Create Quick Launch Shortcuts to Lock, Restart, and Shutdown Computer

Posted on January 7, 2009 by Daniel Petri in Windows Vista with

Windows Vista automatically assigns shortcuts to the quick launch toolbar. You can quickly create shortcuts to shutdown, restart, and lock the screen, and add them to the quick launch toolbar to have instant access to them. For example, the first shortcut in your quick launch toolbar is automatically assigned to WINDOWS + 1, and the second shortcut is automatically assigned WINDOWS + 2, and so on.

Lock Screen Quick Launch Shortcut

Before you can create a shortcut to lock the screen, you must add a new shortcut to the desktop. Do this by right-clicking on the desktop and choose New and then Shortcut.

In the Create Shortcut dialog, add rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation and click Next.

Change the name of the shortcut to Lock Screen and click Finish.

After you create the shortcut, drag it into the quick launch panel. You will notice that the icon looks like a plain document.

In order to choose a more recognizable icon, right click the Lock Screen shortcut and choose properties and then click Change Icon…

Navigate to %SystemRoot%’system32’imageres.dll, choose a more appeasing icon and click Ok.


Your shortcut will be much more recognizable. Also, remember that Vista will automatically assign your icon a shortcut. If your icon is third in the list (as it is in the image below) the keystroke WINDOWS + 3 will lock the screen.

Restart Quick Launch Shortcut

You can repeat this exact process to create shortcuts to restart and shutdown. In order to create a shortcut to restart, add the following command to the shortcut: shutdown – r -t 01.

Shutdown Quick Launch Shortcut

In order to create a shortcut to shutdown, you can use the following command: shutdown -s -t 01.

After you add the shortcuts to the task bar and choose more appeasing icons, you have a much more attractive and functional quick launch bar. Remember that to quickly execute these commands use WINDOWS + the number (from left) of the icon. In the image below, lock screen is WINDOWS + 3, restart is WINDOWS + 4, and shutdown is WINDOWS + 5. Please note that Vista will only assign shortcuts for numbers 1 – 9. If you have more than nine shortcuts in your quick launch bar you will need to manually assign the keyboard shortcuts. Also note that these shortcuts will lock, restart and/or shutdown your machine immediately, you won’t have an opportunity to save any work prior to the execution of the commands.

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