How to Replace Default Action of Shut Down Dialog (Alt+F4) in Windows 10?

On a Windows computer, using the shortcut ALT + F4 allows you to close open programs or documents. By simultaneously hitting these keys when a Windows Desktop application is open, you can close it. If no windows are open, using the shortcut ALT + F4 will display the “Shut down” dialogue box.

You can do the following things with your computer by selecting Shut down from the drop-down menu:-

  • Switch user
  • Sign out
  • Sleep
  • Hibernate
  • Shut down
  • Restart

In the Windows Shut Down dialogue, the default action is set to Shut down, but you can modify it if you like. The default Shut down option can be changed to any other in at least two different ways.

We will discuss the following topics in this risewindows article:-

  1. Using the Registry Editor, modify or replace the default behavior of the Shut Down Dialog (Alt+F4) for all users or the current user.
  2. Using the Local Group Policy Editor, modify or replace the default behavior of the Shut Down Dialog (Alt+F4) for All or Current Users.

How to Change or Replace Default Action of Shut Down Dialog (Alt+F4) for All or Current User using Registry Editor?

Reminder: Changing registry values without realizing it can hamper the working of your computer. Therefore, we advise backing up the entire registry and setting up a system restore point. You can restore your computer to the way it was when everything was working properly if something goes wrong.

Note: Sign in as the administrator account before making any changes to the Windows Registry if you want them to take effect for all user accounts on your machine. You must log into that user account on a Windows 10 computer in order to alter the registry values for that user.

Use the following steps to change or replace the default Shut down action for the current user in the Shut Down Dialog (Alt+F4):-

Step 1: First, open the Registry Editor on your computer.

To do so, launch the Run dialogue box by pressing the Windows logo + R keyboard combination. This will open the Registry Editor windows. Type regedit into the Run box that appears, then click on []keybtOK[/keybt].

Click on the Yes button to proceed if the User Account Control dialogue box shows up.

The Registry Editor window will appear once you are done with the above mentioned steps.

Step 2: Navigate to the following in the Registry Editor window:-


Step 3: Use the New and DWORD (32-bit) Value options after right-clicking on the Advanced folder.

Step 4: Following the previous steps, you will find a new entry labelled New Value #1 on the right side of the Advanced key. Right-click on it and choose Rename. Put Start_PowerButtonAction in the name.

Step 5: Double-click on Start_PowerButtonAction on the right-side pane of the Advanced key. Choose Decimal as the Base. Set any Value data from the list below to be the ALT+F4 window dialog’s default action now:-

1 = Sign out

2 = Shut down

4 = Restart

16 = Sleep

64 = Hibernate

256 = Switch user

For instance, set Value data to 256 to see Switch user the default action.

Step 6: Click on OK.

After you complete the aforementioned procedures, either all user accounts or only one of them will have a different default action for the Shut Down Dialog (Alt+F4).

How to Change or Replace Default Action of Shut Down Dialog (Alt+F4) for All or Current Users via Local Group Policy Editor?

The Windows 10 home edition does not have the Local Group Policy Editor. Use the Registry Editor technique or make gpedit.msc available on your computer.

Use the following steps to change or replace the default action of Shut Down Dialog (Alt+F4) using Group Policy Editor:-

Step 1: First, Open the Local Group Policy Editor on your computer.

Press the Windows key and R simultaneously to launch the Local Group Policy Editor. A dialogue box labelled Run will show up on your screen. In the Run box, type gpedit.msc, and then press OK to display the Local Group Policy Editor window.

Step 2: Browse the following in the left side pane in the Local Group Policy Editor window:-

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar

Step 3: Locate the policy named “Change Start Menu power button” on the right side of “Start Menu and Taskbar.”

Step 4: To configure the policy, double click on the Change Start Menu power button

Step 5: Click on the Enabled option.

Step 6: Select the desired option from the “Choose one of the following actions” drop-down menu.

  • Shut Down
  • Sleep
  • Log off
  • Lock
  • Restart
  • Switch User
  • Hibernate

Step 7: Click on Apply.

Step 8: Click on OK.

Step 9: Finally, reboot your computer to apply the changes.

That is it.

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