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Have you ever noticed the irony that when you want to shut down your PC, you have to go to the “Start” menu? Well I found an easy way to make a PC shutdown button which sits on the desktop along with a “reboot” button and an “abort” button which cancels the shutdown or reboot if you change your mind. You don’t have to be a top-notch programmer to do it and the buttons actually prove quite useful.

Just follow the instructions here. Normally I would post screenshots but since I use a German computer, I figured it was pretty useless showing German language screenshots if you don’t know German. But I think the following instructions are clear enough :

    1) Right-click on the desktop and choose New then Shortcut.

    2) When the box comes up, browse to the file C:\Windows\System32\Shutdown.exe, click Next, name the shortcut, and click Finish.

    3) Now right-click on your new shortcut and choose Properties. In the Target box (the box which shows the location of the Shutdown.exe program), attach one of the following commands at the end: -l (to log off), -s (to shut down), or -r (to reboot).

If you also add the command -t xx (where xx is a number of seconds), your shutdown procedure will display a warning and countdown before activating. I chose 10 seconds which is more than enough time.

You can also specify a comment to be displayed with the warning by adding the command -c “Your text”. This is quite amusing as you can give yourself a personalised shutdown message such as “Goodbye Mark!”

Once the shutdown / reboot button is activated, the only way to stop the computer from shutting down / rebooting is to launch the shutdown program again with the -a (for abort) command in the target box of the shortcut. So it would be best to repeat the above process and also make an “abort” button for your desktop too.
I even gave my new buttons nice South Park icons :



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  1. Sri vardhani
    February 2, 2017 at 3:38 am

    My tool bar is not it locked or anything else..??

  2. rishabh
    June 7, 2009 at 2:31 am

    hii this is really great post.. thanks...
    will anybody tell me if i want to add the "standby" button also except the reboot and shutdown...

  3. Simeeec
    March 24, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    I pulled a prank on a friend which drove him nearly insane:
    I made the shortcut "Shutdown -l". Then I used their start menu and put it in the folder called startup. What it did was immediately open the shortcut which sends the command for him to log off.

    After a while of whatching him get angry he left the computer to get help when I said I couldn't. When he'd gone I went onto a seperate user and deleted the file from his user through C: and Documents and settings.

    Though I never admitted I had done it. It was so funny though.

  4. Alex
    December 1, 2007 at 1:49 am

    You can also instead of writing
    you can just write
    such as
    shutdown -s -t 10 -c "Goodbye Alex :)"
    That mat help

    • Aibek
      December 1, 2007 at 9:29 am

      I like this one even more . ;-)

  5. mark
    September 10, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    After numerous email queries, I just want to clear something up that I wasn't too clear on in the article. When you are writing the command line in your shortcut, there has to be a space between the target link and the command. So for example, it has to be something like :

    C:\Windows\System32\Shutdown.exe -s

    If you don't leave a space between the "exe" and the "-s" then the computer thinks that shutdown has the file format "exe-s" which is of course invalid. So make sure you leave a space between the target link and the command for it to work.

  6. Brian
    September 2, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    I pownced this story. Maybe it will help you get attention.