Create a Shutdown Button for Windows that Can be Canceled

If you need a quick way to shut down Windows, a shortcut does the trick. This one also adds in an abort button just in case you ever accidentally start a shut down.

After noticing that Windows 8 doesn’t have a desktop shutdown button, I decided to make my own. We’ve shown you this before, but as an added bonus I thought it would be nice to have a second button that cancels the shutdown in case it was ever accidentally pressed. You can make your own by following these instructions or just download a pre-made set at the bottom.

Right-Click the desktop and select New > Shortcut.

create shortcut

In the location box type:

%SystemRoot%\System32\shutdown.exe /s

create shortcut details

Name the shortcut “Shut Down” or whatever you like.

name your windows 8 shortcut

Right-Click the new shortcut and select Properties.

Click properties of shortcut

On the shortcut tab, click the “Change Icon…” button.

By default, it should be in the following directory:


If it’s not there, just paste the above into the top line. Select the red Shut Down icon and click OK, then Click OK again to exit the properties window.

Shortcut link propertieschoose shortcut icon

Now you have a shutdown button on your desktop.

Shutdown button on desktop

To make the Abort button we’ll just repeat the above process but instead point the shortcut to:

%SystemRoot%\System32\shutdown.exe /a

The shortcut Icon can be found in the same directory as before:


change iconselect icon for shutdown


shutdown button on windows 8 desktop

If you’d rather skip all of the above steps and just download the shortcut set, it is available here. Simply extract it and place it wherever you like.



  1. Doug

    March 28, 2012 at 10:29 am

    You could also specify the GUI interface to display using the /i, that way you have more control your shutdown and you can abort without trying to catch it during the timeout period.

    Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e] [/f]
    [/m \\computer][/t xxx][/d [p|u:]xx:yy [/c “comment”]]

    No args Display help. This is the same as typing /?.

    /? Display help. This is the same as not typing any options.

    /i Display the graphical user interface (GUI).

    This must be the first option.

    /l Log off. This cannot be used with /m or /d options.

    /s Shutdown the computer.

    /r Shutdown and restart the computer.

    /g Shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is

    rebooted, restart any registered applications.

    /a Abort a system shutdown.

    This can only be used during the time-out period.

    /p Turn off the local computer with no time-out or warning.

    Can be used with /d and /f options.

    /h Hibernate the local computer.

    Can be used with the /f option.

    /e Document the reason for an unexpected shutdown of a computer.

    /m \\computer Specify the target computer.

    /t xxx Set the time-out period before shutdown to xxx seconds.

    The valid range is 0-315360000 (10 years), with a default of 30.

    If the timeout period is greater than 0, the /f parameter is


    /c “comment” Comment on the reason for the restart or shutdown.

    Maximum of 512 characters allowed.

    /f Force running applications to close without forewarning users.

    The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is

    specified for the /t parameter.

    /d [p|u:]xx:yy Provide the reason for the restart or shutdown.

    p indicates that the restart or shutdown is planned.

    u indicates that the reason is user defined.

    If neither p nor u is specified the restart or shutdown is


    xx is the major reason number (positive integer less than 256).

    yy is the minor reason number (positive integer less than 65536).

  2. PenManiac

    March 29, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Does this work on Windows 7? I would like a button for sleep as well. What’s the command for that?

  3. Edward Dawson

    March 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

    They don’t appear to work for WindowsXP Pro!
    How about the commands for XP for ‘both’?

    Thanks Austin

    • Austin Krause

      March 29, 2012 at 11:13 am

      For Windows xp put:

      [code]%windir%\System32\shutdown.exe -s[/code]

      into the “target” box

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