The normal procedure for shutting down usually involves several steps. The exact number varies, depending on the version of Windows, but there are enough steps that I am frequently asked if there isn't a quicker way. This tip will describe several shortcuts.
Create a shutdown shortcut
Here is how to construct a shortcut that directly shuts down the system. The shortcut makes use of a Windows system file called "shutdown.exe".
1. Right-click on an empty spot on the Desktop
2. Choose “New-Shortcut” from the context menu
3. In the line labeled “Type the location of the item” enter:
%windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -s -t 0
4. Press “Next”, give the shortcut a name and choose “Finish”
Added in response to Rune:
As written, the command with "shutdown.exe" does not time out for other things to finish. This is not usually a problem unless you have a process that is very slow or has a lot of cleaning up to do. If your system requires it, you can change the command to wait a certain number of seconds. Replace the "-t 0" with something like "-t 30". Then it will wait 30 seconds for processes to finish. Then the command becomes:
%windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -s -t 30
This procedure applies to Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.x, and 10.
Keyboard shortcuts to close the system down
In Windows XP use the keyboard sequence:
Windows key, U, U
In each case, release the key you have pressed before pressing the next key.
Windows Vista doesn’t have a short sequence to shut down but has the rather long procedure:
Windows key, Right Arrow, Right Arrow, Right Arrow, U
For Windows 7, the keyboard sequence is:
Windows key, Right arrow, Enter
For the three keyboard shortcuts above, remember to press the keys one at a time.
For Windows 8 and up, this keyboard sequence works:
Windows key+X, U, U
For Windows XP on up through Windows 10, this sequence works:
Windows key+D, Alt+F4, Enter
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