Software & Apps Windows 205 205 people found this article helpful How to Properly Reboot (Restart) a Windows Computer Are you restarting your computer the right way? by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on September 11, 2020 reviewed by Ryan Perian Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Ryan Perian is a certified IT specialist who holds numerous IT certifications and has 12+ years' experience working in the IT industry support and management positions. our review board Article reviewed on Apr 05, 2020 Ryan Perian Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email There's a right way, and several wrong ways, to reboot (restart) a computer. It's not an ethical dilemma—only one method ensures that problems don't pop up after you restart. Why Restarting Something Tends to Fix Most Problems How to Reboot a Computer 0:52 To safely restart a Windows computer, open the Start menu and choose the Restart option. Below are detailed directions if you need them. These instructions can be followed on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP. See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you're not sure which of those several versions of Windows is installed on your computer. How to Reboot a Windows 10 or Windows 8 Computer The "normal" way to reboot a computer running Windows 10/8 is through the Start menu: Open the Start menu. Select the power icon at the bottom (Windows 10) or top (Windows 8) of the screen. Select Restart. Using the Power User Menu The second is a little faster and doesn't require the full Start menu: Open the Power User Menu by pressing the Win (Windows) key and X. Go to Shut down or sign out. Select Restart. The Windows 8 Start screen functions differently from the Start menus in other versions of Windows. Install a Windows 8 Start menu replacement to return the Start screen to a legacy-looking Start menu and have easier access to the restart option. How to Reboot a Windows 7, Vista, or XP Computer The quickest way to reboot Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP is through the Start menu: Open the Start menu from the taskbar. In Windows 7 and Vista, select the small arrow next to the right of the "Shut down" button. Windows 7 Shut Down Options. In Windows XP, select Shut Down or Turn Off Computer. Choose Restart. How to Restart a Computer With Ctrl+Alt+Del Use the Ctrl+Alt+Del keyboard shortcut to open the shutdown dialog box in all versions of Windows. This apporach is an optional method that works just as well as using the Start menu or the Start screen. The screens look different depending on which version of Windows you're using, but each of them gives the option to restart the computer: Windows 10 and 8: Choose the power icon on the bottom right of the screen to find the Restart option. Windows 7 and Vista: Select the arrow next to the red power button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, then select Restart. Windows XP: Select Shut Down from the menu, and then Restart. How to Restart Windows From a Command Prompt Restart Windows through Command Prompt using the shutdown command. Open Command Prompt. Type this command and press Enter: shutdown /r The /r parameter specifies that it should restart the computer instead of just shut it down (which is what happens when /s is used). Wait while the computer restarts. The same restart command can be used from the Run dialog box (Win+R). Restart PC With a Batch File To restart a computer with a batch file, enter the same command. Something like this will restart the computer in 60 seconds: shutdown /r -t 60 Read more about the shutdown command here, which explains other parameters that specify things like forcing programs to shut down and canceling an automatic shutdown. "Reboot" Doesn't Always Mean "Reset" Be careful if you see the option to reset something. Restarting, also known as rebooting, is also sometimes called resetting. However, the term resetting is also often used synonymously with a factory reset, meaning a complete wipe-and-reinstall of a system, something very different than a restart and not something you want to take lightly. See Reboot vs Reset: What's the Difference? for more information. How to Reboot Other Devices It's not just Windows PCs that should be restarted in a certain way to avoid causing issues. See How to Restart Anything for help rebooting all kinds of technology like iOS devices, Linux devices, smartphones, tablets, routers, printers, laptops, eReaders, and more.