Do you remember when Windows 8 was first released and we had trouble finding a way to shut down our computer? Well, in Windows 8.1, I believe Microsoft is making up for giving us that challenge. Here is perhaps the easiest way to shut down your computer. It’s called: “Slide to shutdown.”
First, we need to find the application file that is installed on your computer that launches this feature. Open your File Explorer, the yellow folder, either from your Start screen, your taskbar or from your list of apps.
Once open, in the panel on the left side, under “This PC,” click “Local Disk (C:). Now, in the middle window, double-click the folder “Windows,” and then scroll down and double-click the folder “System32.” Again, scroll down past the list of folders and find the file titled: “SlideToShutDown.” It’s in alphabetical order so go down near the bottom. This application file is what launches this shutdown feature.
First, let’s put this on your Start screen so it is easy to find each time. Right-click on the file name “SlideToShutDown” and then select “Pin to Start.” Now you can close File Explorer by clicking the “X” in the upper-right corner.
Go to your Start screen and let’s make the icon a little more favorable to look at. Right-click the new icon on your Start screen and click “Open file location.” File Explorer will open and you will see the shortcut “SlideToShutDown” with an arrow on it. Right-click this icon and select “Properties.” The “SlideToShutDown Properties” box will open. Make sure you’re in the “Shortcut” tab at the top and then click the button “Change icon.” You will get a message that states it contains no icons and you can choose from a list of icons, click “OK.”
The “Change Icon” box will open and display numerous icons that you can choose to represent this shutdown application. Scroll to the right to see all of them and make your choice. Click “OK” once you find the perfect one for you. Click “OK” again to close the “SlideToShutDown Properties” box.
Now for the best part, let’s see what this actually does. Go to your Start screen by pressing the Windows Logo key on your keyboard, or just move your mouse to the lower-left corner and click the four-box square. You will see the icon you just chose. Go ahead and click on it and your lock screen picture will appear with the words “Slide to shut down your PC.” Simply click and drag the arrow down to the bottom of your screen and your computer will shut down. If you don’t want it to shut down right then, just click below the arrow and it will stop the shutdown procedure.
If you don’t like the icon you selected, just go back through the steps and select a different icon until you get the one you want. If you want to have the shutdown icon in your taskbar on your desktop too, just right-click the icon on your Start screen and select “Pin to taskbar.”
I find I use this now predominantly to shut down my computer because as I mentioned, it is easier and faster than all the other methods.
For 14 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 250 articles about Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@Live.com.