How to Remove the Shut Down Button from the Windows Login Screen

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By default, Windows features a button with shutdown options on the login screen. It can be handy, but if you’d prefer not to have it there, it’s easy enough to remove.

Why would you want to hide the shutdown button on Windows’ login screen? Maybe your computer runs important services in the background, like a file server, Plex, or remote access, even when you’re not logged in. When you remove the Shutdown button, you’re restricting the shutdown function to only users that can log in to Windows. (That way, your spouse or children won’t walk by and shut down the computer just because no one’s using it.)

RELATED: Yes, It’s Okay to Shut Down Your Computer With the Power Button

You should note that even if you remove the shutdown button from the Login screen, the computer’s physical power button may be set to shut the computer down or put it to sleep. That functionality will still work unless you disable it from the Control Panel. Also keep in mind that on most computers, pressing and holding the power button for about 10 seconds will turn off the power to the computer, bypassing the shutdown function entirely. Some computers let you change that behavior in the BIOS; some do not.

Home Users: Hide the Shutdown Button by Editing the Registry

If you have Windows 10 Home, you will have to edit the Windows Registry to make these changes. You can also do it this way if you have Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, but just feel more comfortable working in the Registry. (If you have Pro or Enterprise, though, we recommend using the easier Group Policy Editor, as described in the next section.)

Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.

To get started, open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and give it permission to make changes to your PC. In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

In the list of items on the right, find the shutdownwithoutlogon value and double-click it.

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Set the value to 0 in the “Value data” box and then click OK.

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Exit Registry Editor and restart your computer to see the changes. When you log back in, you should no longer see the Shutdown button on the login screen.

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If you change your mind and want to show this information on your login screen again, follow the same instructions, but set the shutdownwithoutlogon value back to 1 .

Download Our One-Click Registry Hack

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If you don’t feel like diving into the Registry yourself, we’ve created two downloadable registry hacks you can use. One hack removes the shutdown button from the login screen and the other restores the default settings and shows the button again. Both are included in the following ZIP file. Double-click the one you want to use, click through the prompts, and then restart your computer.

Shutdown Button Hacks

RELATED: How to Make Your Own Windows Registry Hacks

These hacks are really just the System key, stripped down to the shutdownwithoutlogon value we described above, and then exported to a .REG file. Running the “Hide Shutdown Button at Login” hack changes the shutdownwithoutlogon value to 0. Running the “Show Shutdown Button at Login” hack sets the value back to 1.  And if you enjoy fiddling with the Registry, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to make your own Registry hacks.

Pro and Enterprise Users: Hide the Shutdown Button on the Login Screen with Local Group Policy Editor

RELATED: Using Group Policy Editor to Tweak Your PC

If you’re using Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, the easiest way to hide the shutdown button on the login screen is by using the Local Group Policy Editor. It’s a pretty powerful tool, so if you’ve never used it before, it’s worth taking some time to learn what it can do. Also, if you’re on a company network, do everyone a favor and check with your admin first. If your work computer is part of a domain, it’s also likely that it’s part of a domain group policy that will supersede the local group policy, anyway.

In Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, hit Start, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter. In the Local Group Policy Editor, in the left-hand pane, drill down to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options. On the right, find the “Shutdown: Allow system to be shut down without having to log on” item and double-click it.

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On the Local Security Setting tab, click Disabled and then click OK.

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Exit the Local Group Policy Editor and restart your computer to test the changes. If at any time you want to show the shutdown button on the login screen again, just follow the same procedure and set the “Shutdown: Allow system to be shut down without having to log on” item back to Enabled.

And that’s it! If you’d rather people not be able to shut down your computer without logging in, it’s an easy change to make.

Walter Glenn is a long time computer geek and tech writer. Though he's mostly a Windows and gadget guy, he has a fondness for anything tech. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.