Alt + F4: here is how to change the default shutdown options in Windows 10

June 11, 2020 |

greater than 3 minutes

Do you feel like tearing yourself apart because you have spent several hours trying to figure out how to change the default shutdown options in the ALT+F4 dialog box? Or maybe you didn’t even attempt it knowing it will end in frustration.

Well, there are many other people like you who are asking the same question that’s on your mind: “How do I change the shutdown options in Windows 10?” But don’t worry about all the frustration you’ve had before; I’m going to take you through how to set up the shutdown Windows dialog box on your Windows 10 PC quickly.

How to Change the Default Shutdown Options in ALT+F4

When you press ALT+F4, the default “Shut down” option should naturally appear on the dialog box (or it may close a window if you’re currently operating in one), but there are other options that may be displayed, such as ‘Switch user,’ ‘Sign out,’ ‘Sleep,’ ‘Hibernate,’ or ‘Restart.’

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When this happens, you can restore the default shutdown option in two ways. But if what you want is to switch from the default shutdown option to other options, you can also use any of the two methods to do that.

Here are two ways to change the default shutdown options on your Windows 10 PC:

Method 1: Using the Registry Editor

To modify the Windows registry to change the default shutdown options in ALT+F4, follow the instructions below:

  1. Press the Windows icon + R shortcut on your keyboard, and type “regedit” in the “Run” dialog box that opens; then press Enter.
  2. Scroll down to the registry hive titled “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” using the arrow keys.
  3. Click the dropdown arrow, then navigate to click “Software;” click “Microsoft;” click “Windows;” click “CurrentVersion;” click “Explorer;” then click “Advanced.”
  4. Right-click “Advanced,” and click “New;” then click on “DWORD (32-Bit) Value.” A Windows dialog will appear asking for a name and some other inputs.
  5. Name it as “Start_PowerButtonAction” so that it will control the default action in the Shut Down dialog box.
  6. Double-click the new DWORD you just created.

Now, the value you put in the box titled “Value data” determines the default option. But also note that you have to set “Base” to “Decimal.” Below is a list of the values to input depending on what you want the default option to be whenever you press ALT+F4:

  • Input 2 as value data for “Shutdown.”
  • Input 4 as value data for “Restart.”
  • Input 256 as value data for “Switch user.”
  • Input 1 as value data for “Sign out.”
  • Input 16 as value data for “Sleep.”
  • Input 64 as value data for “Hibernate.”

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Method 2: Using the Local Group Policy Editor

This method works for all kinds of users except for those on Home or Starter editions of Windows. However, you must sign in as an administrator before you can use it. Follow the steps below to learn how to use the Local Group Policy Editor to change the default shutdown option on your Windows 10 PC:

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  • Click on the “Start menu” icon, and type “edit group policy” in the search box; then click on the application to open it.
  • Click “User Configuration” on the left panel; then click the dropdown arrow next to “Administrative Templates” in the User Configuration section.
  • Select “Start Menu and Taskbar,” and then the Setting window will appear.
  • Double-click on “Change Start Menu power button” in the Setting window.
  • Select “Enabled” in the top-left area of the window; then choose “Shut Down” or any other option you want to be the default shutdown option from the dropdown list in the Options window.
  • Click “Apply;” then click OK.

Congratulations! You have successfully changed the default shutdown option in the ALT+F4 menu on your computer. Make sure to restart your computer so that all the changes you have made can come into effect.


Do you still have questions on how to change the default shutdown options in ALT+F4? Or maybe you’re still a little unclear about how to set up the shutdown Windows dialog box? Please ask in the comment section below. You can also visit our blog, which covers most of the questions you’d like to ask.

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