Customize the Power Button on the Start Menu in Windows 7

One of the biggest inspirations for colorful swear words since we started using Windows 7 has been when trying to put the computer into sleep mode, but instead accidently hitting the big shut down button on the start menu rather than the little arrow beside it. Lo and behold, there is actually a very simple remedy for this problem.

First, click the start button. Right click directly on the button where it currently says Shut Down. The only link available says Properties—click it.



In the menu that appears, click the selection menu next to Power button action. From there you can choose the power function you use the most often. In our case, that option is Sleep, but if you are using a networked computer, you might want to choose Log Off. If you share a family computer, you might want to choose Switch User.


Click Apply and OK. If you click the start menu now, you will see the power button with the option you just selected. We predict far fewer four-letter-word utterances in your near future.


Bonus Tip: In the menu above, if you click Customize, you have complete control over what appears on your start menu. If your start menu is displaying too many recent programs, you can minimize the number shown in the selection box at the bottom of the menu.

If you would rather not search through all of your programs to find the ones you use most often, you can also increase this number.


For those of you who are minimalists, you could go through the entire list of possible things to display on the start menu and select don’t display this item and your start menu would look far less cluttered.

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