    Further more quickly buy a keyboard with power key which jst cost abt $3, where u can jst press dat pwr btn to shtdwn immediately..

  26. richu Says:

    while at the desktop press alt+f4 , thn clik shutdown…
    Further more quickly buy a keyboard with power key which jst cost abt $3, where u can jst press dat pwr btn to shtdwn immediately.. Or u can jst press the pwr btn on the cabinet, it will shtdwn ur pc. Thnks richu

  27. apple Says:

    As richu said, if you click Alt+F4 from the desktop in Windows 8 it will give you the shut-down menu options. Alt+F4 is also handy because it will close the application that you are currently running.

    For example, if you are in the microsoft store and want to return to the start menu without leaving the store open in the background, you can type Alt+F4.

  28. B Davey Says:

    My old laptop crashed. I needed to buy a new one. I wanted Windows 7 but Best Buy and HRGregg only sold computers with Windows 8. I am 76 years old and not a computer nerd. Windows 8 is hopeless. It is far too complicated and difficult to use. How do I add my favorites to Internet Explorer? I have no idea. How do I close a web page? I have no idea. How do I shut down my computer or put it to sleep? I have no idea. How do I delete my browsing history? I have no idea. How do I print an email message? I have no idea. Where is Windows Photo Gallery? I have no idea. And so on and so on.

  29. charliehorse233 Says:

    Forget making the shutdown short cut does not work anyway……..rollchan offered the best solution
    Press Windows key on your keyboard and the letter i (eye lower case) at the same time then select shutdown

  30. You are morons Says:

    You guys are morons.

    Windows 8 is designed to NOT SHUT DOWN. It goes to sleep on its own and stops disks etc. If you want to log off and lock it, hold down Windows Key + L and lock it. It will fall asleep after a half hour (or whatever time you prefer).

    You don’t shut down your computer any more, you old, crotchety, stubborn idiots. Doing so is a waste of time.

    MS didn’t take away stuff that works best. They took away stupid habits that dumb users who don’t know how to manage a computer do over and over.

    MORONS!!!

  31. Joe Says:

    ALt + F4 instantaneously presents all the shutdown options.

    Anything else is a waste of time.

  32. Peter Says:

    After I set up I would execute the command, the Command screen (small black screen insert) would flash for a moment, then disappear, and nothing else. Soooo, after doing more research, I found that substituted the “/” with a minus sign (-) made it work. Also, rather than shutting your Win 8 pc immediately, I found that if you put a number in place of zer (I use 15) it will give the PC 15 seconds to put stuff away before shutting it down. This method worked for my Win8 Home, Sony Vaio S. Hope it help those at there scratching their heads about why they can’t get a simple shortcut to work.

  33. Diana Says:

    You are morons! You are a moron!
    I paid for the damn computer and I should be able to control a basic function – turn it on or shut it off. I’m paying for the battery and the electricity and the wear and tear, and I just want that damn thing to turn off. Have you ever heard the word vampire associated with electricity, btw? You moron.

  34. youmoron Says:

    I shutdown my windows 8 by pulling down the main breaker… everything is shutdown my light, my tv and my computer… only working is my wrist watch which is automatic… and that is cool… its time to sleep…

  35. m1st8341 Says:

    As stated, Alt-F4 works so long as you have the Desktop active (not on a Window on the Desktop tile or it will only close the Windowed app).

    The above steps with the buttons do well for a quick option, and you can add a time delay, but I like the Alt-F4 method because it provides confirmation to shutdown, restart, log out, etc. I just have to click on the Desktop tile and then if there is a Window click on the Desktop itself.

    With the buttons, there is nothing stopping from hitting it accidentally and getting the Shutdown routine to kill what you were working on.

    Easy and with confirmation before kill: Win+D (for the Desktop) > Alt+F4

  36. Dennis Garcia Says:

    You know with all the suggestions here-in, I wonder if would be just better to go back to what I consider the best alternative : Windows 7, or else just regress to ’98. Because if it takes that much programming to tweak this thing for this or that, something that Microsoft shoud’ve done, I just think any hacker will get into this system and inflict a lot of damage, as it’s been done already, anyway. Or else, just live, eat, sleep, in front of your computer for constant vigilance, cuz even McAffee seems to be of no avail, either. Anywho, that’s my take on this.

  37. Clive Burks Says:

    Did everything the article said got the icon on desk top and opening tiles page didn’t work some writing flashed on the screeen but no shut down. Any ideas? I have a new Fujitsu laptop windows 8 intel 3i processor

  38. Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director Says:

    You might need to be an administrator of your machine or run the shortcut as admin.

  39. SB Says:

    how do I remove the icon from the start page? It just shuts down over and over and over and over. Not good. Right click brings up some options, but then it shuts down before I can even read them.

  40. Susan McInnes Says:

    Is there a way to make a single shortcut button for the Alt+F4 combination?

  41. Grumbo Says:

    youareamoron .. you are an idiot … OS’s allways need t be reload every so often and shutdown is the customers choice “CUSTOMER IS KING” only idiots use hibernate or sleep . thats for lazy idiots who cant take the 3 seconds it takes to properly shutdown a station. i just upgraded my network stations with new IBM’s pre-loaded with WIN8 and aftert 15 of working WIN8 i grabbed my WIN7 X64 ultimate and went to work.

  42. Joseph Cole, Jr. Says:

    Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Mark Miller, DDS Says:

    An Analogy on the Windows 8 shutdown process:

    Having trouble turning off the garage light? With an Apple garage you only have one choice. Flip the switch. But the Microsoft operation of the light is much more powerful. Here’s how you do it. Open the garage door from the kitchen. Then close it behind you so you can open the pantry door. On the third shelf from the top…about waist high…is a shelf with a can of peas on top of a can of corn. Remove the can of peas and set them aside. Then slide the can of corn to the right. Beneath that you’ll see a little trap door. Slide the trap door to the right. The slot for your fingers is a little small so you may need a paring knife, small screwdriver, or even a ball point pen. Once you’ve slid the small trap door, you’ll see a switch. Turn the switch to the left. That will activate the light switch…after you’ve replaced everything. Now slide the trap door cover closed, place the can of corn over the trap door cover and set the can of peas back on top of the can of corn. Then close the pantry door and open up the door into the house. If all the steps have been performed correctly, the light in the garage should go out…in about 2 minutes.

  44. CoolGuy Says:

    I found another application, simple to download and use at http://cyberoids.org/index.php/175-2/ . It let’s me to shutdown my PC similar to windows xp way but themed for windows 8

  45. Nazzareno Says:

    Just thank you all very Much!

  46. Ugh Says:

    Shame everybody just skipped/ignored Ron Kinney’s post in favor of this shortcut retardation since he had the easiest way to shutdown. Like he said all you have to do is press the power button on your computer, Windows 8 is set to treat that as if you clicked shutdown.

    You can even change what pressing the power button does in power options under the horribly obvious setting named “change what the power button does.”

  47. Bill Rovillo Says:

    Remember when you could turn off your windows computer without needing to see a full fledged demo? Good times!

  48. Dilan Gilluly Says:

    An even easier way to shut down Windows 8, as I tell my customers, just tap the power button.

  49. Bob S Says:

    I can create the icon on the desktop and on the taskbar, but The “Pin to Start” trick, for some reason, is not working on Windows 8.1 Preview. Any ideas?

  50. Max Says:

    Guys lets not forget things can be simple. Yes its crap I know, I am very annoyed by it as I used to do the following on windows 7.

    windows key
    right
    enter

    Now on windows 8 it can be on of the below:

    windows key + D
    Alt + F4
    OR
    ctrl + alt + del
    OR
    Copy the below line
    shutdown.exe /s /t 00
    Windows key
    ctrl + v
    right click shutdown.exe /s /t 00
    pin to start menu
    shift + right click on newly pinned icon
    properties
    change icon…
    select power icon

    Boom

  51. Alex Says:

    You are all idiots.. I saw someone crying because it was 4 clicks.. Yeah idiot windows 7 had 3 clicks, 5 if u changed the default.. Omg you need to do 1 click.. Burn 1 calorie.. 20 years ago you typed these commands to shutdown windows and there was no other way.. You are just old and want to complain just to complain..

  52. danielkr Says:

    Use discretion when using this method. The /s flag does a complete Windows 8 shutdown, not a hybrid shutdown. Therefore, you will not do a fast boot, but a normal boot.

    If you want a single-click shutdown, push the power button – once.

    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/windows-and-office/how-windows-8-hybrid-shutdown-fast-boot-feature-works/

  53. dd Says:

    Bloody hell. I was about to yank out the plug. Then I thought of asking google how to shutdown windows 8.

  54. Bruce Bates Says:

    on windows 8.1 its just one click away already, right click on the start botton on the bottom left of the desktop and chose the “shutdown or logout” menu, then shutdown.

  55. Jan Says:

    Tried it, doesn’t work… How long did these clowns work on Windows 8? Can you imagine trying to teach yourself if you’ve never even turned on a computer? Hate 8!!

  56. Lubomir Says:

    Sorry, not working for my W8.1. When i started first step and I did to try click next, i have windows – The shut is not find.

  57. jessica Says:

    Happy! same as with windows xp that’s nice :) thanks trying to get that dang charms menu to even show when I want to shut my comp off is an aggravation!

  58. Jim Butcher Says:

    Thanks for one click shutdown and restart advice, works a treat!

    Many thanks

    Jim

  59. Julian Says:

    There is no ‘Change Icon’ option to click when hit properties on my new (hp) laptop

  60. Drew Says:

    Just tried this as well about 20 times… Note if the shortcut is wrong / it can’t be found. So yes I have it right. Space after exe and yes a zero and it don’t work. Even checked run as administrator it don’t work. OK so my pc is not located in a convenient place to hit the off button and I like this option best. BUT IT DON”T WORK FOR ME! Glenn Geary with respect you should pull this part of the article down as “IT DON”T WORK” for some of us 8.1 users. However as I like this option and WANT it to work I must ask how come it works for some and not others?

    Only learners shortcut worked but it is 2 steps not one. I feel f’d… I’m using 8.1 64 bit and I get the flashing DOS screen and nothing happens. Again I have tried everything…

  61. Drew T. Says:

    More rantings from an unsatisfied customer… IMO if you get the flashing DOS box you have done everything right as without typing in the correct shortcut the shortcut won’t be found. Why does this work for some and not for others? Just another instance of 8.1 reproving its flaws? Yes I am a retard for trying this for an hour but I want it to work. Glenn Geary surely you must have the fix?

  62. Drew Says:

    Glenn Geary’s restart for 8.1 works great for me. It is ultrafast unlike Learner’s Shutdown shortcut which is the only one I could get to work. Is there a variant of Glenn’s restart shortcut that would work for shutdown? I don’t want to experiment with the restart string as I don’t want to f anything up.

  63. Drew Says:

    How long does it take for your post to post on this site?

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