zebNet ShutDown Manager 2012 gives you the power

One of Windows’ many annoyances has long been the general inaccessibility of the shutdown and restart controls. Previous versions of Windows stuck them on the Start menu, but now Windows 8 makes them even harder to find by burying them away in the Settings section of the Charms bar.

Thankfully, you can preserve your teeth and voice from a lot of gnashing and wailing by enlisting the support of a third-party shutdown tool. And if all you want is to access shutdown et al direct from your desktop, then you’ll want to take a look at zebNet ShutDown Manager 2012.

zebNet ShutDown Manager 2012, which works with any version of Windows from XP on, adds a simple red button to your Taskbar’s Notification area. Right-click this and you can shut down, restart, log off, hibernate or put your PC to sleep with just one additional click.

You’ll need to select Settings to have the app start with Windows, and you’ll also need to drag the icon out of the hidden area (click ^) to pin it to the Notification area to make it permanently accessible.

It works as it should, is quicker than Windows’ own tools and is let down only by the program installer, which attempts to install a browser toolbar and additional app before the setup process begins proper. It’s a little underhand, but forewarned is forearmed, so simply click Decline twice to skip the potentially unwanted software and get to the app proper.

zebNet ShutDown Manager 2012 1.0.0 is a freeware download for PCs running Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8. Users wanting more options, such as setting up scheduled shutdowns, should take a look at another free app, AMP WinOff instead.

Photo Credit: Sashkin/Shutterstock

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