By default, Windows PC users can go to “Start > Power > Shutdown or Restart” to shut down or restart the computer. Alternatively, some people follow “Alt + F4” to close all open applications and shutdown the PC. Do you know that you can easily add desktop shortcut for shutdown and restart functions in Windows? You can easily use these shortcuts in single or double clicks, instead of navigating to the Start menu.
Create Shortcut for Shutdown in Windows
Follow the below step by step instructions to create a custom shortcut for triggering shutdown of your computer.
Add Shutdown Desktop Shortcut
Right click on your desktop and choose “New > Shortcut” option.
This will open a dialog box like below asking you to enter the location of the source item. Instead of browsing for the source file location, you can add quick shortcut. Type the below command in the text box.
This is a shortcut command in Windows to trigger the shutdown.exe file.
You can click on the desktop shortcut to trigger shutting down of your computer.
The above shortcut will work fine. However, it will immediately shutdown your computer without any warning prompt. You may lose all the unsaved work in this situation. In order to avoid this, we recommend adding the time attribute to this command. Let us say, you want to shutdown after 1 minute. You can add the below text in the box.
shutdown /s /t 60
This will first trigger a prompt showing that your computer will be shutdown in one minute.
You can name the shortcut that you can easily remember. Click on “Next” button to give a name to your shortcut. You can name it like “Shutdown” or anything you like.
Click “finish” button to create a desktop shortcut for shutting down your computer.
Change Shortcut Icon
As you can see the shortcut icon does not look like shutdown icon. Right click on the shutdown shortcut and choose “Properties” option. Alternatively, select the shortcut and press “Alt + Enter” keys to open properties window. On the pop-up window, click on “Change Icon…” button.
You will get a warning message indicating the shortcut does not have any icon currently. Click on “OK” to proceed further. Choose an icon that looks like a shutdown button. Let us choose the power icon for that matter. Alternatively, you can also upload your custom icon if you want.
Click “OK” buttons on the pop-ups to close them. Now, you can see the shortcut icon looks exactly like a shutdown button.
Pin Shutdown Shortcut to Taskbar
Since you will be using the shutdown frequently, you can pin the shortcut to taskbar. Right click on the shortcut icon and choose “Pin to Taskbar” option. You can also add the shortcut to start menu if you want.
You can check the taskbar and the icon will look like below on the taskbar. However, ensure not to click on the shutdown icon mistakenly.
Desktop Shortcut for Restart
Similar to shutdown, you can also create desktop shortcut for Restart action. Follow the above instruction and use the below command to create a shortcut for restart. You can also name the shortcut as Restart or something similar for remembering easily.
shutdown /r /t 60
Caution When Creating Shortcuts
As mentioned, do not use the shortcut without time delay. It will instantly trigger the shutdown without any prompt. When you have time delay, Windows will show you the prompt like below showing the remaining time before shutdown in minutes.
The problem is even you close the prompt, shutdown will be triggered. Therefore, make sure you have saved all your work. Otherwise, there is no way to stop the triggered shutdown once you clicked on the shutdown shortcut icon. You can also use this function for scheduling shutdown in Windows.