Windows 8 - Create a Shutdown button
Windows 8 is a very nice product to my opinion. It is based on the previous 7 version but it can use apps instead of programs, but there is a full compatibility. Every program that runs on Windows 7 will run on Windows 8 as well. This product is amazing. Microsoft improved it in so many ways that a new set of articles will appear on this site the next couple of weeks. I love it, even more now that I'm working with the RTM version that was released on August 16th, 2012. This is the first of a new, fresh serie of articles, based on the RTM version with buildnumber 9200. Read, enjoy, and start loving this end-user operatingsystem, just like I do already.
Now in this article I would like to share with you the way to create your own App-button to shutdown your laptop, desktop or device thats running on Windows 8. In all previous end-users operating systems you could do that through the startbutton. That disappeared with Windows 8 and now you shutdown the device by going to the right side and choose the option under settings, or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete and from there to the Shutdown button. This is too much handling and mouse clicks for the users I spoke with. So I decided to write this article, explaining how you could easily create our own shutdown app.
Preparation and shortcut creation:
Open the (classic) desktop from your new (formally known as Metro) Windows 8 interface. Open your explorer and browse to your C:Windows\System32 folder. I personally locate my shortcuts and (startup)specials always in the %User%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Start Menu\Programs\Systemtools folder, but thats another story and system32 will work fine as it is the location of the Shutdown executable we need for this. Create a new shortcut and fill in the following parameters. It's also shown in the picture here on the right.
Name of the shortcut: Shutdown ( or whatever you want to call it )
Target: %windir%\system32\Shutdown.exe -s -t 00
Start in: %homedrive%%homepath%
Shortcutkey: I use none, but pick anyone you like thats free
Run: does not matter
Comment: Fill in anything you like
Hit apply and your shortcut is almost ready.
Adding a nice picture to the App-button:
Okay, we made a shortcut with a shutdown command, but this in Windows 8 and we want to smooth things up a little bit. Open the properties of the shortcut again and choose the "Change Icon" button in the lower center. Sure, you can get an icon from any application, even create and design one for your own, but I take this article as an opportunity to remind you of the default icon set that has been present since Windows 2000, and after XP, and Windows 7, this icon-set is still present in Windows 8. It is located in %SystemRoot%\System32\SHELL32.dll. This icon-set has nice shaped default icons, inclusing the previous (old) shutdown button. Lets use that one.
You can see an example in the picture on the left side below. The picture in the right here, contains a set of icons that has been available in all, yes all, windows systems that has ever been made! Go back to the earliest versions, I recall Windows 3.11 for instance, and this icon-set is available there. So, if you are very old fashioned, or if you are very much into the vintage/retro style, use this set. You can find it in %SystemRoot%\System32\moricons.dll.
And yes, back in the old days the filename was limited to 8 characters, plus a 3 character extension and moricons.dll is indeed short for "More Icons".
So,.. pick an icons of your choice, I will stick to the previous (XP) shutdown button for this article.
Adding the shortcut to the "All Apps" group:
I have to explain a little bit here, but I will do this separately and more in detail in another article. A brief explanation....The Apps that are displayed in the"new Windows tablet, metro, app view, all below to a new built-in Windows system group called "All Application Packages". If a new application is installed (install-mode) through an MSI, CAB or EXE file with administrative privileges, the executable is automatically added to this group in Windows 8 and they will appear in the tablet/apps view.
Open the properties of your shortcut again, and click on the Security Tab. Click the Edit button and choose "Add". A dialog box will open and start typing the group name "All Application Packages". You don't have to type everything, you can hit "Enter" after typing "All App.. ". Close up and the group will appear in the Security list. Read and Execute rights are added automatically and are enough. At the moment you click "OK" or "Apply" this shortcut, with the right icon will appear in tablet/app view in All Apps.
Place the icon and check the correct working:
Now your done, and you can switch back by using the windows-key. Choose "AllApps" and find your new tablet icon.
Drag and drop it in any group you like, but I will advise you to put it somewhere in the upperleft or bottomleft corner. Just click it and your device/system will shutdown! No more extra clicking, simple and handy!
Remember though that open dialog boxes, for unsaved/open/changed documents for instance, can still be a cause for not shuttingdown your system. In some cases, Windows 8 might even return to te normal view until you saved your work.
When you are working in the classic (legacy) desktop, the old fashioned keys Alt+F4 will bring up the dialog box, in a slightly different format, but with all the normal (SSSSR), Switch User, Sign Out, Sleep, Shutdown and Restart options. You just have to get used to it!
I hope this article has helped you, and getting you enthusiastic for Windows 8 as much as I already am!
Ben Oostdam has been working with Windows systems since 1993. Worked for several companies as a system administrator, and is currently a Senior Engineer and (Freelance)Trainer for a large company in the Netherlands specialized in System Center and Messaging Solutions, ad-hoc solutions and work-arounds for major issue's.
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