Changing How the Power Button Behaves

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 26, 2015)

If you are using Windows 7, the normal way of powering down your system is to click the Start button and then use the Power button. (The Power button is visible at the bottom-right of the Start menu.) There are two parts to the Power button. The left (and largest) part shows the default action taken when you click the button. The right portion, which looks like a right-pointing arrow, allows you to pick any shutdown method you desire.

By default, the Power button normally shuts your system completely down. If you find yourself using one of the other shutdown options more often, you can modify the default action used for the Power button. Just follow these steps:

  1. Right-click an unused space on the taskbar. Windows displays a Context menu.
  2. Click Properties. Windows displays the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Start Menu tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Start Menu tab of the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box.

  5. Use the Power Button Action drop-down list to specify what you want Windows to do when you click the Power button.
  6. Click OK.

Performing these steps also adjusts the wording that appears on the Power button so that it is consistent with your desired default action.

If you are using Windows 8, the two-part power button is gone, so there is no "default action" that you can specify. Instead, there is only a single part to the power button (visible near the upper-right corner of the Start screen) and clicking it presents various shut-down options you can take. This is analogous to what you saw when you clicked the right-pointing arrow next to the power button in Windows 7.

 This tip (12626) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

X-ing Out Text

You can easily use strikethrough formatting to show deleted text in a document. What if you want to actually overprint text ...

Discover More

Develop Macros in Their Own Workbook

If you develop macros and edit them quite a bit, you may be running the risk of causing problems with the macros or with your ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Fields Inserted by Third-Party Programs

Third-party programs can be used to affect a document and change what is contained therein. Of course, getting rid of what ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Enabling and Disabling Windows Features

Want to make sure that Windows is trim and fit, using only those features you routinely use? Here's how to enable or disable ...

Discover More

Understanding Aero Peek

Windows implements a lot of visual effects that can make your screen and desktop look gorgeous. In Windows 7 those effects ...

Discover More

Starting Applications Automatically when Starting Windows

Understanding the Task Scheduler is a great asset when you want your computer to do things automatically. This tip shows you ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.