Adding Shutdown and Restart tiles to Windows 8 Start Screen

In general, I think that the changes Microsoft have introduced with Windows 8 are very positive and herald a move to a much simpler interface for the majority of users.

Although there is a lot of negativity within the technical press and amongst self-proclaimed "experts" and "power-users" they miss the point that a vast majority of Microsoft's users find the desktop metaphor with it's overlapping windows to be very confusing. It is very common to see less technical users immediately "full-screen" whatever application they happen to be using, be it a web browser, word document or photo viewer.

However, not every change in Windows 8 is an improvement. Take the process for shutting down or restarting a computer. This  involves bringing up the charms menu, clicking "settings" (Why is Shutdown a setting?) and then clicking on the power icon. In fact, many users find themselves clicking their name on the Start Screen to log-off, then using the shutdown button on the login page.

With this in mind, here is a very simple script (right click on the link and select "save link as...") which when run will add two tiles to the start screen - "Shutdown" and "Restart" - as shown below. Simply download the script and run it and you will have two tiles added to your Start Screen that can be used to quickly and easily shutdown or restart you computer in an instant.

Shutdown and Restart tiles pinned to the Windows 8 Start Screen
Shutdown and Restart tiles pinned to the Windows 8 Start Screen

For those who are suspicious about downloading and running VBS scripts (and you should be!) the contents of the script are shown below to allay your fears.

' Get a shell and the Start Menu location.
set shell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
startMenu = shell.SpecialFolders("StartMenu")

' Shutdown shortcut
set shutdownLnk = shell.CreateShortcut(startMenu & "\Shutdown.lnk")
shutdownLnk.TargetPath = "%systemroot%\System32\shutdown.exe"
shutdownLnk.Arguments = "-s -t 0"
shutdownLnk.IconLocation = "%systemroot%\System32\shell32.dll,27"

' Restart shortcut
set restartLnk = shell.CreateShortcut(startMenu & "\Restart.lnk")
restartLnk.TargetPath = "%systemroot%\System32\shutdown.exe"
restartLnk.Arguments = "-r -t 0"
restartLnk.IconLocation = "%systemroot%\System32\shell32.dll,176"

' Tell the user we've done something otherwise it appears as though nothing has happened!
Wscript.Echo "Shutdown & Restart buttons have been created on your Windows 8 Start Screen."