Microsoft has always given us methods to shut down the computer via the Start Button (which has been renamed a few times). Similarly, and in pretty much the same place, you can Restart the computer or Logoff the current user, which can be useful if you have multiple user IDs on the computer.
It only takes a few steps — two or three — but that’s too many, when it could be even easier.
It’s easy to add shortcuts to the Windows Desktop — especially useful shortcuts like Shutdown, Restart and Logoff. Then, just double-click on the shortcut to activate the function.
The first step is to right-click on a blank spot on the Desktop, and then select New and Shortcut.
In the Create Shortcut dialog box, the first step is to enter the name of the command and the appropriate parameters.
To Shutdown, the command to enter in the Type the location of the item: box is:
shutdown.exe -s -t 0
The -s means shutdown, the -t is how long to delay before the action, with 0 meaning 0 seconds.
Windows actually knows where to find the shutdown.exe file (it’s in C:\Windows\System32 on most computers). After we enter the command shown above, Windows will add the C:\Windows\System32\ portion when we click the Next button.
At that point, we get the opportunity to add the label we want on the shortcut. Since the shortcut points to shutdown.exe, the name box will default to shutdown.exe.
My choice would be to enter Shutdown before clicking the Finish button. Don’t worry, you can always change it later by right-clicking on the shortcut and selecting Rename.
If you leave the default name of shutdown.exe, the shortcut will look like the one on the left below, showing shutdown…. as the name, when that icon has not been selected. When selected, it shows as shutdown.exe, as shown on the right.
Similarly, you can create Restart and Logoff shortcuts using the following commands:
shutdown.exe -r -t 0
Notice that Logoff does not have a -t 0 paramater. If you add it, in versions before Windows 10, Windows will still log you off. In Windows 10, the command will do nothing if you include the -t 0.
You can change the icon by right-clicking on the shortcut, selecting Properties, and then clicking the Change Icon button.
The three icons I chose are part of the available Windows icons selections, so you can select them or any other icons you want to use.