In pretty much every version of Windows prior to this one, you’d click Start, then Shut Down.
Windows 8 notoriously lacks a Start button, so obviously the old rules don’t apply here. More on that in a moment; in the meantime, here’s how to shut down Windows 8:
1. Mouse over the little gadget in the lower right corner of the screen. (You can also move your mouse cursor to the upper left corner; same result. Or, you can press Windows-C on your keyboard.)
2. In the slide-out menu (known as the Charms Bar) that appears, click Settings.
3. Click the Power button, and then click your desired action: Sleep, Shut down, or Update and restart.
So, there you have it. In Windows 8, it requires four actions to shut down your PC: hover, click, click, and click.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s always been something of a joke that shutting down your PC required a click of the Start button. Now the joke has turned downright cruel, with Microsoft seemingly going out of its way to hide one of the most basic computing options. In. The. Settings. Menu.
Shutting down a PC is not a setting. It should not require three clicks. Windows 8 arrives with a bunch of cool-looking tiles in its Start screen; how hard would it have been to add a Power tile?
The unfortunate reality here is that Windows 8 doesn’t work as a desktop operating system. On a tablet, it’s pretty sweet. But I have a feeling I’ll be sticking with Windows 7 for a long time to come.
Check back Friday when I’ll teach you how to create a Windows 8 shut-down shortcut that works with just one click.
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For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.