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Windows XP and Restart - Shutdown

Add a Restart Icon to the Desktop

SUMMARY: Add an icon to the Windows XP Desktop that, when double-clicked, restarts the computer.

If you want to restart your Windows XP machine in a hurry, are you tired of clicking the Start button, selecting "Turn off Computer", and then selecting "Restart"? Or do you not wish to memorize keyboard shortcuts that may speed up the process? Instead, the following shows how to add an icon to the Desktop that you can double-click to restart your machine.

1. Right-click an empty area of the Desktop and choose "New" - "Shortcut".

2. The "Create Shortcut" dialog box appears. Enter the following text EXACTLY as shown underneath "Type the location of the item":

shutdown -r -t 01

Creating a Desktop shortcut to restart the computer

3. Click the "Next" button in the dialog box.

4. The dialog box title will change to "Select a Title for the Program". Underneath "Type a name for this shortcut", enter in a desired name such as Restart or Restart Computer or Shut It Down and Bring It Up!.

5. Click the "Next" button in the dialog box.

A new icon will appear on your desktop. Double-click it to restart your machine. But you may not like how it looks, so change it to look like the icon shown at the beginning of this tip:

1. Right-click the icon and choose "Properties".

2. The Properties dialog box appears. Click the "Shortcut" tab.

3. Click the "Change Icon" button.

Changing the icon properties for the computer restart icon

4. A dialog box will alert you that the file contains no icons. Click "OK".

5. A group of icons located in the %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll file appears. Find and click a desired icon or click the "Browse" button to choose a different icon.

Selecting a new icon to restart the computer

Note that you can find a restart icon that matches the Windows XP default in the following ZIP file, online as of July 24, 2009 (listed for informational purposes only):


6. Click "OK" on the dialog boxes to close them.

To test your new icon, first close all open files (just to be safe), then double-click it.

Return to the Windows XP and Restart - Shutdown page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.