Add Shutdown Sleep Hibernate and Restart Shortcuts To Windows 8

Windows 8 can be frustrating for users accustomed to running a traditional Windows Operating System. The lack of a start menu can make simply shutting down the computer a chore akin to building an addition onto your house. But you can easily add shortcut tiles to your Metro interface and the Desktop to help make powering down your computer a breeze. In this article, we will be creating a shortcut for shutting down the computer, but you can also use this technique to Sleep, Hibernate and Restart your computer in Windows 8.

Create A Shutdown Tile In Windows 8

To create the shutdown tile, we first need to create a shutdown shortcut on the Desktop.

desktop icon

In the Metro interface, click the Desktop tile. This will take you to the more traditional-looking Desktop you’re use to seeing in Windows.

create a shutown shortcut

Right-click any area on the Desktop and select New, and then Shortcut. In the location field, type shutdown.exe -s -t 00 and then click Next. This shortcut will be given a default icon. If you want to change the icon to something different, simply right-click the shortcut on your Desktop and select Properties, Change Icon. You will get a message saying this shortcut has no default icon, but it will allow you to select one from a group of icons. Select the one you like and then choose Ok.

Next, we will need to copy this icon into the Start Menu>Programs area of Windows so it will actually appear on the Metro interface.

copy shortcut

To do this right-click the shortcut again and select Copy.


Next, click the Explorer icon in the taskbar in the lower-left are of the Desktop.

You will need to paste the shortcut into C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs. Navigate to that location in Explorer (or paste that path into the Explorer address bar). You may not see the folder Programs, as this is usually hidden.


To reveal it, click on the View tab in Explorer, and then tick the box next to Hidden items.

Once you are in the Programs section, paste the shortcut into any blank area. You can add shortcuts to this location as long as you are running as Administrator.


If you go back to the Metro interface, you should now be able to find the shutdown shortcut you created. Click and drag it to any location on your screen. You can group your Shutdown, Sleep, Hibernate and Restart icon in the same area for convenience.

Creating Sleep, Hibernate and Restart Shortcuts In Windows 8

Creating shortcuts for Sleep, Hibernate and Restart is pretty much the same process as creating the Shutdown shortcut tile. Use the following to create these shortcuts:

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

So right-click a section of the Desktop and select New>Shortcut. Paste the above text into the Location field and proceed with the remaining steps to create these shortcuts on the Metro interface. If you have trouble locating the Windows System icons to change the appearance of any of these shortcuts, the shell32.dll file is located in C:\Windows\System32.

13 thoughts on “Add Shutdown Sleep Hibernate and Restart Shortcuts To Windows 8”

  1. Hello Dave I did it a slightly different and somewhat easier!
    In the dialog box I typed shutdown /s /t 0 and the chose an icon, I right-clicked the S/C and chose pin to start, finally I dragged the short cut to the taskbar. Job done!

  2. Hi Dave, Yes to the short-cut tile! I have played around a bit and I created a folder and put all the required short cuts into it, then I used that folder for a new task bar item.
    Now I have all my shutdown options next to the notification area. !

    1. I hear you Bo. I was going to recommend Classic Shell in the article. But I think Windows will be this way going forward and I didn’t suggest that mod because we might as well get use to seeing and working with Metro.

    2. I don’t like installing extensions/plug-ins that extend the features of Explorer because of 2 reasons…

      1. it’s an additional program running in the background
      2. since it’s integrated with Explorer (one of the most critical exe files on your computer) it could also mess it up and cause instability

  3. Dave,

    Thanks for the information. The only button I use much is Shutdown. This came in handy this morning when the computer started doing strange things and the right sidebar wouldn’t show. The newly added button was better than just turning off the computer.

    Equally informative was where to find the start menu items. I needed to update my Desktop shortcut folder to reflect new versions of software, but could not find a Start Menu I could access (permissions said I could, but Windows overrode that). Anyway, your article pointed me to the right place to make the type of changes I used to do with XP.

    NOTE: I agree with you that Win 8 is an introduction to future Windows. It would not surprise me to find that the other companies are scrambling to come up with something competitive to work on all computing devices.

  4. Same for me as for Thomas. Neither the keyboard nor the mouse would wake the computer and I had to push the power button. It then seemed pretty slow to get back to a working state again too although I didn’t actually time things.

  5. Pingback: TIP: Add a Hibernate Button

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