Sometimes I want to choose "Logout current user", but then I hit "Shutdown" by accident.

Nearly everywhere else Windows 7 is asking "do you really want to do this? Yes/No" - but that's not the case when I hit the "Shutdown" button. Windows 7 shuts down immediately without giving me the chance to correct my mistake.

So I am wondering - why does Windows shut down immediately without asking "really do that?" in this case?

Is there a way to change this behavior? For example, could I force Windows to display a dialog asking "Do you really want to shutdown?"?

I tried to change this behavior with the policy editor. It seems to be very easy to completely remove the Shutdown button from the Start menu, but I couldn't find an entry to turn on such a Yes/No dialog.

  • I've always found this odd. If you have something that asks to save when it closes, type a few letters quickly, then hit cancel, and shutdown stops, but there's no non-hacky way to do it.
    – Phoshi
    Dec 31, 2009 at 19:32

3 Answers 3


Here is a workaround:

  1. Right click on the Shutdown button and choose Properties
  2. define the default action as logoff

You still don't get a dialog asking "do you really want ...". But you are only logged off when the Button is clicked by accident.

EDIT: if you are wondering what happened to the shutdown entry: it has been moved into the arrow menu now (automatically).

  • 3
    Thanks for this! I assigned it to "Lock" so I don't accidently kill all my apps. Aug 24, 2015 at 16:57

You can remove the Windows Shutdown button from the start menu and use this utility instead

The Beyondlogic shutdown utility hand provides:

  • Options to shutdown, power-off, reboot, suspend, hibernate, log-off or lock the workstation.
  • Actually shutdowns ACPI Compliant computers including WinNT4 with the hal.dll.softex Hardware Abstraction Layer.
  • Ability to display optional message of a maximum 300 characters.
  • The shutdown dialog will appear on the active window, should it be the login window, login screen saver, logged in user's desktop, or on a locked workstation.
  • Option to allow the user to cancel the operation. (This can be greyed out)
  • Option to prevent shutdown action occurring on logged-on computers giving your users the flexibly to run lengthy processes overnight without being disturbed.

I'm using this with Windows 7, works a like a charm, just create a few batch files for your preferred actions, e.g. Shut Down, Log Off, Hibernate (set the time you may need to cancel this operation) and place shortcuts in the start menu, taskbar on the desktop or your favorite launcher.

enter image description here

Tip: rename the file (e.g. shtdwn.exe) as shutdown.exe already exists in windows if you want to use it from the commandline.

  • nice workaround! But I am still looking for an on-board/built-in solution. Jan 1, 2010 at 12:14
  • there isn't, as windows own shutdown.exe does not allow to abort the shutdown via GUI, you can only use the argument -a from the command line or another batch file (if the initial shutdown was timed with -t xx). anyway, a 18 kilobyte stand-alone executable doesn't really bloat your system :)
    – Molly7244
    Jan 1, 2010 at 18:02

You can use the built in Shutdown Event Tracker.

I have read elsewhere that you can do it through the following:

Name:ShutdownReasonUI (REG_DWORD)
1=enable 0=disable

But this did not work for me. I had to use the group policy editor (Start -> run -> gpedit.msc) and edit "Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Display Shutdown Event Tracker"

enter image description here

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