Set the shutdown action for the Classic Shell Start menu

One of the most frequent questions readers ask me is how to set the desired shutdown action for the Classic Start Menu, which is a part of the Classic Shell app. Although the required option is available even in the Basic Settings mode, which is on by default, users are still getting confused. Here is how it should be done.


Classic Shell is the well known free tool which improves upon the Windows Start Menu, File Explorer and Internet Explorer. It is really a must-have app for all Windows 10 and Windows 8.x users compared to the barebones stock menu.

The default shutdown action setting is applicable only to the Windows 7 style of the menu:

CS shutdown button To change the shutdown action for the Classic Shell Start menu in Windows 7 style, you need to do the following.

First, open the Classic Start Menu settings. Just right click the Start button and pick Settings as shown below: CS settings

If you have not enabled the option "Show all settings", you will see the Basic Settings tab. Switch to the Basic Settings tab. Scroll down till you see the "Shutdown command" item. There you will be able to set the desired default shutdown action:

Classic Shell shutdown menu default action basic settings If you have enabled the option "Show all settings", go to the tab named "Main Menu". Again, scroll down till you see the "Shutdown command" item and set the desired power button action:

Classic Shell shutdown menu default action If you don't want to locate this setting by navigating tabs, type into the search box of the Settings window: shutdown and set it.

This is for the Windows 7 style. For the Classic styles of the menu, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Customize Start Menu tab and scroll down the left column.
  2. Select "Shutdown dialog" and press Enter or double click it. Classic Shell shutdown item classic style
  3. Change the command "shutdown_box" to the action you want - lock, logoff, restart, shutdown, hibernate, sleep etc. This changes the default action when you click the main Shutdown button itself. Classic Shell shutdown item classic style default action You still get a submenu showing other actions.

That's it. The Classic Shell app is one of the best Start menu replacements and it is free. So it is worth learning its settings to use it efficiently.

One thought on “Set the shutdown action for the Classic Shell Start menu

  1. Patty Bechstein

    Until a recent automatic Windows 10 Pro update, all was well with Classic Shell. But after the update, the Sleep option disappeared from the Shut Down menu. Hibernate was still there. I followed the above instructions, and Sleep is shown as one of the menu options in the Shut Down Menu when I go into my Classic Shell setup, in the left hand column. But it doesn’t show, even after a Repair re-install of Classic Shell 3.0.
    I’ve googled the problem but can’t find out what to do.
    Thought you might want to know in case others are affected in this way also.
    Thanks. Love the software!
    PB

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