Set Default Action for Shutdown Dialog in Windows 10

Recently, we covered how you can create a shortcut to open the classic Shutdown dialog in Windows 10. While the mentioned trick works as expected, Windows 10 does not provide any way to change the default Shutdown command in the classic Shutdown dialog. In this article, we will see how to set that.

Windows 10 classic shutdown dialog Personally, I like the classic Shutdown dialog more than the other possible ways to shutdown Windows 10 because it gives me a confirmation. Thankfully it is still possible to create a shortcut to open it. However, to change its default action, we need to use the Registry Editor. Microsoft removed all settings from the user interface, so it is not possible to tweak it from the GUI.

To set the default action for the Shutdown Dialog in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open Registry Editor (see our detailed tutorial about Registry Editor if you are not familiar with the Registry).
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

    Tip: See how to open the desired registry key with one click.

  3. Create a new DWORD value named Start_PowerButtonAction. This value controls the default action in the classic Shut Down dialog which is displayed when you press the Alt + F4 hotkey at the Desktop.Set it to one of the following values in decimals depending on what you want the default action to be:
    2 = set "Shut down" as the default action
    4 = set "Restart" as the default action
    256 = set "Switch user" as the default action
    1 = set "Sign out" as the default action
    16 = set "Sleep" as the default action
    64 = set "Hibernate" as the default action. Note that Sleep and Hibernate action can be unavailable in the Shut Down Windows dialog, if you have disabled them in the Power Options Control Panel or if your system does not support sleep mode. Windows 10 default shutdown action dialog

To save you time, you can use Winaero Tweaker. The option is located under Behavior\Default Action for Shut Down dialog.

Tweaker Default Shut Down Action

You can download the app from here:

Download Winaero Tweaker

That's it. Now you can set the desired action as the default for the Shut Down Windows dialog in Windows 10.

10 thoughts on “Set Default Action for Shutdown Dialog in Windows 10

  1. Saint Teresa School

    Thank you very much for this; been looking all over!

    Reply
  2. grayfox

    Should maybe specify what type of DWORD (32 or 64-bit) and whether the value should be entered as hexadecimal or decimal. Took a little trial and error but it looks like DWORD 32 with decimal value.

    Great article, thank you!

    Reply
    1. vknowles

      On my system, the 64-bit key is “QWORD,” there is only one “DWORD” and it is 32-bit.

      Reply
  3. bluemorph2004

    The Shut Down Windows dialog box hasn’t changed much from Windows 2000.

    Reply
  4. mehrbod

    Thanks a lot.
    It worked….
    :)

    Reply
  5. vknowles

    I did this as instructed and it did not work. I entered “2” for Shut Down as the default, and it’s still showing Switch User. I am using the key you identified. I copied this from Regedit to demonstrate:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

    Reply
  6. eldarion

    I can confirm, that it’s not working anymore. Tried both the RegEdit manually and Winaero.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It works here. 20H1.

      Reply
  7. Roger Hewitt

    This doesn’t work anymore – seems to have been screwed up by a recent Win update – mine worked for some time, but now says “Sleep” have the settings changed?

    Reply
  8. Bob Owen

    I made the registry changes and at first nothing happened and I still had ‘switch user’ after an ALT+F4. After 3 days of hitting the power button instead I accidentally hit Alt+F4 and found it defaulted to ‘shut down’ as requested. Many thanks.

    Reply

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