A: The easiest way to add Shutdown and Restart tiles to the Windows 8 Start menu is to create a shortcut to the shutdown.exe command in the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs. To create the shortcut, first create it on the desktop, then copy it over:

  1. Right-click the desktop and select New - Shortcut.
  2. Enter the shortcut as the following:
    c:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe /s /t 0
    and click Next
  3. For the shortcut name, change to Shutdown and click Finish.
  4. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties.
  5. Click Change Icon... (ignore the error that no icons are available and click OK).
  6. The icon file for %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll will open; select the Shutdown icon, then click OK (see screen shot below).
    Figure 1: Windows 8 Shutdown Shortcut Creation
  7. Click OK to the main properties dialog box.
  8. Copy the shortcut to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.

You can now copy the shortcut in-place, rename it to Reboot, and change the properties so the command is "C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe /r /t 0" and pick an alternate icon. Here are other shortcuts you might want to create:

  • Lock Workstation - rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation
  • Hibernate Computer - rundll32.exe powrProf.dll,SetSuspendState
  • Sleep Computer - rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0

Figure 2: Windows 8 Start Screen With Shutdown and Reboot Tiles

Learn more about the Windows 8 Start screen and how to force a full shutdown of a Windows 8 machine.