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How to shut down a computer

Shutting down a computer allows the computer to close all open programs and exit the operating system, so nothing is running when the computer turns off. Below are the steps on how you can shut down your computer based off the operating system you are running on the computer. If you are not sure what operating system you are using see our steps on determining a computer operating system.

Note: If computer is frozen, see our what to do when computer freezes document for steps on shutting down a frozen computer.

Windows 10
Windows 8 and 8.1
Windows Vista and Windows 7
Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000, and XP
MS-DOS and Windows command line
Shut down in a Chromebook
Apple Mac OS
Linux

Shut down in Windows 10

  1. Press the Windows key on the keyboard or click the Start button,
  2. Click the Power option and click Shut down.

or

Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and click the power button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

or

From the Windows Desktop, press Alt + F4 to get the Shut Down Windows screen shown below.

Windows 10 Shut down

Tip: If you have no mouse, while in the Shut Down window use the Tab key and arrow keys to switch between fields and when selected use the Enter key or the spacebar to select what is highlighted.

Shut down in Windows 8 and 8.1

Windows 8 power optionsWindows 8 and 8.1

Neither of these versions of Windows has the Start Menu. However, with the 8.1 update, Microsoft added the power options button to the upper right-hand corner of the Start screen that allows users to restart their computer quickly. Click the power options icon (squared in red in the image to the right) and select Restart from the drop-down menu that appears.

or

Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and click the power button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

or

From the Desktop press Alt + F4 to get the Shut Down Windows screen.

or

With Windows 8, Shut Down is found in the Settings of the Windows Charms.

Tip: If you have no mouse, while in the Shut Down window use the Tab key and arrow keys to switch between fields and when selected use the Enter key or the spacebar to select what is highlighted.

Shut down in Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. Press the Windows key on the keyboard or click the Start button,
  2. Click the Shut down button.

or

Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and click the power button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

or

From the Windows Desktop, press Alt + F4 to get the Shut Down Windows screen and select Shut down.

Tip: If you have no mouse, while in the Shut Down window use the Tab key and arrow keys to switch between fields and when selected use the Enter key or the spacebar to select what is highlighted.

Shut down in Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000, and XP

All these versions of Microsoft Windows can be shut down through the Start Menu.

  1. Press the Windows key on the keyboard or click the Start button.
  2. From the Start Menu, click Shut Down...

MS-DOS and Windows command line

To shut down a computer from the Windows command line use the shutdown command.

Chromebook Shut downShut down in a Chromebook

To shut down your Chromebook follow the steps below.

  1. Click the Time in the bottom right corner of the shelf
  2. Click the Power button icon.

Apple MenuShut down in Apple Mac OS

  1. Click the Apple Menu icon in the top left corner of the screen.
  2. In the Apple Menu, click Shut Down...