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How to Create Your Own Windows 8 Shortcuts (for Shutdown, Perhaps?)

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It’s easy to customize and move all the Windows tiles around, but what if you want to create your own shortcuts for portable apps, or something really useful, like adding the missing Shutdown or Reboot shortcuts back? Here’s how to do it.

Note: we’re sure that as Windows 8 is improved over time, there will be better methods to do this, but this is the method that we used. If you know of something else, let us know.

Creating Windows 8 Metro Shortcuts

Open up Explorer and head to the following path:

%appdata%\microsoft\windows\Start Menu\Programs\

Once you’re there, you can browse down into one of the folders, though you can probably leave the shortcut in that folder as well.

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Create your shortcut for whatever you’d like – for instance, we created a Shutdown shortcut using our guide to creating shutdown or reboot shortcuts, which is really just a link to shutdown.exe. It’s useful to assign a good icon to the shortcut as well.

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Now that you’ve done that, hit the Windows key to head back to Metro, and then type in “shutdown” or whatever the name of your shortcut is.

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You’ll see it on the left side, and right-click it to select it (if you’re using touch you can nudge it up or down, I think).

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Click the Pin icon on the bottom right-hand corner…

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And now you’ll have the new shortcut on the main screen!  Of course, it’ll be created all the way over on the right side, so you’ll need to drag it where you want it.

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What shortcuts are you going to create?

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/15/11

Comments (16)

  1. Usman

    Good to see Windows XP’s Shutdown icon in the latest version of Windows :D

  2. steve

    I just set my power button to shut down on my netbook. But when I install it on my tower this seems the better route to take.

  3. Alper

    I just hover over the start button, click “Settings”, click “Power” and then “Shut Down”. It lasts less than reading this comment.

  4. Rob

    After putting my shortcuts in the programs folder they automatically appeared on my start screen. no pinning needed

  5. Ifham khan

    Shut down best short cut for me :)

  6. Rob

    Fantastic tip, thank you.
    I wasn’t real keen on the icon used so made my own, more metro like icon::
    http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t120/zygote_photo/Powerbutton2.png
    (No, I’m not the same Rob as above)

  7. nova1

    Ctrl + Alt + Delete works too

  8. R Troy

    It would be real nice if MS would let us keep the existing start program interface. This new MUTRO interface would look great on my droid; it is worse then useless on a normal pc without touch screen. That said Win 8 otherwise looks like Win 7 is finally ready for retail release! AKA Vista SP4 or 5.

  9. Ryan Mitchell

    Windows Key+I than click the Power icon, Easy! [This comment is being posted from 8, I know what I'm doing]

  10. J Robert

    Is it possible to actually create folder shortcut tiles? I often open up folders, but whenever i put shortcuts to them Windows doesn’t even see them in the search charm. Only shortcuts that actually activate a file will show up.

  11. Gianfranco

    @Rob did the tile you make format to look like the other native tiles?

  12. mgo

    Shutdown hard to find? Just do Windows key+D (which will take you to the desktop-like always-) and then the usual Alt+F4 for the shutdown menu.

  13. Leon

    good tip if you put windows 8 on a tablet like acer w500 or hp slate 50

  14. vgamesx1

    my only question is that..
    ok they have windows phone 7, right? so why bring it to windows 8? I mean really.. who do they think is going to buy it for a tablet or anything else.

    especially when android OS is out there and its not only great mobile OS its also open source.
    I loved windows 7 as soon as beta came out for testing but I was very disappointed when I tried win 8.

  15. Alan K. Chan

    Is there a way to do this for a non-.EXE file? Search doesn’t seem to recognize files that aren’t .EXE such as .BAT.

  16. Innovator

    So… how do we create a custom tile? Thats what I want.

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