Windows 8 is all about speed: low memory consumption, fast app opening times, almost instant start-up from hibernation and power optimization to the best. Unfortunately, the latest Microsoft-made operating system comes with a few downsides, one of them affecting the shutdown function.

As you may have already noticed, the new UI formerly known as Metro is pretty much the foreground of Windows 8, either we like it or not. In order to push people into adopting the touch-optimized interface and getting used to tiles, Microsoft has made this interface the primary welcoming screen and, has completely removed the well-known Start button. Thus, shutting down the computer has become a bit more complicated.

How to quickly shut down Windows 8?


By default, users can shut down their computer by manually bringing up the Charms bar, clicking on the Power icon and then selecting Shut Down. While this procedure may be very straight-forward for someone owning a tablet, it’s not so wonderful for mouse and keyboard users, that usually hang around in the plain desktop mode.

A way to bypass this tricky procedure would be to click the taskbar and then press ALT+F4, just like you were shutting down a program using just the keyboard. From my understanding, Windows 8 will interpret that while no other applications run in the foreground and this combination is pushed, the user wants to close down the machine and so, it pops up the power-off menu. But what do you say if we could once more re-create the old Windows 7 experience, where users could turn off the PC in one-click, using a home made short-cut?

Turn OFF Windows 8 in One-Click

  1. Right click on Desktop and select New -> Shortcut.
  2. Type shutdown /s /t 0 in the location box and click Next. create-shortcut
  3. Name the shortcut how you want to, but picking something obvious, like Shut Down, may help afterwards.
  4. Now, to customize the bugger, right click its icon and select Properties.
  5. Under the Shortcut menu, click on Change Icon and then approve the pop-up.
  6. From the list of all existing models, pick an icon that you want, most likely the one that resembles the old shut-down button. shutdown-on-taskbar

Further on, you can right-click the shortcut and choose “Pin to Start” to place the icon on the Start screen or, “Pin to Taskbar” to attach it on the bottom-side of the desktop panel. In order to recreate even more functions that relate with this process, you will have to re-do the steps above and insert one of the following commands, as desired:

  • Restart: shutdown /r /t 0
  • Hibernate: shutdown /h /t 0
  • Restart with all current applications reloaded: shutdown /g /t 0
  • Hybrid: shutdown /hybrid /t 0 – this will allow for a fast start-up next time, but the PC won’t shut completely.

It’s worth noting that once you’ve double-clicked one of the icons made above, the procedure will come in effect immediately, without any means of interrupting.

How to boot directly into Desktop mode


Just like I’ve said above, creating a desktop shortcut for one-click hybrid shut-down will make Windows 8 power-on next time in just a few seconds. Although this will save a lot of time, the computer will not be shut completely and some core processes will be preserved in a core component, pretty much like a standard hibernation. This will be seeming less to the end-user, but not for the machine.

Another trick to cut down some time is to make the computer automatically boot into desktop mode. This can be done by creating a task that bypasses the present Metro-like Start screen and reaching the good-old Explorer instantly.

Here’s how it can be done:

  1. Press the Start button from the keyboard and then type “schedule”.
  2. Click on Settings and then open the Schedule Tasks menu.
  3. From the left side of the window, click on Task Scheduler Library and then on Create Task, from the right.
  4. Choose an appropriate name for the task.
  5. Now select the Triggers tab and click on New.
  6. From the drop-down menu, select “At log on” and then click OK.
  7. Move on the Actions tab and once more, click New.
  8. Type “explorer” in the Program text box and then click OK.
  9. Restart the computer.

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Feature Writer

Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.