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Published on 12.18.06 by Brent Trahan

Set Vistas Start Menu Power Button to Turn Off Computer Instead Of Hibernating

This guide shows you how to change the settings of the power button on Windows Vistas start menu to make it shut down your computer when pressed.

By default the power button on Windows Vistas start menu makes your computer hibernate instead of shutting it down when pressed.  This guide shows you how to change the settings of the power button on Windows Vistas start menu.

Set Vistas Start Menu Power Button

To change Windows Vistas power button on the start menu to turn the computer off instead of making the computer hibernate do the following:

  1. Right-click your desktop and click Personalize.
  2. Click Screen Saver.
  3. Click Change power settings in the power management section of the Screen saver settings window.
  4. Click Change plan settings under the plan selected.
  5. Click Change advanced power settings.
  6. The power options window should be open now.  You might have to click change settings that are currently unavailable to go further.
  7. Click the + to expand Power buttons and lid.
  8. Now expand Start Menu power button.
  9. Change hibernate to shutdown.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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7 Responses to “Set Vistas Start Menu Power Button to Turn Off Computer Instead Of Hibernating”

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  1. gogogadgetscott says:

    The action is not “Power button action” but “Start menu power button”

  2. Brent Trahan says:

    Thanks for the correction gogogadgetscott.

  3. Electro Geeza says:

    I assembled a new computer in December 2007, and I have a localized version of Windows Vista Home Premium which has the Swedish user interface by default. No worries, I was still able to follow your guide and perform this little task! :)

    But on one occasion when I was speaking to this Microsoft Support technician about some problem with my new operating system (I think it was this major problem with copying big (or huge amounts of) files from DVD discs to the disk drive), I also remembered to ask him about changing that stupid hibernation button to a power off button instead, since I almost never use hibernation or sleep mode or what so ever. I had already been looking through the Task bar settings and Start menu settings but couldn’t find any appropriate setting there. And he couldn’t answer my question as how to do that or if it even was possible.

    I did see some screenshots at Google Image where Vista users had a start menu with a power off button thou. So knew it was possible, I didn’t think these were Photoshoped fake images. I was thinking they were using some tweaking software to make it look and act like that. But then I stopped caring about it and digging deeper into the subject. So how they did that has always been a mystery to me. Until now! ;)

    I think I had stumbled upon this setting once. I think it was the “change plan setting”, and when I changed it once I may have got the “power off” button on start menu. And when I re-installed Vista I must have forgotten how I had changed that. But honestly I didn’t know that it was possible to specifically change exactly that little button and leave everything else as it is (unchanged).

    Many thanks for this little tip buddy!

    Right now, I am actually looking for some instructions on how to automatically shutdown the computer by using only the built-in components of Windows Vista, without any additional “shutdown computer” applications (oh boy, there are thousands or even billions of those). I am thinking about using Task scheduler in Windows to set up a computer shutdown command in some way. Any other ideas?…

  4. Brent Trahan says:

    Use the shutdown command. I’ll write a guide on how to do what you’re asking today.

  5. Ashley says:

    Absolutely perfect. I hate the fact that vista doesn’t turn off your compurter when using the start menu power button. This has sorted out my PC and my frustration!

    Thanks a lot

  6. Spencer says:

    Only Microsoft could make it this cryptic for changing a setting as simple as this.

    I don’t know why this couldn’t be changed in the taskbar properties. I would never have thought to look in the power settings for this.

    Thanks for the tutorial, the fact that the power button didn’t turn off my computer was like a thorn in my side.

  7. Walt says:

    I always like to shut my laptop down to save the battery. But, my HP-DV9620 came with the taskbar power button sending the computer to a sleep mode. I could not find any way to change it, but I knew that something must be wrong because my HP Pavilion Desktop taskbar power button shuts the computer down. (The reverse of the way I would want the computers set up.)

    Microsoft website does not provide this information, at least in any easy to find fashion. Thank you for your technical knowledge and willingness to share.

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