How to shut down Windows 10 without the Start menu

Matthew Adams By: Matthew Adams
5 minute read

6 alternative Windows 10 shutdown methods

  1. Open the Windows 10 Shutdown Dialog Box
  2. Shut Down Windows 10 With Command Prompt
  3. Add a Shutdown Shortcut to the Desktop
  4. Schedule Automatic Shut Down
  5. Set up a Shutdown Batch File
  6. Add a Shutdown Submenu to the Desktop’s Context Menu

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.

Solutions to shutdown your PC without the Start Menu

Solution 1. Open the Windows 10 Shutdown Dialog Box

Windows 10 includes a Shut Down Windows dialog box that you can open with a keyboard shortcut. Press the Alt + F4 hotkey to open the window shown in the image directly below.

Note that you’ll need to press that hotkey with third-party software minimized to the taskbar. Then select the Shut down option from the drop-down menu and click OK to shut Windows down.

Solution 2. Shut Down Windows 10 With the Command Prompt

Alternatively, you can shut down Windows 10 via the Command Prompt. To do so, press the Windows key + X hotkey; and select Command Prompt on the menu.

Then input ‘shutdown /s/f/t 0’ in the Prompt, and press the Enter key. That command will immediately turn off your laptop or desktop.

— RELATED: Fix: Computer won’t shut down in Windows 10

Solution 3. Add a Shutdown Shortcut to the Desktop

It would great if Windows 10 included a shutdown button on the desktop for users to press. You can add a custom shortcut to the desktop that shuts down Windows when you click it. Then you can also customize that shortcut’s icon and add a hotkey to it.

This is how you can set up a shutdown desktop shortcut:

  • First, right-click the desktop and select New > Shortcut to open a Create Shortcut window.

  • Enter ‘shutdown.exe -s -t 00’ in the Type the location text box as shown directly below.

  • Click the Next button.
  • Enter ‘Shutdown’ in the Type a name text box, and click Finish.
  • Right-click the Shutdown shortcut and select Properties to open the window in the snapshot directly below.

  • Click the Change Icon button.

  • Select a shortcut icon from the Change icon window, and click OK.
  • Click the Apply and OK buttons to add the new icon to the shortcut as shown directly below.

  • You can also add a keyboard hotkey to the shortcut that will shut Windows down when you press it. To do that, right-click the Shutdown shortcut and click Properties.
  • Click in the Shortcut key box and press S to add a Ctrl + Alt + S hotkey.

  • Then click Apply > OK to close the window.

— RELATED: How to find out shut down statistics for your Windows computer

Solution 4. Schedule Automatic Shut Down

You can also schedule Windows 10 to automatically shut down at a specified time each day. You can do that with the Task Scheduler utility that enables users to schedule tasks. This is how you can configure Windows to automatically shut down at a specified time with Task Scheduler.

  • Open Run with the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  • Enter ‘taskschd.msc’ in Run and click OK to open Task Scheduler.
  • Click Create Basic Task to open the window shown directly below.

  • Enter a title in the Name text box, and click the Next button.
  • Select the Daily option, and press the Next button.
  • Select a start date for the scheduled task.

  • Then enter a time for Windows 10 to shut down at.
  • For Windows to shut down at the designated time each day, you’ll need to enter 1 in the Recur every text box.
  • Click Next to open the action options shown below.

  • Select the Start a program option, and click the Next button.
  • Input ‘C:WindowsSystem32shutdown.exe’ in the Program/script text box.
  • In addition, enter ‘/s’ in the Add arguments text box.

  • Click the Next and Finish. Now Windows 10 will shut down at the time you selected for the scheduled task.

Solution 5. Set up a Shutdown Batch File

  • Or you can set up a batch file that will shut down Windows when you run it. To do that, click Cortana’s Type here to search button.
  • Enter ‘Notepad’ in Cortana’s search box, and click Notepad to open that text editor.
  • Copy this batch code with the Ctrl + C hotkey:
    • @echo off
    • shutdown /s /f /t 0
  • Paste the text into Notepad by pressing Ctrl + V.

  • Click File > Save as to open the Save As window.
  • Select All Files from the Save as type drop-down menu.
  • Then enter a file title for the batch in the text box. The file title must include .bat at the end of it as shown below.

  • Select Desktop on the left of the Save As window.
  • Then select the Save option.
  • Now the batch file will be on the desktop. You can click the batch file to shut down Win 10 when required.
  • 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.

— RELATED: Fix: A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down

Solution 6. Add a Shutdown Submenu to the Desktop’s Context Menu

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. Then you can select to shut down Windows 10 from the desktop’s right-click context menu.

  • To add Winaero Tweaker to Windows 10, click Download Winaero Tweaker on this webpage. Then you can install the software with its installer.
  • To add a shutdown submenu to your context menu, open the Winaero Tweaker software.
  • Click Context Menu on the left of the window.

  • Click Shut Down to open the option shown in the snapshot below.

  • Then select the Add Shut Down to Desktop context menu option.
  • Thereafter, right-click your desktop and select Shut Down to open the submenu below. There you can select to shut Windows down.

There you have six 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. You can download that software from this webpage.

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