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Shutdown your Mac or Pc using Actions

Last Updated: Mar 14, 2013 12:14PM UTC
In this tip we will show you how to create a touchpad to shutdown your computer directly from Actions.

This is a trick easy for Windows and intermediate for Mac as we will use different methods for the two platforms.

The process is however similar:
1 - we need to create in your OS an object calling the shutdown process
2 - we will associate a shortcut to it
3 - we will create a touchpad in Actions sending the right shortcut to trigger it

Ready to create the Final touchpad?

​Let's start!


Windows - Create a shortcut and assign a shotcut key to it

You certainly have your desktop full of "shortcuts" and you use them everyday.
But probably you don't know that you can launch with them also prompt actions and assign them key shortcuts to call them. That's exactly what we are going to do in this Tip.  

First move your mouse in an empty area of your desktop, right click, then select New > Shortcut, a dialog window will popup asking for the location of your item.

Write down this in the field

​%windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -s

This will call the shutdown.exe function adding the option -s which stands for Shutdown (we explain you below more options). Press Next, assign a name to your shortcut, then press Finish. You will have your shutdown shortcut ready on your desktop.

Right click on it, then select Properties and choose the "Shortcut" tab.
Click with the mouse in the "Shortcut Key" field, then perform your shortcut on the keyboard. Note: Make sure to select an uncommon shortcut to avoid conflict with other applications! E.g crtl + alt + shift + 0 would be a nice combination.

You are done with your shutdown shortcut, now you are ready to create a touchpad in your iPad to call it.

You can create this touchpad everywhere, but if you use the Fav Set for Windows operations this would be the perfect  place. Otherwise, if you want to place the touchpad inside a Set magnetized with a specific application, you will need then to set for your touchpad "Windows Explorer" as target (this will eventually make a Library window pop up in your computer screen, depending on your system, but the process will start anyway).

Now when you will tap the touchpad, the system will shut down with a default delay of 30 seconds.

Important note: handle with care!
The way to shutdown your computer described here launches a so called "prompt command" for Windows. The Shutdown prompt command just runs, it does not ask you anything more and it will close applications even if they are still working on something. If you have any unsaved files in some applications you will loose them! We can say that "from great power comes great responsibility" so just shutdown when you are sure you saved everything :)

Here a bunch of options to better fit with your needs. The command we used is

​%windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -s

If you use -r instead of -s you will restart the system.
If you use -l instead of -s you will log off.
If you add -t followed by a number after the -s option, you will add a delay of xx seconds.
e.g shutdown.exe -s -t 120 will give 2 minutes to your applications to close all files and wipe the memory. It's our best option :)

And if you change idea? Here's a final option: if you use -a you will cancel the shutdown process. For maximum security you may want to create another touchpad that cancels you shutdown process. The command to use will be

​%windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -a
Now you are ready!
Shutdown with a tap in your Windows system! :)


Mac - Create a service with automator and assign a shortcut to it

In this Tips & Tricks section we already have published tips involving Automator for Mac OS X.
​Today we will create a Service in Automator that calls an AppleScript.

Open Automator, New > Service then press Choose.

In the Automator window, select Run AppleScript in the left column, then drag it to the main area on the right.
It will open the Run AppleScript module

Above the script module set this Service just for Finder, as you can see in the top right area of the window.
Then in the module paste this script

tell application "System Events"
 set ProcNm_ to name of every application process whose visible is true
 repeat with i_ from 1 to count items of ProcNm_
 set TarProc_ to item i_ of ProcNm_
 tell application TarProc_ to quit
 end try
 end repeat
 shut down
end tell

This script will perform a "soft" shutdown, closing all running applications and allowing them to ask you what to do in case of unsaved changes (and eventually cancel the Shutdown process).
Save this service with your favorite name (File > Save), in our example we will use "Shutdown", then close Automator.

Now it's time to assign a shortcut to it from the System Preferences panel.
Go to System Preferences > Keyboard, and go to the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. In the left column select Services, then scroll in the right column until you find the General section, you will find your previously saved "Shutdown" service listed here. Select it, then click on the button "add shortcut".

When the empty field appear, perform the shortcut you like on your keyboard. It this example we will choose crtl + command + shift + alt + 0. Note: Select uncommon key combinations, if the yellow triangle appears telling that there is a conflict, perform another shortcut.

Now open Actions, create a new touchpad in your Finder magnetized Set (otherwise you need to add Finder as target), then assign to this touchpad the shortcut you've just selected in OS X, in this case it will be ctrl + shift + alt + 0.

You are done!
Shutdown with a tap in your Mac system! :) ​
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