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Change Start Menu Power Button behaviour via Group Policy

October 18, 2010 Comments off

First of all I would like to apologise for the recent lack of updates. The last almost two weeks have been rather hectic but I hope such long breaks in updates are rare if not nonexistent in future. On to the matter at hand:

Do you have Windows Vista workstations on your  Server 2008 domain? If these are public access computers you probably have an all too familiar problem: That annoying power button that resides in the start menu. That annoying button’s default behaviour is to put the machine to sleep. Handy at home, but not so much at a public workstation when users think they shut down, but instead put the machine to sleep locked under their profile.

At home, you can just change your power settings using the Power Options applet in Control Panel. In a domain environment, try this:

Open the desired group policy and open Computer Configuration\Policies \Administrative Templates\System\Power Management\Button Settings.

Here you will find the following settings:

  • Select the Start Menu Power Button Action (Plugged In)
  • Select the Start Menu Power Button Action (On Battery)

Just enable these and set the action to “Shut down”. Personally I would have liked a “Log off” option as well but I guess we can’t have everything. :)

Please note that this setting is stated as supported on Windows Vista only, but on the bright side Windows 7’s default action is already “Shut down”. It might also be worth noting that this setting is separate and distinct from the setting for your system case’s power button – which is located in the same place if you want to modify that as well.

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