How to shut down a computer
Shutting down a computer closes all of the programs that are open and exits the operating system safely so hardware isn't damaged and your operating system isn't corrupted. The following article describes how to shut down a computer, with instructions for different operating systems. If you are not sure which OS your computer is running, see our guide, How to determine a computer's operating system.
Note: If computer is frozen, see our what to do when computer freezes document for steps on how to shut down a frozen computer.
Shut down in Windows 10
- Press the Windows key on the keyboard, or click the Start button. The Start Menu opens.
- In the Start Menu, click Power, then click Shut down.
From the Windows Desktop, press Alt+F4 to get the Shut Down Windows screen shown here.
Shut down in Windows 8 and 8.1
Windows 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 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.
From the Desktop press Alt+F4 to get the Shut Down Windows screen.
Shut down in Windows Vista and Windows 7
From the Windows Desktop, press Alt+F4 to get the Shut Down Windows screen and select Shut down.
Shut down in Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000, and XP
- Press the Windows key on the keyboard or click the Start button.
- From the Start Menu, click Shut Down...
MS-DOS and Windows command line
- Press the Windows key, type cmd, and then press Enter to open the command line.
- In the prompt that appears, type shutdown -s and press Enter.
- After a few moments, the computer will shut down.
Tip: You can restart the computer by typing shutdown -r.
Tip: You can log off of the current user account typing shutdown -l.
Tip: You can also shut down a computer using a batch file.
Shut down in a Chromebook
To shut down your Chromebook, follow these steps.
- Click on the digits showing the time in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- Click the Power button icon.
Shut down in Apple macOS
To shut down a macOS computer, follow these steps.
- Click the Apple Menu icon in the top left corner of the screen.
- In the Apple Menu, click Shut Down...