How to Add Shutdown / Restart / Sleep to the Windows 8 Metro Start Screen

00_new_tiles_on_start_screen

If you have installed the Developer Preview of Windows 8, you probably have discovered the rather obscure method of shutting down the system. There is an easier way of shutting down, restarting, sleeping, and hibernating your computer. You can add tiles to the Windows 8 Metro Start screen that allow you to perform these tasks with one click.

To begin, click the Desktop tile on the Start screen to access the Desktop.

01_clicking_desktop_tile

Right-click on the Desktop and select New | Shortcut from the popup menu.

02_selecting_new_shortcut

Enter the following command in the Type the location of the item edit box and click Next.

shutdown.exe -s -t 00

03_typing_command_for_shortcut

Enter a name for the shortcut in the Type a name for this shortcut edit box and click Finish.

04_typing_name_for_shortcut

The default icon is not very representative of what the shortcut does, so let’s change it. To do so, right-click on the shortcut and select Properties.

05_getting_properties_of_shortcut

The Shortcut tab on the Properties dialog box displays. Click Change Icon.

06_clicking_change_icon

Because the shutdown.exe program you specified has no icons associated with it, the following message displays. Click OK.

07_shutdown_contains_no_icons

By default, the icons in the shell32.dll file display. You can use the Browse button to select another .exe, .dll, or .ico file, but the shell32.exe file has many icons available. We selected a power symbol icon. Click OK once you have selected your icon.

08_selecting_an_icon

The selected icon displays on the Properties dialog box. Click OK on the dialog box to close it.

09_closing_properties_dialog

The shortcut has to be copied to another directory to be available on the Start screen, so, copy the shortcut on the desktop.

10_copying_shortcut

Paste the shortcut into the following directory:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

You can either copy the path above and paste it into the address bar in Explorer or you can navigate to the directory. If you can see the ProgramData directory, see the note below.

11_pasting_shortcut

NOTE: The ProgramData directory is a hidden directory. To gain access to it, click the Hidden items check box in the Show/hide group on the View tab.

12_showing_hidden_items

Paste the shortcut into the specified directory. You will probably see the following dialog box when you try to paste the file. Click Continue to give permission to paste the file into the directory.

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You should see a Shut down tile on the Start screen. One click on this tile will shut down your system.

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If you don’t see the Shut down tile on the Start screen, you can search for it and pin it to the Start screen. To find the shortcut, move your mouse over the Start icon in the lower, left corner on the desktop to display the Start menu. Select Search.

NOTE: If you are using a touch screen, you can swipe from the right side of the screen to the left to access the Start menu.

15_selecting_search_on_start_menu

NOTE: You can also access the Start menu in the same way on the Metro Start screen.

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The Search panel displays on the right side of the screen. Scroll down and select Apps from the list. Enter “shut down” (or the name you gave your shortcut) in the Search Apps edit box. Press Enter or click the magnifying glass.

17_searching_for_shutdown

The Shut down shortcut displays on the left side of the screen. Right-click the shortcut. The options for the shortcut display in the lower, right corner of the desktop (instead of on a popup menu, like in Windows 7, and earlier). Click the Pin icon. You should now see the Shut down tile on the Start screen.

NOTE: Press Escape to exit the search and go back to the desktop.

18_right_clicking_shut_down_shortcut

To add tiles for Restart, Lock Workstation, Hibernate, and Sleep, enter the following commands create new shortcuts and enter the following commands on the first screen of the Shortcut wizard.

  • Restart Computer: shutdown.exe -r -t 00
  • Lock Workstation: rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation
  • Hibernate Computer: rundll32.exe powrProf.dll,SetSuspendState
  • Sleep Computer: rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0

The rundll32.exe file does have an icon available; however, you may want to change it. Use the Browse button to access a file with more icons. The shell32.dll file is located in C:\Windows\System32.

NOTE: For the Hibernate and Sleep options, make sure that the hardware in your computer support these options and that they are enabled.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 10/14/11
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