How to Add Shortcut for Shutdown in Windows PC?

Time needed: 5 minutes.

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.

  1. Adding Shutdown Desktop Shortcuts in Windows PC

    Right click on your desktop and choose “New > Shortcut” option.
    Create New Desktop Shortcut

  2. Add Shutdown Desktop Shortcut

    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 shortcut /s in the text box. This is a shortcut command in Windows to trigger the shutdown.exe file.
    Immediate Shutdown Shortcut

  3. Delay Shutdown

    However, this will immediately shutdown you PC 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 shutdown /s /t 60 in the text box. This will first trigger a prompt showing that your computer will be shutdown in one minute.
    Shutdown Shortcut After 1 Minute

  4. Name Your Shortcut

    Click on “Next” button to give a name to your shortcut. You can name it like “Shutdown” or anything you like.
    Name Your Shortcut

  5. View Shortcut on Desktop

    Click “finish” button to create a desktop shortcut for shutting down your computer.
    Shutdown Desktop Shortcut

  6. 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.
    Click Change Icon Button
    You will get a warning message indicating the shortcut does not have any icon currently. Click on “OK” to proceed further.

  7. Choose Icon

    Choose the icon the looks like a shutdown. Let us choose the power icon for that matter. Alternatively, you can upload your custom icon if you want.
    Select Power Icon

  8. View Shortcut with New Icon

    Click “OK” buttons on the pop-ups to close them. Now, you can see the shortcut icon looks exactly like a shutdown button.
    Shutdown Icon Changed

  9. 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.
    Pin Shortcut to Taskbar

  10. Check in Taskbar

    It will look like below on the taskbar, However, ensure to not click on the shutdown icon mistakenly.
    Shutdown Shortcut in Taskbar

  11. Desktop Shortcut for Restart

    Similar to shutdown, you can also create desktop shortcut for Restart action. Follow the above instruction and use shutdown /r /t 60 and name the shortcut as Restart.


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.

Shutdown Prompt
Shutdown Prompt

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.

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