CyberNotes
Time Saving Tuesday




If you constantly shutdown your computer, restart it, or log off then maybe you should think about creating shortcuts to do it for you. You could then save yourself a few clicks from having to go through the Start Menu. It is surprisingly easy and only takes a few steps:
  1. First you need to create a new shortcut. To do this right-click on your desktop and select New->Shortcut.

    Create Shortcuts To Shutdown Or Restart Your Computer

  2. A screen will pop-up asking you for the shortcut. There are multiple options that you can choose from which are explained below. For the first one we will just make the computer shutdown by entering in shutdown -s into the text box. Press Next to continue.

    Create Shortcuts To Shutdown Or Restart Your Computer

  3. Now select a name for the shortcut. I went ahead and named this one Shutdown. Once you have entered in the name you can press Finish to complete the wizard.
  4. If you run the shortcut (double-click on it) then you will receive a pop-up similar to this stating that your computer will restart in 30 seconds.

    Create Shortcuts To Shutdown Or Restart Your Computer

  5. Okay, now let’s make this look pretty. We can change the icon by right-clicking on the shortcut and selecting Properties. Then press the “Change Icon” button and you will receive a window with a bunch of default Windows icons. Scrolling through them you should find the one which is normally associated with a shutdown button.

    Create Shortcuts To Shutdown Or Restart Your Computer

  6. Finally, you may want to put these shortcuts in your Quick Launch bar so that you can quickly access them.

    Create Shortcuts To Shutdown Or Restart Your Computer

  7. You can then repeat these steps and use a bunch of other commands that are available. Here is a list of what you can enter into the text box in Step 2:
    • shutdown -s : shutdown your PC and will show a 30-second countdown by default.
    • shutdown -r : restart your PC and will show a 30-second countdown by default.
    • shutdown -f : displays a 30-second countdown, forces all running applications to close, and will then shutdown your PC. This is especially great for when you are in a hurry to leave and want to make sure your computer will shutdown completely.
    • shutdown -l : log off the current user and will show a 30-second countdown by default.

    You can also throw some other switches onto any of those commands. There is a switch -t XX where the XX represents the number of seconds to display the countdown box. So if you use shutdown -s -t 00 then there will be no countdown box displayed whereas if you use shutdown -s -t 05 then the countdown box will be displayed for five seconds. Another switch is -c “TEXT” where whatever you type in the TEXT position will display in the countdown box within the message field. If you are doing a restart command you may want to use shutdown -r -c “Restarting your computer…” because the countdown box looks the same for shutting down your computer or restarting it. You can use the text to help you distinguish which option you chose. For me it doesn’t matter if I enter this text in or not because I set the countdown time to 0 seconds so the box never gets displayed anyways.

You can also setup these commands to be scheduled tasks but I would recommend the PowerOff software for doing that. I ended up playing around with the shortcuts for a little while and found it quite amazing what you can do with them. One bad thing is that there is no working command to put your computer into standby. The command that is available which everyone says will put your computer into standby really just hibernates it.