How to Add Shutdown Options to Windows 11’s Desktop Context Menu

The shutdown menu is probably one of the most used one in Windows. It’s always a good idea to initiate a proper shutdown when turning off your PC, and most users shut down their Windows from the Start menu.

However, there are other ways you can select to shut down a Windows PC. You can even add entirely new shutdown and restart options to the desktop context menu. This is how you can set up shutdown and restart shortcuts for your desktop’s context menu in Windows 11 in two different ways.

How to Add Shut Down and Restart Options to the Context Menu With a Registry Script

While there are multiple ways to shut down Windows 11, it doesn’t have any customization settings to achieve this from context menu. So, some registry tweaking is needed to add shutdown and restart options there.

However, you don’t have to manually apply such tweaking within Registry Editor. You can instead set up a registry script that adds new shutdown and restart options to Windows 11’s desktop context menu like this:

  1. Click Start on your taskbar.
  2. Then click in the Type here to search box at the top of the Start menu to enter Notepad.
  3. Right-click the Notepad app in the search results and select Run as administrator.
  4. Then copy this registry script code by selecting its text with the cursor and pressing Ctrl + C:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Computer]
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Shutdown Computer]
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Computer\command]
    @="shutdown.exe -r -t 00 -f"
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Shutdown Computer\command]
    @="shutdown.exe -s -t 00 -f"
  5. Press the Ctrl + V hotkey to paste the script into Notepad.
  6. Click the File menu.
  7. Select Save as to open the common file dialog box.
  8. Click the Save as type drop-down menu and select All files.
  9. Input the file title Shutdown options.reg in the name box.
  10. Select the Desktop location, and click the Save option.
  11. Double-click the Shutdown options.reg file you just saved to your desktop.
  12. Select Yes on the confirmation prompt to continue.
  13. Click OK on the Registry Editor dialog box.

Now check out the new options for shutting down and restarting your desktop or laptop on the context menu. Press the Shift + F10 hotkey (or right-click the desktop and select Show more options) to bring up the classic context menu. Then you can select the Shutdown Computer or Restart Computer options from there.

You can remove the new context menu options by deleting the keys added with the registry script. Launch the Registry Editor with a method in our Open the Registry Editor guide. Then open the shell registry key at this location: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell. Right-click the Restart Computer and Shutdown Computer keys within shell to select Delete > Yes.

An alternative method is to add shutdown and restart options to the context menu with Winaero Tweaker. Winaero Tweaker is among the best freeware customization apps for Windows 11/10. That software enables you to add a Shut Down submenu to Windows 11’s desktop context menu that includes four options. This is how to add new shutdown context menu options with Winaero Tweaker:

  1. Head over to the Winaero Tweaker download page in a web browser.
  2. Click Download Winaero Tweaker to save a ZIP archive for that software.
  3. Next, click the folder library icon that’s on the taskbar to open up Explorer’s window.
  4. Open the folder in which Winaero downloaded, and double-click the file.
  5. Click the Extract all option to bring up Windows 11’s tool for extracting ZIP archives.
  6. Select the Show extracted files when complete and Extract options on the window that opens.
  7. Double-click Winaero Tweaker’s setup file.
  8. You can keep clicking Next until you reach the agreement terms section. Select the I accept and Next options to proceed.
  9. Click Browse to choose a different installation directory for Winaero Tweaker if preferred.
  10. Keep clicking Next, and then select the final Install option.
  11. Select Run Winaero Tweaker and Finish to complete the setup.
  12. Double-click Context Menu in Winaero Tweaker’s sidebar.
  13. Scroll down to and select Shut Down.
  14. Click the Add Shut Down to Desktop context menu checkbox.

Look at your new shutdown and restart context menu options by right-clicking the desktop and selecting Show more options. Move the cursor over the new Shut Down submenu Winaero Tweaker added to your context menu. There you can select four alternative options to shut down or restart instantly or with a warning.

If you select a warning option, a dialog box pops up that says Windows will shut down or restart within a minute or so. That means you’ve got about 15 seconds to abort it. To do so, press the Win + R key combo to quickly bring up the Run dialog. Type shutdown -a in Run and click OK to abort.

It’s easy to undo context menu changes applied with Winaero Tweaker. Deselect its selected Add Shut Down to Desktop context menu option. Or you can click Reset this page to defaults to restore original settings in Winaero Tweaker.

Adding shutdown and restart options to Windows 11’s desktop context menu is yet another good way to customize the right-click menu. Note that the above methods will also work in Windows 8, which doesn’t have a Start menu! So, it’s especially useful for Windows 8 users to add shut down and restart options to the context menu.

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