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

Losing Data in a Shared Workbook

When you create a shared workbook, you run the risk of losing some of the data in that workbook. Here's a discussion ...

Discover More

Spell-Checking from the Keyboard

If you hate to take your hands from the keyboard, even to right-click on a word, you'll love the information in this tip. ...

Discover More

Converting PDF to Excel

Reports and other formal documents are often distributed in PDF format so that they can be read and printed on a variety ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Changing the Mouse Pointer

Windows is rather configurable, especially when it comes to the user interface. Here's how you can modify the way that ...

Discover More

Grouping Tiles on the Start Screen

The Start screen can serve as your launching pad for whatever programs you desire. You can move tiles around on the Start ...

Discover More

Improving Text Sharpness with ClearType

Ever notice that even with a fancy new monitor, text can still look a bit muddy on the screen. You can use ClearType ...

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 less than 7?

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.