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Create shortcuts to power off, standby and hibernate in Windows

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It is easy enough to put a Windows PC into standby mode, hibernation or to power it off completely of course, and you can go through the Start menu to do these things. Just click Start followed by the little arrow to the right of the power button and then whatever function you want.

However, some people simply must have a desktop shortcut for everything. It is, in fact, possible to create shortcuts that do all these things and with a click of the mouse you can put your PC to sleep or switch off the power. Here's how to do it.

First you need to right click an empty part of the desktop and select New, Shortcut from the menu that is displayed. You will then see a dialog that prompts you to enter the location of the item and it is this command line that does all the magic. There are several different commands that you can enter into this box depending on what you want action you want to perform and here is a list of the possible options.

Standbyrundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState
Hibernaterundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState Hibernate
Log offshutdown.exe -l
Rebootshutdown.exe -r
Shut downshutdown.exe -s

Choose the command you want (the right column in the table) and enter it for the item location in the dialog box. Click the Next button in the dialog and give the shortcut a name (such as the one in the left column of the table). Click Finish and the job's done. Try your new shortcut, then create shortcuts for the other functions.

So what's the difference between standby and hibernate modes? Standby saves the current state of Windows so you can continue exactly where you left off and it puts the computer into a very low power consumption state. It's not switched off, but it's consuming very little electricity. Hibernate also saves the state of Windows so you can carry on what you were doing, but it then switches off the power completely. Standby is therefore useful if you're having a lunch break and hibernate is handy to save the state overnight.