Put the Shut Down, Log Off, Restart and Hibernate shortcuts on your desktop

One of the small but important changes in Windows Vista is the redesign of the Shut Down Start Menu options. Even if some people might have a different opinion, we think this design option is not very inspired. Compared to Windows XP it is more difficult to understand the options available and you need to take additional steps in order to shut down your computer or to put it into hibernate mode.

This is why we decided to create separate shortcuts for each option which you can easily place on your desktop.

Download the attached archive, extract it to your desktop and use the shortcuts anytime you need them. They should work with any version of Windows Vista.

Related articles:
Put the Shut Down button back on your Start Menu
How to enable AMD Cool’n’Quiet or Intel SpeedStep in Windows Vista
Where did the Shut Down & Log Off buttons go?

24 thoughts on “Put the Shut Down, Log Off, Restart and Hibernate shortcuts on your desktop”

  1. Where’s the “Switch User”
    Where’s the “Switch User” shortcut?

    In our household we used this feature in XP all the time using the Windows+L key. But in Vista Windows+L just locks the session – useless!!
    How about a shortcut we can use instead?


    • RE: Where’s the “Switch User”
      I did a bit of searching and it seems there is no direct keyboard shortcut for “switch user”.
      You can use Windows key + L which locks the current user and then you will see a Switch User button. Click on it and then select the user you want to switch to.

    • Re: Where’s the “Switch User” shortcut?
      “In our household we used this feature in XP all the time using the Windows+L key. But in Vista Windows+L just locks the session – useless!!”

      I Believe You Were Using The Standard Scheme In Windows XP, Which Has Lock Excluded, There Are Only Shutdown, Restart, Sleep/Standby, Hibernate, Logoff And Switch User, The Classic Mode Includes All These Options, But Lock’s Included And Switch User Is Excluded.

  2. Bravo!
    Wow! These shortcuts are a godsend! I worked all weekend on my parents new computer, and tried to configure it to look as close as possible to their old Win98, but trying to explain to the folks the new ‘shutdown’ procedure in Vista was rather awkward (not that the shutdown in Win98 was any easier, mind you! :-). So I ran into your website, downloaded the shortcuts zip file, and presto! an easy, one-step shutdown that is so convenient that I would recommend it to anyone that owns Vista. Great job and thanx for a great site!

  3. Is there any way to create a
    Is there any way to create a Sleep shortcut? I really like sleep mode, but find it a pain to have to click Start, select the little arrow, then click Sleep. Sounds silly, but it’s a pain.


    • I don’t know yet. I will try
      I don’t know yet. I will try to see if I can create such a shortcut and I will update the article. It will take a few days…

  4. right click…choose
    right click…choose new/create shortcut…an type
    Enter shutdown -s -t 0 then click next.
    For other things here are the codes:
    Restart: shutdown -r -t 0
    Logoff: shutdown -l -t 0
    Hibernate: rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll, SetSuspendState Hibernate

  5. Vista shutdown button
    As usual I searched for some time for a simple Vista shutdown button finding only tons of useless gibberish. I finally stumbled upon your site, downloaded the zip file & am now the proud owner of a new Vista one click shutdown button. Thank you!!!

    I will make this note VERY short. I just found this site today, quite by accident.
    The reason for this note being short is that I am too busy reading more than I have ever found available in one place on Vista yet. I’ve already gotten answers for several questions I’ve had for a long time and I haven’t even had to ask the questions yet.
    I’m sure I will though…thanks for making some things much clearer on Vista for this ol’granny!

  7. Everything … an addition
    I’m like patkinnee … just come across your site looking for a solution to creating a shortcut for ‘sleep’ mode.

    Totally agree with comments about your site, I’m spending a lot of time reading it !!

    Please can you find a solution for a ‘sleep’ shortcut asap, its driving me mad …

    Finally, keep up the good work …

  8. Sleep button shortcut …
    On reading through your tips and tricks, and unless I’ve read it wrong !!!

    There isn’t a need for a ‘sleep’ shortcut as Vista automatically puts your computer to sleep when you press the power button …

    Still need a ‘switch user’ shortcut though.

    I just downloaded your shortcuts tip and put them on the ‘quick launch’ toolbar and can now use in built shortcut function ….

  9. Sleep shortcut
    To create a sleep shortcut on your desktop:

    – Right click on desktop -> New -> Shortcut
    – In the target field put:
    %windir%system32rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll, SetSuspendState
    – For the icon I used the power button in %windir%system32shell32.dll

    Double click to enter sleep mode. I used to use this in XP and found out it also works in Vista.

  10. How to Unzip this shortcuts file?
    How do I unzip the shortcut file? The file is being opened with Windows Media Player which says the .zip extension is not recognized by Windows Media Player. Thanks!

  11. Keyboard Shortcut to shutdown, hibernate, sleep or restart vista
    Well, I ran across this page trying to find a keyboard shortcut to shut down vista. In XP, I could hit winkey + u + r to bring up the restart option, or winkey + u + h to bring up hibernate. Vista is a different beast with the new shutdown options and when hitting winkey + u it will just enter a ‘u’ in the search box instead of pulling up the shutdown options.

    While creating a shortcut to the various shutdown options is now feasible with vista (xp could only do restart or shutdown) I have no need or desire to go to my mouse just to click on a shortcut. I can just as easily click on the start button and shut it down the ‘normal’ way. What I needed was a way to shutdown (hibernate) vista strictly from the keyboard.

    After doing a few trial and error tests seeing that my quick searches were not bringing up any decent results (only ways to create shortcuts) I played around and figured out how to shut vista down with nothing but true keyboard fineness!

    Simply hit:
    Winkey + (right arrow) + (right arrow) + (right arrow) + (desired shutdown key)

    You have to press the right arrow 3 times to get to the shutdown options, then you are presented with the following options:

    Switch User
    Log Off
    Shut Down

    The bold letters are the keys that you would hit to perform the respective task. (Ex. h will send the computer to hibernate)

    If you use the mouse, you are not presented with the underlined options, but if you use the keyboard, you are so you don’t have to try to figure out which key to hit to say, switch users.

    While there are one more strokes than XP, (4 total in xp (including enter), 5 total in vista) it really isn’t that hard to hit the arrow key 3 times and once you get the hang of it you won’t even notice the extra key stroke!

  12. From all this I could not
    From all this I could not find out is the sleep-mode used here is the S1 or S3.

    In the properties from the shut down button it says shutdown.exe/s. I woeld like a similar button that brings it into S3 mode. What extension must I use?

    Also, a shortcut is nice, but when I click it I get a pop up to ask me if I want “open” it. But that is just the point I want it to perform the action instantly. Not to ask me anything. It must run, when I click it.
    When I click yes it says that it wil shut down in less then 1 minute, why not immediately?

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