Change the Windows Vista Start Menu Power Button Action

How to shut down your PC from the Start menu power button

What to Know

  • Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Change plan settings.
  • Next, select Change advanced power settings > + next to Power buttons and lid and Start menu power button.
  • Finally, next to Setting, choose SleepHibernate, or Shut down. Select OK to save.

By default, the Start menu power button in Windows Vista is set to sleep mode. While this may be fine for some, you might want the power button to put your PC in hibernate mode or, more likely, simply shut down your PC.

If you haven't changed the power button but still shut down your PC every night, you know very well that it's a multi-mouse-click process. In other words, a waste of time. Reconfiguring the start menu power button will probably shave a few seconds off this daily process.

How to Change the Windows Vista Start Menu Power Button Action

Changing the power button action is easy and usually takes less than a few minutes.

  1. Open the Start menu and choose Control Panel.

    In a hurry? Type power options in the Start menu search box, press Enter, and then continue at Step 4.

  2. Choose Hardware and Sound.

    Control Panel items in Windows Vista

    If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Simply double-click on the Power Options icon and proceed to Step 4.

  3. Select Power Options.

  4. Choose Change plan settings under the selected plan.

    Change plan settings link in Power Options
  5. Select Change advanced power settings.

  6. Choose + next to Power buttons and lid and then + again next to Start menu power button.

  7. Select Setting to reveal a drop-down box.

  8. Choose either Sleep, Hibernate, or Shut down. Most users will prefer to set the start menu power button to Shut down to easily power off the PC.

    Shut down highlighted as start menu power button option
  9. Select OK and then close the Edit Plan Settings window.

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