How To Shut Down Windows 8

Chris Hoffman 22-08-2012

how to shut down windows 8Windows 8 brings the biggest changes to the familiar Windows interface since Windows 95. The Shut Down option isn’t where you’d expect to find it – in fact, the entire classic Start menu and Start button have been removed What's Missing From Windows 8? Windows 8 has seen the removal of many features that have been key to Windows over the years, including the Start button, Start menu, and Windows Aero. We tend to focus on the new features... Read More . There are a variety of ways to shut down Windows 8, and you’ll need to know at least one of them if you want to shut down a Windows 8 PC.


The Restart and Sleep options are located in the same place as the Shut Down option. Microsoft clearly doesn’t want people shutting down their system – Microsoft wants our systems to go into standby mode Windows 7 Power Options and Sleep Modes Explained When Windows 7 launched, one of Microsoft's selling points was that it was designed to help your battery last longer. One of the main features users will actually notice is that the screen dims before... Read More , much like a smartphone or tablet sits in standby mode and instantly springs back to life when we press its power button.

Use The Charms

To shut down Windows 8 from the charms menu anywhere on your system, mouse over the bottom right or top right corners of your screen, and then move the mouse towards the icons on the right side of your screen. The charms menu will appear. This works in the “modern” metro-style environment as well as on the desktop. You can also press WinKey+C to open the charms bar.

Click the Settings charm when the charms bar appears. You can also press WinKey+I to go directly to open the Settings charm from anywhere in Windows. (Check out our list of Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts A Handy Keyboard Shortcuts List for the Upcoming Microsoft Windows 8 Not having to reach for your mouse to do the most routine task is one huge benefit I enjoy every day. That's because I've memorized my list of Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts, and I use... Read More for more handy shortcuts.)

how to shut down windows 8

Click the power button at the bottom of the Settings pane and select Shut down to shut down.


how do i shut down windows 8


From anywhere in Windows, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, click the power button at the bottom right corner of the screen, and select Shut Down.

how do i shut down windows 8

Sign Out & Shut Down

You can shut down Windows 8 from the login screen after signing out. To sign out, open the Start screen (press the Windows key or move your mouse to the bottom left corner of your screen and click), click your name, and select Sign Out.


how do i shut down windows 8

Click the power button at the bottom right corner of the screen and select Shut down.

windows 8 log out and shut down

Alt+F4 From Desktop

You can shut down Windows directly from the desktop 6 Ways Microsoft Is Killing The Traditional Desktop In Windows 8 [Opinion] The traditional desktop is still around in Windows 8, and it’s probably the best Windows desktop yet (aside from not having a Start menu.) But Microsoft is setting it up for the kill. The writing... Read More . First, ensure the desktop is focused by clicking your desktop background The 5 Best Tips to Improve Your Desktop Wallpaper Read More , and then press Alt+F4 (if you press Alt+F4 Some Cool Keyboard Tricks Few People Know About Your mouse disrupts your workflow. Every time you use it, you're losing a tiny bit of focus and time. It's high time to learn powerful keyboard shortcuts for Windows, your browser, and more. Read More while a program is focused, that program will close.) Select Shut Down in the dialog that appears.


shut down windows 8

Power Button

You can use the power button on your laptop, desktop, or tablet to shut it down. However, by default this button may do something else, such as putting your computer to sleep. To change what the physical power buttons on your computer do, use the Power Options control panel.

Open this control panel by pressing the Windows key, typing “power buttons” at the Start screen, selecting the Settings category, and clicking the Change what the power buttons do shortcut.

shut down windows 8


From this window, you can control what happens when you press the physical buttons on your computer. Some laptops may have multiple, separate buttons for shut down, sleep, or hibernate When Power Saving Fails: Fixing Windows 7 Hibernation Issues When you use the hibernate shut-down option, Windows 7 saves the contents of your computer’s memory to disk and powers off the computer. If your computer can’t hibernate or isn’t resuming from hibernation properly, there... Read More . Each button is configurable.

shut down windows 8

Create Shortcuts

You can create quick Shut Down shortcuts and place them on your start screen, desktop, taskbar, or anywhere else on your system, such as in a folder. These shortcuts will allow you to power off your system with a few quick clicks.

To create a new shortcut, right-click on your desktop, point to New, and select Shortcut. Copy and paste the following line into the location box to create a shortcut that shuts down your computer immediately:

shutdown.exe /s /t 0

windows 8 create shutdown shortcut

Click Next and name the shortcut something like Shut Down. To give it an appropriate icon, right-click the shortcut, click the Change Icon button, and select an icon.

windows 8 shutdown shortcut icon

This shortcut can be placed anywhere you like – for example, you could place it on your taskbar by dragging it to your taskbar or right-click it and select Pin to Start to place it on your Start screen.

Be careful, though – when you click this shortcut, your computer will shut down immediately with no warning.

how to shut down windows 8

To create a shortcut that restarts immediately instead, use this line:

shutdown.exe /r /t 0

You can run the shutdown.exe /? command in a Command Prompt window A Beginner's Guide To The Windows Command Line The command line lets you communicate directly with your computer and instruct it to perform various tasks. Read More to see a full list of switches you can use to customize your Shut Down shortcut.

windows 8 command prompt shutdown options

What do you think of Windows 8’s approach to shutting down? Is the shut down option really outdated in an age of smartphones, tablets, and computers that can suspend with very little power drain How To Increase The Lifetime Of Your Laptop Battery A laptop with a short battery life is a nuisance, especially when you're on the road and nowhere close to a power socket. To make each individual charge of your battery last longer, learn about... Read More ? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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  1. Stan Rames
    December 2, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    8 gave me migraines. Since I am so used to XP, when the laptop needed replacement and 8 was it, I bit the bullet and was not happy.
    Start8 was a beginning...took several months to "fix" 8, but before 8.1 I had a normal desktop, NO Metro UI, NO charms, NO Hot Spots, normal taskbar WITH a desktop icon in the left side, MicroSoft store...removed. Any reference to Office removed and OpenOffice installed. Normal (XP style) run function, Outlook Express (well, OEClassic), and a GRENN XP Start Button in lower left. Even fooled a MS employee who worked on the development of 8, who insisted when he saw it that I was still running XP.
    I wish. If I could find drivers for this Toshiba laptop for XP, it would have had it two weeks after purchase.
    We call it XP-8.

    ALL my PC's (three) have XP Pro, two 64 bit, one (this one) 32 bit, and they function just fine.

    I decided after Vista and WGA that I was NOT interested in MS products any more, and the next computer (in the closet) has Ubuntu on it.

    And I have been able to discard the migraine medicine.


  2. TechTwitt
    November 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Great tips to shut down windows 8. Its a great OS by microsoft by we also noticed that some users faces some issue when trying to shutting it down. This post will definately help those guys

  3. Raghav Gupta
    November 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I thought it was something obvious :)

  4. Robert Bobby
    October 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Shut down inW8?

    Couldn't be simpler out of the box.

    Tap the Power button. System shuts down. Tap the Power button. System starts. Tap the power button. System shuts down.

    You guys are making this WAY more complicated than it needs to be.

    • Chris Hoffman
      November 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Sure, unless that suspends or hibernates your laptop by default.

  5. simone
    October 24, 2012 at 1:25 am

    To resolve this problem i've created this small program :

    pw: "power"

  6. Chris
    August 26, 2012 at 3:55 am

    You can also shutdown Windows via Run command.

    shutdown -s -t 0

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      Yup, thanks! Most people won't want to remember that command and type it by hand every time, though.

      • L Sulasno
        September 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

        use a shortcut ?

  7. Silviu Despa
    August 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    All these changes made in windows 8 .... I don't think I will ever use it!

  8. zwollner
    August 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Guess I should have red this when it was posted, because I installed Server 2012 last night, and it took me 10mins to figure out how to shut it down.

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      I think it's insane the Windows Server now uses Metro (sorry -- "the Windows 8 UI formerly known as Metro")

      • zwollner
        August 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm

        Yep... I got annoyed with it pretty quick and then installed Ubuntu Server.

        • Chris Hoffman
          August 28, 2012 at 1:09 am

          It's sad because they were on a decent track with the increased emphasis on command-line administration tools.

  9. Scutterman
    August 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I have been using shutdown.exe from the command line for a while now. I generally use it when the "Shut Down" button shows that it wants to install updates, but windows update claims there aren't any. Since I like to see what updates are getting installed I use shutdown.exe which will turn it off without installing updates, and the updates generally appear next time I turn the computer on.

    I think that shutting down computers is important. Apart from the fact that Windows becomes unstable if left on for long periods - something which I'm sure will remain to some extent in Windows 8 - there's the fact that computers draw power, and a lot of it.
    My phone needs to be plugged in for about 2 hours a week, drawing minimal power. Leaving my computer on all the time would mean drawing several hundred watts. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    I know in America there seems to be a culture of leaving the computer on the whole time, but electricity is expensive over here in the UK and the traditional power reserves are running out fast.

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Interesting about Windows Update; I had no idea it worked that way.

      Computers can be set up to not draw power 24/7, at least -- for example, you might suspend it, and it might automatically hibernate after X minutes. It does take 0 power in hibernate, but of course Windows needs to be restarted occasionally. Still, it's clearly what Microsoft wants us to do.

      • Scutterman
        August 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        It doesn't hide the updates all the time, just an occasional glitch.

        I make good use of hibernate, but many people I know will either shut it down, or leave it until the default power settings kick in. Generally this involves putting the monitor into standby and maybe spinning down the disks but it's still consuming more power than it would be if it was turned off. I think it would be better for Microsoft to concentrate more on reducing start and shutdown times than to make it difficult to shut down.

        • Chris Hoffman
          August 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm

          They've also made startup and shutdown faster. Sadly, there's a lot of good stuff buried under the stuff I don't like in Windows 8.

          They probably want new computers to auto-hibernate by default, so they're trying to encourage that use case. People don't generally power off an iPad when they're done with it, and Microsoft is taking the same approach with Windows 8.

        • Scutterman
          August 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm

          I like faster startup / shutdowns, and I like the new multi-screen features I've read about, but it's not enough to convince me to like Windows 8. Hopefully they'll carry over to Windows 9

        • Chris Hoffman
          August 28, 2012 at 1:09 am

          You and me both!

  10. xbalesx
    August 24, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Crazy an article needs 2 B written on how to shut down Windows 8...means people do not know how which leads me to believe the overall design must not be 2 super....

  11. Dougie Vantran
    August 24, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Way more complicated than it needs to be...

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      Agreed. It should be in the menu on the Start screen that contains the Log Off option.

  12. Nancy B
    August 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    An O/S without a shut down button?? Is that dumb or what.
    Think it's going to go the way of Vista.

    I used XP and didn't upgrade until Windows 7....8 is sounding confusing and annoying already!

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      It has lots of Shut Down buttons! There's just no Start menu to put them in.

  13. Mihovil Pletikos
    August 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    on laptops there is really no need to shut down w8 i have been using cr and now rtm and i don't remember when was last time that i had to do it. i just close my laptop and that's it... a few seconds later i have windows up and running...

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Yup, that's obviously what Microsoft wants to encourage.

      It does make some sense -- I see some people shutting down their laptops instead of hibernating and suspending. It just wastes their time. But people are locked into that habit.

  14. Ganesh Kumar
    August 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    thanks for nice tips

  15. Noman Fayez
    August 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I think it is too early to come.... may be windows 8 could make flop like vista.... Peoples do not like vista after using XP.... why I do not know... but I have doubt that w8 could make a flop after w7... It should be released on 2015....

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Windows 7 is the new Windows XP, I think. At least for businesses.

  16. VS Vishnu
    August 23, 2012 at 10:22 am

    does that need a guide..!

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      On Windows 8, it does!

  17. mikiaandy
    August 23, 2012 at 3:45 am

    he himself shutdown with bsod or other errors :)

  18. Jon Smith
    August 23, 2012 at 2:31 am

    do you test windows 8 on a virtual machine or have a real computer running it?

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      I've done both, at this point. I don't use it on my main computer, though.

  19. Sebastian Hadinata
    August 23, 2012 at 1:49 am

    wow.. it's that complicated to shut down Windows 8, haha. Now shutting down needs a tutorial. But still I'll upgrade to Windows 8 as soon as it is released :D. New stuff (OS) are always welcomed :3

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      Welcome to Windows 8, my friend! It's given us tech bloggers a lot to write about, that's for sure.

  20. Tech Checkers
    August 23, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Am I the only one who thinks the fact that this article had to be written shows Bad #Design for #Windows 8..

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      I wrote the article and I agree with you about Windows 8. They're obviously trying to encourage people to hibernate and suspend instead of shutting down.

  21. Richard Borkovec
    August 22, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I knew the Alt+F4 to close a window, but not to shut down the OS.

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Yup, seems to work on Windows 7 to!