Change is tough for some people. So I imagine when your school computers switch from Windows XP (or Windows 7) to Windows 8, a lot of students and teachers will wonder where the start menu went.

(It takes a while getting used to a new operating system. Ask anyone who’s switched to a Mac or Chrome OS device.)

Most of us are used to shutting down our Windows computer in two steps:

  1. Go to the start menu and
  2. click shut down.

But of course, they took away the start button in Windows 8 and replaced it with a start screen. So now, it takes four steps to shut down your Windows 8 school computer (if you can find the hidden charms menu):

  1. Pull out the charms menu.
  2. Click the settings charm.
  3. Click the power button.
  4. Click on shut down

Some of us will have no problems with finding the charms toolbar. (You move your mouse to the top right corner of the screen and it magically appears. Or, you hit the ⊞ Win+C buttons.) But I’m anticipating a lot of questions from some specific teachers (you know who) who can’t find the hidden toolbar.

Add a shutdown shortcut button

Personally, I’ve added a shutdown shortcut button to my desktop, start window, and toolbar at the bottom. Now I can shutdown Windows 8 in just one click. I suppose you could add this shortcut to your school computers, but I just imagine a lot of accidental clicks.

Use a keyboard shortcut to shut down Windows 8

Some of your tech savvy students/teachers might find it easier just use a keyboard shortcut to shut down their machines.

  1. Use ⊞ Win+D to go to the Windows desktop (if you’re not already there.)
  2. Use Alt+F4 to open up the Windows shutdown screen.

Of course, this might not be as easy on a Windows tablet.

Add back the start button to Windows 8

Or, you could just add back the start button to your Windows 8 machine. There are a couple of third-party apps floating on the internet. (I haven’t tried any of these):

Then again, maybe this isn’t an issue at all. Our students will grow up in a world of Windows 8 and never know the start button even existed. Have I become that teacher who talks about the past? Will the Windows start button take a backseat beside the Commodore 64 and that turtle in Logo?


How do your students shut down Windows 8?


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