I see that I lack the choice to reboot/shut down via the start menu when logged into Windows 7 via Remote Desktop, whereas it is present in Windows Server 2008 R2. Is there some setting in Windows 7 to enable reboot/shutdown?

EDIT: The question is specifically about whether it is possible to enable the standard reboot/shutdown controls in the start menu, and if so, how.


12 Answers 12


There is no way to enable reboot/shutdown from the start menu but usually I go to desktop Start+D and press Alt+F4. This way I get all options. Works on both XP and 7.


Having looked around a bit, it appears there is unfortunately no way to enable reboot/shutdown from the start menu in a remote session in Windows 7, even through group policies :( I guess Windows 7 is designed for a "dumber" user on average, considering Server 2008 is not gimped in this way :) I guess my main method will be to press Ctrl-Alt-End (remote equivalent to Ctrl-Alt-Del) and then use the shutdown options from that dialog.


You don't need to use start menu to shutdown your remote machine from Remote Desktop. When I need to turn the remote machine off I use "cmd.exe shutdown -s" command.

I'm not sure that there is a way to add it to start menu, however, you can create a .lnk simbolic link on the desktop to the related command:

mklink "c:\users\public\desktop\Turn Off remotelly.lnk" "cmd.exe shutdown -s"

  • 5
    I know I don't need to, but I would like to know if I can.
    – aknuds1
    Jan 11, 2012 at 13:30
  • Not sure why but this doesn't work for me on Win 8.1. I tried with as it is and also with a fully qualified path to cmd, but while it creates the shortcuts, running them does nothing for me.
    – chrismay
    Mar 17, 2015 at 21:03
  • @chrismay It's possibly a permissions thing. If you're trying to shutdown via a shortcut, by default it won't run with administrative privileges which you need to use the shutdown command. For that matter, shutdown is not a shell command but a binary executable which you can call directly, Diogo.
    – deed02392
    Dec 13, 2015 at 23:53
  • wait, what?! mklink makes links to files/directories, not to commands with arguments!
    – Sam Sirry
    Mar 1, 2021 at 8:02

Open the Start menu and type in the search box:

Shutdown /r /t 0

Use /r for restart or /s for shutdown. The /t 0 is the number of seconds to wait before restarting, namely 0. If omitted, 30 seconds is used.

  • 2
    I know about alternative methods, it's outside of the scope of the question.
    – aknuds1
    Jan 12, 2012 at 8:23

Start Menu > Windows Security > Click the little red shutdown icon, and you'll see the "Restart" option.

  • 1
    Worth noting that you only see the "Windows Security" option when connected via RDP, so don't expect to see it if logged in directly. Clicking it effectively does the same as pressing CTRL-ALT-END (or CTRL-ALT-DEL on the local machine), but without the user needing to remember the combination. Dec 13, 2017 at 14:47

I am also disappointed that there is no hidden setting to allow a shutdown/restart from the start menu.

Additionally, pressing Alt-F4 while the desktop is active (i.e. no other applications have focus) brings up a dialog window which allows you to shutdown/restart.


Ctrl+Alt+End will bring up the security dialog, which includes the option to restart the machine.

All shortcuts available here.

  • 1
    I know about alternative methods, it's outside of the scope of the question.
    – aknuds1
    Jan 12, 2012 at 8:23

To add to the excellent answer for making the shortcut -- when you open cmd.exe make sure to do "run as Administrator" or use runas, otherwise windows will (probably) tell you "You do not have sufficient privilege to perform this operation." That's whether your account has admin rights or not.

At first I thought the message was due to my running in an RDP session (of course) but I was then able to create the shortcut manually in \Users\Public\Desktop -- so not a permissions issue, but just UAC doing its job.


Yes, there is a way to do this. I have it enabled on a remote machine in Windows 7 Professional. Stating there is NO way to do it in Windows 7 is incorrect information. It can be done, I am using Windows Classic Shell for the Windows Classic Start Menu on the machine.

I am not exactly sure how I enabled it... I'll keep researching it & get back to you, BUT it can be done. It's right there on the start menu when I connect remotely. The classic Windows start menu "Shutdown" button is there right under the "disconnect button" and has all of the regular submenu buttons; restart, switch user, shutdown, sleep, hibernate, & lock. Yes, they all work just like sitting in front of the machine. Possibly, it is something in the Windows Classic Shell, you might look into it.


I have not yet figured out how the shutdown and restart buttons for RDC are available off of the star menu in a RDC session on my observatory machine, but LonnieBest is correct. By going to the settings from the menu then to the security button you will get to the windows screen to Lock, Logoff, Change Password, or Start Task Manger. You will find a red "power button" to the right bottom of the screen, clicking on it will bring up the ability to Restart, Sleep, Hibernate, or Shutdown the remote machine. Works fine for the machines I do management remotely for in the observatory and the shop. You must have administrator privileges or permissions to use the Security menu button for this however.

I would Post some screen shots, but I do not have those permissions here.

  • New users have limitations on how many links or images they can post. With time and reputation you will have restrictions lifted. In the mean time you should be able to post text links to image hosting sites then other users can edit the images into your post for you. Welcome to Superuser.
    – Mokubai
    Oct 22, 2013 at 16:48

Just as stated above, I also am using the "Classic Shell" program to give back some of the functionality removed by MS. In Classic Shell there is a check box that reads "Show Shutdown during remote sessions". It can be found by selecting "All Settings" and under the Special Items Tab. It is near the bottom of the list.

I am currently running version 3.6.7 of Classic Shell. It can be found at www.classicshell.net

Hope This helps,



There is no way to do so. Here is the article in Microsoft official website. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303070

  • 3
    microsoft deleted all their useful content....
    – pcnate
    Sep 5, 2018 at 1:30

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