How to Create a Shutdown Icon on Your Computer Desktop

In Windows XP, it literally takes two clicks to turn off your computer with the Shutdown Button in the Start Menu. You may have many reasons for having the Shutdown button on your Windows Desktop. In Windows Vista and Windows 7 you may dislike the new location of the Shutdown button.

The following instructions will allow you to create a Shutdown Icon on you Windows XP Desktop. The instructions to perform the same task on Windows Vista and Windows 7 are similar. However, figures from Windows XP will be used as an example.

But before you create the Shutdown Icon, click on the normal Shutdown button to see if you computer will behave normally. If it shutdown using the regular Windows buttons, then you can create the shortcut. If not, then even the shortcut will not work. Your computer may have other issues that are beyond the scope of this article.


First create the shortcut. The easiest way is to do a Right Button Click on the Mouse. See Fig 1. Select the New option on the menu list.

Fig 1.  Right Click on Desktop
Fig 1. Right Click on Desktop | Source

You should see the menu that looks similar to Fig 2. Select the Shortcut option on the list.

Fig 2.  Select Shortcut option
Fig 2. Select Shortcut option | Source

After selecting and click on the Shortcut option, the Create Shortcut Window will appear as shown in Fig 3.

Fig 3. Create Shortcut WIndow
Fig 3. Create Shortcut WIndow | Source

In the "Type the location of the item:" area, enter the following DOS command as shown in Fig 5. Shutdown is the name of the command. There are other options known as 'switches'. In this example, '-s' is used for shutting down the computer. Other switches like '-r' allows you to shutdown and reboot.

The other switches used in this example is '-f' which forces programs and applications to close without a warning. If you don't do this, the computer will keep prompting you to close or close and save a program that is currently running. The only disadvantage is that if you have a program such as a Word document that has work, the work will not be save unless you've saved it previously. The other switch, '-t 0' will force the shutdown immediately. Instead of a zero, you can put a delay in seconds.

Be warned. The shutdown may not happen immediately even if you've entered zero for a delay. The shutdown will depend on the computer to close applications that you don't see and save system files before shutting down the hardware.

Click on Next.

Fig 4.  Entering DOS Shutdown Command
Fig 4. Entering DOS Shutdown Command | Source

Give the Icon a name called "Shutdown" and click on Next as as shown in Fig 5.

Fig 5.  Giving Shortcut a Name
Fig 5. Giving Shortcut a Name | Source

If you followed the steps correctly, you should have a plain looking icon as shown in Fig 6. Congratulations. If not, go back and start over again.

Now you can make the Icon look pretty.

Fig 6.  Plain Icon on Desktop
Fig 6. Plain Icon on Desktop | Source

The next instructions are optional. They will all you to change what the Shortcut Icon looks like. Do a Mouse Right Click on the Desktop. You should see a menu similar to Fig 7.

Select the Properties option with the mouse.

Fig 7.  Right Click to Get Shortcut Properties
Fig 7. Right Click to Get Shortcut Properties | Source

Select the Change Icon button as shown in Fig 8.

Fig 8. Selecting the Change Icon Button
Fig 8. Selecting the Change Icon Button | Source

In the Change Icon window, select the picture you want for the Shutdown button. In this example, the International Symbol for Power Switch was chosen in Fig 9.

Fig 9.  Choosing an Image for the Shortcut
Fig 9. Choosing an Image for the Shortcut | Source

In Fig 10, the final Shutdown Icon for the shortcut is shown. Test the shortcut to see if the the Shutdown shortcut works.

The time to shutdown a computer even if you don't use the shortcut will vary from computer to computer. It may happen immediately or it may seem like 5 minutes. In my test, the shutdown took almost a minute. So in some cases, you may have to be patient with the test.



Fig 10.  Final Shutdown Shortcut
Fig 10. Final Shutdown Shortcut | Source

Below In Fig 11, are other options in the DOS shutdown command. For simplicity, use the following described earlier:

Shutdown -s -f -t 0

Fig 11.  Other DOS Shutdown Options
Fig 11. Other DOS Shutdown Options | Source

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Comments 4 comments

neophonic profile image

neophonic 4 years ago from Europe

Great howto! I usually write it down to Command line when i have to use windows :) Maybe itll be fine to set up the period to 3600 if we like to create "sleep" button :)


Romian1 profile image

Romian1 4 years ago Author

Yes, that is a very useful tip.Thank you.


Marsei profile image

Marsei 4 years ago from New Orleans

I like it and did it!

Thanks,

marsei


forlanda profile image

forlanda 4 years ago from US of A

Neat! I never thought to create a shutdown button. I normally just hibernate my laptop. What would be the command for that?

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