How To Add One Click Shutdown, Restart and Sleep In Windows 8

How to add a one click option to shut down, restart, sleep or hibernate in Windows 8. The first thing new Windows 8 users will notice is the tiled Start screen. The second, after navigating to the traditional Desktop, is the lack of a ‘Start’ button/orb. No Start Menu means that the process to shut down, restart and sleep in Windows 8 is necessarily different from the last decade’s versions of Windows.

We’ll review first how to access the existing shut down features in Windows 8 and then explain how to add single click options if you want to speed up the process.

Existing Ways To Shut Down Options in Windows 8 – There are a variety of ways to access the shut down features in Windows 8 – some quicker than others:

  • The ‘standard’ way – move your mouse to the top or bottom right of the Desktop to display the pop-out Charms menu (or press Windows key + c). Select ‘Settings’ then ‘Power’ and choose to Sleep, Shut Down or Restart.
  • Go straight to the Settings Charm by pressing Windows + i then select ‘Power’ and choose to Sleep, Shut Down or Restart.
  • Press ALT + F4 to display the (very) traditional Shut Down menu and choose to Sleep, Shut Down or Restart – also provides options to Switch User or Sign Out (log off).
  • CTRL + ALT + DEL brings up a screen to Lock, Switch User, Sign Out etc but there is also a Power icon in the bottom right corner – click it to choose to Sleep, Shut Down or Restart.
  • Simply pressing the Power button (or closing the laptop lid) may put the computer into Sleep mode (or Shut Down or Hibernate) – the exact action will depend on how Power Options are configured.

Add One Click Shutdown In Windows 8 – If you want to add single click options to shut down (or restart, sleep or hibernate), it is possible to do this in Windows 8 via the following procedure – we’ll look at Shut Down first:

Tip: you can also use these steps to add one click power event options to XP, Vista or Windows 7 (except for step 8 as the Start Screen is unique to Windows 8).

1. Right click an empty space on the Desktop and choose ‘New’ then ‘Shortcut’
2. In the location box type “shutdown /s /t 0” without the “” (the 0 is a zero)


3. Click ‘Next’ and type a name for the shortcut (e.g. Shut Down) then select ‘Finish’ to create the new desktop shortcut – drag and drop it to wherever you wish on the desktop.
4. To change the shortcut’s icon, right click it and choose ‘Properties’ to open the Properties window:


5. Select the ‘Change Icon’ button then press ‘OK’ in the warning box that says Shutdown.exe has no icons:


6. Choose an icon from the list of possible icons (we chose the red Power button) then press OK twice:


Your desktop shortcut should now have the chosen icon labeled Shut Down, or whatever you called it. Double clicking this desktop shortcut will shut down the computer – use it to add a single click option in the next steps:

7. To pin this shortcut to your Taskbar – right click the shortcut and select ‘Pin to Taskbar’. Press it once to shut down.

Desktop shortcut and Pinned to Taskbar

8. To pin the shortcut to your Start Screen – right click the desktop shortcut and select ‘Pin to Start’. Press the Windows key to switch to the Start Screen and see this new Shutdown icon – drag and drop it to a more noticeable position on the Start Screen if you wish. Press it once to shut down.

Start Screen shortcut

Add One Click Restart, Sleep or Hibernate In Windows 8

The above steps add a one click Shutdown to Windows 8. If you want to add a similar shortcut to Restart, Sleep or Hibernate, repeat the same process but in Step 2 substitute the typed command with the following:

  • Restart – shutdown /r /t 0
  • Sleep – rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0

Note: Hibernation must be disabled for this command to work or it will just Hibernate instead of Sleep. To Disable Hibernation – display the pop-out Charms menu and select Search (or press Windows key + q). Type CMD then right click the Command Prompt app and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the panel at the bottom to open an elevated Command Prompt.

Select ‘Yes’ if a User Account Control warning appears. In the Command Prompt, type “powercfg -h off” without the “” and press Enter to disable Hibernation.

  • Hibernate – shutdown /h

Note: Hibernation must be enabled for this command to work. To Enable Hibernation – follow the guide above that was used to disable hibernation but, when typing the command, replace ‘off’ with ‘on’ to enable hibernation i.e. “powercfg -h on”.


These 4 shortcuts add one click Shutdown, Restart, Sleep or Hibernate options to Windows 8 (and earlier).You can use them to complement the existing options (e.g. pressing the Power button or closing the lid) – they’re quicker than navigating through Windows 8 Charms.

8 thoughts on “How To Add One Click Shutdown, Restart and Sleep In Windows 8”

  1. Thanks! I now have a red, perfectly functioning one-click “Power Down” button on my taskbar in Windows 10! I LOVE IT! Why couldn’t Microsoft include this in Win 10?

  2. SleepComp.vbs

    English Version:
    must be: WshShell.SendKeys “ss”

    Polish Version:
    must be: WshShell.SendKeys “uu”

    Dim objShell
    Set objShell = CreateObject(“Shell.Application”)
    set objShell = nothing
    Set WshShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
    With objShell
    WScript.Sleep 200
    WshShell.AppActivate “Shut Down Windows”
    WshShell.SendKeys “ss”
    WshShell.SendKeys “{TAB}”
    WshShell.SendKeys “{Enter}”
    End With
    Set objShell=Nothing

  3. I tried the “SLEEP” option but it didn’t work for me, all it did was shutdown the computer instead of putting it to sleep.

    • @Luis – if you have Hibernation enabled it will Hibernate instead of sleep (see the Note: in the article). If not, I’m not sure why it doesn’t work for you, sorry – works on every W8 PC I have tested on.

    • Thanks for raising this issue Dan.

      I have updated the article to note that the Sleep shortcut works only if you have hibernation disabled – if hibernation is enabled it does indeed seem to take over and hibernate instead

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