How to shut down Windows 10 without the Start menu

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • If the usual way is not working, it's important to know that you can shut down Windows 10 without using the Start menu.
  • You will be surprised by how many alternatives there are, including creating a shortcut or a batch file.
  • There is also a very simple shortcut that will take you straight to the Shutdown dialogue box.
How to shut down Windows 10 without the Start menu

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The Windows Shut down option has always been on the Start menu. However, that doesn’t mean you always need to shut down Windows 10 via the Start menu.

There are, in fact, a few ways that you can shut down the OS without clicking the Start button. This is how you can shut down Windows 10 without the Start menu.

Why is important to know how to shut down your PC without using the Start menu?

The main reason why you’re looking for another option is that the Windows 10 Start button is not working but that can be solved easily with the highlighted guide.

Another one is that you want to know how to shut down your PC faster and if you read all our solutions, you will find out that there are a lot quicker ways to do so.

You might also be interested in how to add Run command to Start menu in Windows 10 and that will make it even easier to operate your PC.

That being said, let’s look at the most efficient ways of shutting down your PC without using the Start menu in Windows 10.

How do I shutdown my PC without the Start Menu?

1. Use the Windows 10 shutdown dialog box

  1. Minimise or close all windows.
  2. Press the Alt + F4 combination on your keyboard, select Shut down from the drop-down menu and click OK.

In the possibility that you can’t access the Start menu on Windows 10, this is the quickest way of shutting down your PC.

2. Use Windows PowerShell

  1. Press the Windows key + X keyboard combination and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  2. Type the following command and press Enter to run it: shutdown /s/f/t 0

Using the command above in Windows PowerShell will immediately turn off your laptop or desktop.

3. Add a Shut down shortcut to the Desktop

  1. First, right-click the desktop and select New, then choose Shortcut.
  2. Type the collowing line in the location box and click the Next button: shutdown.exe -s -t 00
  3. Enter Shutdown in the Type a name text box, and click Finish.
  4. Right-click the Shutdown shortcut and select Properties, then hit the Change Icon button.
  5. Select a shortcut icon from the Change icon window and click OK.
  6. Click the Apply and OK buttons to add the new icon to the shortcut.

You can also add a keyboard hotkey to the shortcut that will shut Windows down when you press it. From the shortcut’s Properties, click on the Shortcut key box and press S to add a Ctrl + Alt + S hotkey.

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Now, whenever you click the Shutdown shortcut, the system will start the Shut down process and close your machine.

4. Schedule an Automatic Shut Down

  1. Open Run with the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut, then type taskschd.msc and click OK to open Task Scheduler.
  2. Click the Action tab and select Create Basic Task.
  3. Enter a title in the Name text box (we suggest Shutdown), and click the Next button.
  4. Select the Daily option, and press the Next button.
  5. Select a start date for the scheduled task and enter a time for Windows 10 to shut down at. We recommend setting it closer to the present time if you want to shut down your PC faster.
  6. Select the Start a program option, and click the Next button.
  7. Input the following line in the Program/script text box and enter /s in the Add arguments box, then click Next: C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe
  8. Click Finish. Now Windows 10 will shut down at the time you selected for the scheduled task.

If you can’t follow the solution, we have a complete guide on how to schedule an automatic shut down that you might find a lot more descriptive.

5. Set up a Shutdown Batch File

  1. Click the Windows Search tab, enter notepad, and open the app from the results.
  2. Copy the following batch code with the Ctrl + C hotkey and paste it using Ctrl + V in the notepad window:
    • @echo off
      shutdown /s /f /t 0
  3. Click File and then Save as.
  4. Select All Files from the Save as type drop-down menu, then type Shutdown.bat in the text box and hit Save. We selected to save it on the desktop but you can use other locations.
  5. You can click the batch file to shut down Windows 10 when required.
  6. You can set up a batch file to restart Windows instead of shutting it down. To do that, enter shutdown -r -t 00 in the batch file instead. Then the batch file would look like the one shown directly below.

6. Add a Shut down submenu to the Desktop’s Context menu

  1. Go to the official page and download Winaero Tweaker.
  2. Then you can install the software with its installer.
  3. Open the app and click the Context Menu on the left of the window.
  4. Click Shut Down, then select the Add Shut Down to Desktop context menu option.
  5. Thereafter, right-click your desktop and select Shut Down to open the submenu below. There you can select to shut Windows down.

You can customize the Windows desktop’s context menu in various ways with Winaero Tweaker. That software includes an Add Shut Down to Desktop context menu option which adds a shutdown submenu to the context menu.

Is it safe to shut down my PC by pressing the Power button?

No, it is not safe and you can use this method only if you run out of every other alternative because turning off the PC by pressing the Power button can cause serious file system damage.

The file system and its processes are running even if you are not doing anything. The normal shut down procedure closes them in a certain order, leaving everything in working order.

Turning off the power switch it’s almost equivalent to an electrical power loss that will interrupt important threads and leave your computer in an inoperable state.

So, now you have plenty of alternative ways to shut Windows 10 down without clicking the Start button.

Note that you can also add a shutdown shortcut button to the taskbar or desktop with the Shutdown8 software, which includes a shutdown timer.

But these are only workarounds. To fix the problem, read our guide on how to fix Windows 10/11 Start menu tiles if they are not showing.

If you have any additional questions or suggestions, feel free to let us know about them by using the comments section below.

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