Disable shutdown but allow restart RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Is it possible to disable shutdown via group policy but allow the user to restart?  Client is XP. 
    • Changed type Bruce-Liu Monday, April 26, 2010 3:10 AM
    Thursday, April 1, 2010 12:11 AM

All replies

  • Not that I know of.  I've been sitting here trying to think of a way.  You may be able to hide all the buttons, but use a batch file or vbscript that the user could double click on and restart their computer.  They would still technically have the rights to shutdown though, if they could figure out how to run shutdown.exe on their own.

    Joseph Durnal

    Thursday, April 1, 2010 1:43 AM
  • Agreed... You can remove the button... but this does not revovke the right so the user could still shut it down via taskmanager or via the shutdown.exe command


    Alan Burchill
    Thursday, April 1, 2010 4:13 AM
  • Ideally I would leave the Start | Shutdown, but remove the shutdown from the pulldown menu.  Leaving them only with restart or log off.  I don't want it to look any different and I don't care if they can get to shutdown via task manager.  Some are just in the habit of hitting start|shutdown|shutdown and then I can't manage them remotely after hours (those on which WOL doesn't work).

    As an alternative, might there be a hack to the shutdown to tell it to restart instead? 
    Thursday, April 1, 2010 11:05 AM
  • Hi,


    Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 has the following group policy:


    [User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar: Remove and prevent access to the Shut Down command]


    This setting removes the Shut Down option from the Start menu and disables the Shut Down button on the Windows Security dialog box, which appears when you press CTRL+ALT+DEL. This setting prevents users from using the Windows user interface to shut down the system, although it does not prevent them from running programs that shut down Windows.


    Then, to restart the computer, as Joseph suggested, you can create a shortcut: %windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -r




    Thursday, April 1, 2010 12:44 PM
  • I need a more seamless solution.  Looks like I'm just out of luck.
    Thursday, April 1, 2010 1:08 PM
  • Is there a particular problem you are trying to solve?  Why would someone need to reboot but not shutdown?  I've had some customers in the past sort of bring that up, as they wanted to keep computers on 24/7 to ensure they were updated.  A good idea but full of holes, for example, the end user could just turn it off with the power button.  I suppose that one might want the end user to be able to reboot in case there are system problems.  One solution I enabled some years ago when doing an SMS deployment was to enable the auto power on feature of the bios, powered the systems on at 11pm daily, so, it didn't matter if the end user shut it down or not.  I haven't used that feature in a while, you'll want to check your bios.


    Joseph Durnal

    Friday, April 2, 2010 8:57 PM
  • As I mentioned above, some users don't pay attention and click on Start, Shutdown, Shutdown.  Then I have no way to perform maintenance on the PCs after hours if Wake on LAN doesn't work - and on some older PCs it doesn't.  The users have no reason to shutdown their PCs and I'm not worried about them shutting down using the power button or Task Manager because they aren't likely to intentionally shut down the PCs.  Whatever solution I implement needs to be transparent to the user.  I want them to be able to restart the PC if they want to, I just don't want it turned off.

    The tricks for removing the shutdown option won't work for me because I do want the user to be able to restart and I don't want to put shortcuts on the desktop (or anywhere else) for restart.  Users know how to use start, shutdown, restart.  Educating them to use a desktop icon to restart is about as troublesome as getting them not to shutdown.

    I thought I had seen a method to change something in the registry to make shutdown = restart but I can't find it again.

    Monday, April 5, 2010 2:51 PM
  • Kerflumper,

    I am looking for the same exact thing for the same reason.

    Crazy there is nothing out there..




    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 9:16 PM
  • I've been thinking about this a lot as well, as a systems engineer most of my heavy work is done during peak hours and without the systems being powered on I cannot do my job which is to update, secure and monitor systems during off peak times. 

    Anyway, my thought process would be to remove the shut down option all together as described by Bruce-Liu earlier in this thread, and then creating an MSI package that I can deploy through Group Policy with a replacement Shutdown option that would launch a simple batch file that I would place on the Start Menu “NOT DESKTOP”. 

    Simple Batch Example

    REM Windows 2000 Systems
    shutdown -r -f -t 0

    REM WINDOWS XP, Vista and Windows 7
    shutdown /r /f /t 00

    Part of the packaged MSI package you could replace the DOS icon with a similar one as the Shutdown button so that you don't have to re-train users.   The big problem though that I’ve found is the positioning of the icon itself which I haven't quite figured out yet. 

    You can also add the Log-Off option to the start menu also through a GPO as well so the solution is possible I just haven't really been able to ramp my mind around it or just need some more time to think about positioning.

    Anyway, still working on a solution in my spare time

    Michael Cronin
    Thursday, June 10, 2010 2:19 AM
  • I've tried the following:

    1. disable shutdown button via GPO.

    2. rename shutdown.exe to powerdown.exe

    It just works fine. The only thing is that when you enter: shutdown.exe on the commandline it starts asking for a windows cd/dvd-rom. That's the next step to disable.

    Made me thinking, how about just download shutdown.exe via a search engine and place it in "My documents". People still could shutdown the machine in that case.. maybe you could disable all exe's except for the one's that you're allowing? the thing is; how far is it that you're willing to go... If someone tries in ways like this to shutdown a machine, they would break the company policy and you could consider it as hacking. That would be my argumentation to the user tho ;-)

    Kind regards,

    Dennis de Vries

    Thursday, June 10, 2010 1:02 PM
  • I'm looking solution for this issue. We want to remove Shut down but to leave Restart option. 
    Thursday, June 17, 2010 7:02 PM
  • Same thing here. I want users to be able to restart the computer but no shut it down (computer is in a kiosk which they don't have physical access too). Removing the command via Group Policy also takes away the restart option. I don't care if they can shut it down via alternative means, I just want to prevent them misclicking on shutdown instead of restart

    Friday, September 24, 2010 11:33 AM
  • Kerflumper,

    We are in a similar, if not exact same, predicament. It would be best if one could just remove the "Shutdown" option from the pulldown list. Since that is not the case, except, perhaps, without hacking Windows OS files, we have settled for removing the "Shutdown" buttons from the Start Menu and Logon Dialog via AD Group Policy.

    Now, if they are really determined, they have to go to greater pains to shut the machines down. Wake-On-LAN would allow us to overcome this, but we want to know who the offenders are, for administrative reasons. One wish was for a way to prevent users from turning their machine back on after they shut it down - so they'd have to make a phone call for assistance, be emabarrassed, and possibly even have to wait.

    As for the registry hack, I did some digging and found what I believed may be a setting you were refering to. There is a setting called "Shutdown Setting" under the "Explorer" key. The DWORD value can be changed to reflect the preferred default action (0x04 for Reboot). However, it only refers to the default pulldown list selection in the Shutdown options, which wouldn't prevent them from changing to a different selection, and, of course, shutting down.

    I would love it if someone could prove me wrong, but it looks as if we're stuck. I did, however, discover a number of registry values identifying shutdown event handlers. Perhaps someone with expertise could point us toward a possible way to use that info to "disconnect" the shutdown service through event handlers. A special script, or even program if necessary, might then be written, that would allow the local administrator(s) to shutdown and reboot. I think I would be up to that if it were possible, but for now, at least [THE Local Administrator] is capable of shutting down and rebooting, and that is important. At first glance, the user is only allowed to "Log Off".

    Best Regards,


    Monday, October 18, 2010 8:59 PM
  • I'm looking solution for this issue. We want to remove Shut down but to leave Restart option. 

    I appreciate that this is an old thread so my apologies for the *bump*. I have now put together software that along with the Group Policy will solve this problem. It is available for free, in Beta, at the URL shown below, although I am not offering up the source code ATM. I think this requirement may grow as VDI deployments increase.
    If you find this useful, please let me know.
    Monday, July 25, 2011 11:27 PM
  • Here is the simplest answer to your question :

    - set the User Configuration  Administrative Templates | Start Menu and Taskbar: Remove and prevent access to the Shut Down command  to Enable

    - use GPP Files to push the file psshutdown.exe (PsTools) to %WindowsDir%\System32 folder on computers you want (at Computer configuration level)

    - use GPP Shortcuts to create a shortcut named Restart Computer, containing the command : psshutdown -r -t 0 and push it on either %DesktopDir% or %StartupMenuDir% (at User configuration level)

    It will not take you longer than 5 minutes to implement and it's working great.


    P.S. You can't restrict the access and the execution of the shutdown.exe command to a user and then add it into a script to be used by the same user. It's a nonsense to me.


    " Never panic before reboot ! "
    Monday, July 25, 2011 11:58 PM
  • I know that the client is XP, but just an FYI, Group Policy on Win2008R2 has added a new entry for Win7 and newer clients - "Change Start Menu power button" - and it allows you to do what you're looking for; set the default option, and will not allow the user to change it.
    Friday, September 2, 2011 7:10 PM
  • yes that is true, it works fine but with Windows Vista or 7 machines. It doesn't deploy it to Windows XP machines...
    Friday, July 6, 2012 3:15 PM
  • I too have been trying to find a solution for this. I have tested the GPO for setting the Start menu button and it does change the default to Restart, but the Shut down option is still available to the user (to the right of the defautlt button).

    So I am half way there. How can I now remove the Shut down option???

    Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:02 PM
  • Am 24.01.2013 20:02, schrieb jns992001:
    > I too have been trying to find a solution for this. I have tested the
    > GPO for setting the Start menu button and it does change the default
    > to Restart, but the Shut down option is still available to the user
    > (to the right of the defautlt button).
    > So I am half way there. How can I now remove the Shut down option???
    You cannot. If the user has the privilege to reboot, this always
    includes shutdown. A reboot is initiated through a shutdown...

    NO THEY ARE NOT EVIL, if you know what you are doing: Good or bad GPOs?
    Wenn meine Antwort hilfreich war, freue ich mich über eine Bewertung! If my answer was helpful, I'm glad about a rating!
    Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:08 PM
  • That worked perfect for me.  Thank you
    Thursday, August 30, 2018 12:21 PM
  • I found this to work. This is more of a reply so people searching google can find this answer.

    open regedit and go to: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PolicyManager\default\Start\HideShutDown

    open the key that says value and change it to 1. Your Shutdown open is now removed for everyone, but all other options are still there. This includes the sign on screen, and alt+ctrl+del screen.

    Change it to 0 to bring it back.

    This just removes the menu options, wont prevent shutdowns from users with the policy to issue the shutdown command via a command or separate program.

    Saturday, April 27, 2019 7:34 AM
  • @Urban309, thanks for sharing this.  I used it today to create a group policy preference registry change and it worked exactly as needed.  Thanks!
    Friday, September 27, 2019 7:59 PM
  • How did you do this, because I cannot find the HideShutDown key when making a Group Policy.

    I can find it on the computer but not in Group Policy.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2020 7:33 PM
  • Its only in the registry, so you will need to push out the GP with the reg key.
    Wednesday, April 8, 2020 4:36 AM
  • Its only in the registry, so you will need to push out the GP with the reg key.

    The OP was in 2010, anyone looking for this in the year of Corona 2020 can used WOL (wake-on-lan).

    It doesn't matter if they user shutdown the system provided the network is plugged and AC connection is connected to the machine.

    The machine can still be turned on.


    If the AC connection is un-plugged and the network is not connected as of today, still no solution. You can't power on the machine. Maybe one day soon it will have a solution for this scenario :)

    Every second counts..make use of it. Disclaimer: This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.

    Wednesday, April 8, 2020 5:43 AM