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 dialogPersonally, 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:

    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.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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

  1. 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!

  2. 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:


    1. I did that as well, and it did not work, but I found that the problem was that I did not change the base from Hexidecimal to Decimal. Once I changed it to Decimal, I tried bringing up the shutdown menu, and it defaulted to Shutdown! I hope you get it figured out!


  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. I got same result as vknowles above – didn’t work. Default Alt+F4 always was “Shut down”, then it arbitrarily for no reason changed to “Switch User” – VERY ANNOYING!! I’ll try and see if I get the same result as Bob Owen.
    Might there be an existing reg key that could be altered?
    Thanks anyway, Sergey. I’m totally out of my depth and utterly gobsmacked that anyone can have any kind of handle on all this stuff!

  6. Thank you! It is so frustrating to have it want to put the computer to sleep or in hibernate mode automatically when I just want to turn it off. Thank you for your help.


    Brenda K

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