How To Change the Shut Down Button


If you’re like me, then you rarely actually shut down your computer.  Even though I have fast RAIDed SSDs that can cold-boot Windows in less than 20 seconds, I always have lots of tasks open at once to get my work done.  It would be a severe pain to have to re-open all of my Excel spreadsheets, notes, graphic files, and web pages back to the state that I had them the day before, so I usually just put my PC to sleep.

Unfortunately, the default function of the Windows power button is to shut down the PC.  Forcing Sleep mode requires a few extra button clicks.  First you have to click on the arrow to the right of the “Shut Down” button and then select “Sleep”.  That’s just a pain in the ass when I just want to walk away from my PC for a few hours without unnecessarily heating up my office.

Luckily you can change the default behavior of the power button so all you have to do is click it once to Sleep, Hibernate, Restart, or Switch Users… it really just depends on how you use your computer.

1.  All you have to do is right-click the Power Button and select “Properties”.  You are taken to the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties.

1a. You can alternately right-click on any empty space of the Taskbar to bring up the Taskbar Properties window and then select the Start Menu tab.

2. Change the Power button action’s dropdown to whatever you want the default action to be.  In my case I changed this to “Sleep”.

You can still access all of the other less-used options from the same arrow to the right of the power button, but now you have one-click use of your most frequently used option.


Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.