How to Shut Down Windows 10

All the ways to reboot or restart a Windows 10 computer

When you can't shut down Windows the normal way, there are a number of alternative methods for turning off your system. To fully shutdown Windows 10, you must restart your PC, but there are several ways to restart or reboot Windows. Here's what you should know.

These instructions apply to Windows 10 PCs and tablets, but some devices may not support every shutdown method.

Shut Down Windows 10 From the Start Menu

The easiest way to shut down your PC is from the Windows 10 Start Menu:

  1. Select the Start Menu.

    Select the Start Menu.
  2. Select the Power icon.

    Select the Power icon.
  3. Select Shut down from the pop-up menu.

    Select Shut down from pop-up menu.

Shut Down Windows 10 From the Power User Menu

The Power User Menu contains several advanced options, one of which is to shut down your computer:

  1. Right-click the Start Menu.

    Right-click the Start Menu.

    You can also use the keyboard shortcut Window Key+X to open the Power User Menu.

  2. Select Shut down or sign out.

  3. Select Shut down in the new menu that appears.

    Select Shut down or sign out > Shut down.

Shut Down Windows 10 From the Sign-In Screen

You can shut down your PC from the log-in screen that appears when you switch users in Windows 10. Select the Power icon in the bottom-right of the screen, then select Shut down from the pop-up menu.

The Power icon on the Windows 10 login screen

Shut Down Windows 10 From the Windows Security Menu

Another option is to use the Ctrl+Alt+Del shortcut and enter the Windows Security options:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard shortcut to open the Windows Security menu.

  2. Select the Power icon in the bottom-right corner.

    Select the Power icon in the bottom-right corner and select Shut down from the pop-up menu.
  3. Select Shut down from the pop-up menu.

If you're using Windows 10 on a tablet, hold down the Windows button and press the power button to bring up the Windows Security menu.

Shut Down Windows 10 With Alt+F4

The option to shutdown your computer using the Alt keys is a holdover from previous versions of Windows.

  1. Select or tap an empty space on your desktop to make sure nothing is selected, then press Alt+F4.

  2. Select Shut down from the drop-down menu.

    Select Shut down from the drop-down menu, then select OK.
  3. Select OK to confirm you want to shut your system down.

Shut Down Using the Windows 10 Shutdown Command

It's possible to shut down Windows 10 from the Command Prompt using the Windows shutdown command:

  1. Right-click the Start Menu.

    Right-click the Start Menu.
  2. Select Windows PowerShell to open the Windows Command Prompt.

    Select Windows PowerShell to open the Windows Command Prompt.
  3. Type the following command, then press Enter:

shutdown /s
The shutdown /s command in the Windows 10 PowerShell

To restart Windows, enter shutdown /r. You can also use the PowerShell commands Stop-Computer and Restart-Computer.

Shut Down Windows 10 With SlideToShutDown

You can manually shut down Windows using the SlideToShutDown feature by opening the Windows file explorer and navigating to C:\Windows\System32. Once there, scroll down and double-click SlideToShutDown.exe.

A fast way to find this option is to enter SlideToShutDown in the search box in the right corner of your File Explorer window.

Using your finger or mouse, pull down the Slide to shut down your PC area that takes up the top part of your screen.

The Slide to shut down feature on Windows 10

Rather than having to navigate to this option each time you want to use it, you can create a Windows shortcut to add the SlideToShutDown option to your desktop.

Shut Down Windows 10 by Holding Down the Power Button

If your screen is frozen, your only option is to hold down the power button on your device until it shuts down.

How to Restart Windows 10

When you shut down your PC, Windows 10 uses a feature called Fast Startup to store some data in order to boot faster the next time you turn it on. If you're experiencing technical problems, such as malfunctioning device drivers, you should restart Windows to perform a full shutdown and see if that fixes the problem.

The easiest way to restart Windows is to select Start > Power > Restart.

Restart in the Windows 10 Start menu.

Windows 10 Sleep and Hibernate

Closing the lid on your laptop, pressing the power button once, or leaving the computer alone for a period of time will put your computer into sleep mode. When in sleep mode, the current state of your PC is saved, so you can resume your session by pressing the power button. Another way to put your computer to sleep is to open the Start Menu, then select Power > Sleep.

Sleep in the Windows Start Menu