How to Shut Down Windows 8
There are three parts to this page. Quick instructions to find the Windows 8 Shut down button, creating a shutdown tile for the Metro-style UI, and learning the Shutdown switches.
Windows 8 ‘Shutdown’ Topics
- Finding the Windows 8 Shut down Button
- How to Create a Windows 8 Shutdown Tile
- Launching Windows 8 Shutdown
- Your First Decision – Turn Off or Reboot?
- Master /a for Abort Shutdown
- Windows 8: Additional Shutdown Commands
- Full List of Windows 8 Shutdown Switches
Before I discuss tricks with the shutdown executable, a few words for those newbies who are struggling to find the normal shutdown button. Firstly, ‘Sign out’ by clicking on your account icon, then at the main front screen seek out the Power button (see screen shot below). Click, and you have the option to Shut down or Restart.
Windows 8 Shut down with Keyboard
Surprisingly, the Alt +F4 brings up the Shut down or Sign out screen. Another keyboard method is to call for the Power button by pressing WinKey +i.
Windows 8 Shutdown Plan B – Turn on the Charm!
Many users prefer to bring up the 5 'Charms' by touching the right side of the screen, select the Settings cogs, and then click on the Power button at the bottom of the screen.
Here are instructions to create a Shut down button in the Windows 8 Metro interface. Confession: it took me three goes before I got it to work. My point: there is less scope than usual to deviate from the ‘official’ script. It helps if you understand these 3 underlying principles.
- There is a knack to creating the shortcut, my biggest mistake was trying to create shortcuts to xyz.cmd, abc.txt files; they did not work, but paring down to this bare command worked:
C:\windows\system32\shutdown /s /t 20
- There is a special location which houses the shortcuts to all the tiles:
Note: Start at ProgramData not ProgramFiles.
- You can Pin (and Unpin) tiles to the Metro UI.
Detailed Instructions to Create a Windows 8 Shutdown Tile
- Start on the Windows 8 desktop, or in a new folder – anywhere except in the Start Menu folder!
- Right-click, New, Shortcut. Paste this instruction:
C:\windows\system32\shutdown /s /t 20 (remember the space between t and 20)
- Name the shortcut after yourself, e.g. Guy’s Shutdown, that way you will recognise it easily!
- From the Metro-style UI, type the name of your newly-created short. Right-click and 'Pin to Start'.
- Use Windows Explorer to navigate to the crucial folder:
- Paste the shortcut. You may wish to click on the advanced button and ‘Run as administrator’.
- In passing you can see that it’s not possible to create a new shortcut here.
- It’s reassuring to see your shortcut amongst the other Apps.
- Return to the Metro UI start screen – Windows Key is the quickest way.
- Now, you may see your shortcut at the extreme right of the Metro screen. If not type the first letter, then you should see a list of Apps beginning with that letter. If yours is there, then Right-click its icon and see if it says Pinned or Unpinned, naturally you want it to be Pinned. See more on how to create a Windows 8 Metro-style Tile.
Windows Shutdown Tile Variations:
Change your shortcut’s icon. Right-click, Properties, Change Icon. There is a classic orange square with a vertical line. See screenshot above.
Tweak the Shutdown command, at least while your testing you may wish to change /t 20 to /t 120. The benefit is you can go to the command prompt (or PowerPoint) and issue the counter-command: Shutdown /a. This aborts the shutdown.
Challenge 1: Make a second tile but with the Shutdown /a command. See screenshot above.
Challenge 2: Create a tile that instead of shutting down, restarts your Windows 8 computer. Key command Shutdown /r.
Encouraging computers to sleep when they’re not in use is a great idea – until you are away from your desk and need a file on that remote sleeping machine!
WOL also has business uses for example, rousing machines so that they can have update patches applied. My real reason for recommending you download this free tool is because it’s so much fun sending those ‘Magic Packets’. Give WOL a try – it’s free.
The rest of this page explains how to fine-tune the shutdown command by appending a variety of switches.
While you can execute shutdown from the command line you can also run it from a GUI by typing Shutdown -i. Incidentally, this highlights a heated debate, should you precede switch with a slash or a hyphen? Frankly, it does not matter, for instance, Shutdown /i works just the same as Shutdown -i.
People often wonder why you need the /s (Shutdown) switch at all; well, the reason is that you need to tell the operating system whether you want to turn off the machine with /s, or alternatively reboot with /r.
Remote Shutdown Command