Missing Shutdown button in Vista Start menu

So, my computer’s been running Vista for just over a month now, there’s no going back in my mind. Overall it’s a far more pleasant experience, things just work. That was until my account seemingly dropped into a restricted-access account with the shutdown, restart, standby buttons removed from the Vista Start menu and no access to Task Manager!

I put up with this for a week till I lost it and went on a hunt to pin down the culprit! Sure enough, after shuffling through various support forums I have my worries solved. Fixes for the missing power management features, restricted Run command-line access and Task Manager are included below.

  1. From the Start menu, click Run and type “gpedit.msc” (without the quotes)
  2. Group Policy Object Editor will have opened in a new window
  3. Expand the User Configuration > System tree to view policies for that area
  4. Double-click the policies you would like to modify and accept changes
  5. Close Group Policy Object Editor

Common restricted policies

Prevent access to registry editing tools (User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System) – Disabling this policy will allow your current user account to open and modify the system registry using regedit.exe

Prevent access to the command prompt (User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System) – Disabling this policy will allow your current user account to open the Windows command prompt using cmd.exe

Remove Run menu from the Start menu (User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar) – Disabling this policy will allow the Run button to be visible on the Start menu

Remove and prevent access to the Shut Down, Restart, Sleep, and Hibernate commands (User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar) – Disabling this policy allows you to access any of these actions from either the Start menu, Windows Security screen or CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen

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